This is my mum.
She is awesome. That’s really the only way to describe her. She has been my biggest supporter of all the crazy things I’ve done in my life. I wouldn’t say she has encouraged me of a few things, but defiantly hasn’t stopped me.
When I was in grade 11, I went to a friends party. I can’t really remember how it all came about, pretty sure there was beer (and maybe a joint or 2) involved but the next day I came home with no hair. My friend had cut it off with a pair of scissors from a Swiss Army knife. It was the worst hack job of all time. My mother froze. Inside I bet she was screaming, but she looked at me and sighed “at least you have a nice shaped head. Hair grows back.” And left it at that.
The day I decided to head overseas she supported me 110%. I was signing up to be an au pair. I had filled out all the forms and received my visa. I had to wait until a family choose me. This was going to be the biggest, scariest thing I had ever done. It didn’t take long for a family from New York to pick me. Before I knew it, I was off on my own on the way to America. I’d never travelled overseas before, and was crapping my pants. My mum hugged me at the airport and told me “I’m not going to say goodbye, because I’ll see you again” and sent me on my way.
I was there for just over 4 weeks when September 11 happened. It was terrifying. Of course I wanted to come home. Her words were “then start swimming.” That sounded like a bad idea, so I stayed for the next 11 months. Glad I did.
She came to visit me over there for 2 weeks. We had so much fun driving around, drinking in Atlantic City, doing all the touristy things in New York. I think we became closer while I was away.
When I returned from America, tattooed, pierced and wiser, I came to live with my older brother in Sydney. She gave me a hundred dollars, told me if I don’t have a job in 2 weeks to come home. It’s been 11 years. I’m sure I still owe her that money…plus some.
When I fell pregnant with my first, she was so excited she squealed! Then proceeded to buy a heap of things, mind you we were 5 weeks along, but she just knew everything would be ok. “You’re my daughter, everything will be fine.” She was always so right. She said she didn’t want to be there for the birth. I respected that decision. My waters broke and on the third visit to the hospital, we were admitted. I called mum, she jumped in the car and came up, no questions asked. She quietly sat in the corner of the room and knitted for hours. She was the second person to hold the baby.
In the next few weeks, she made the trip from Canberra to Sydney many times. She was there with support while I recovered from my mystery infection and she came to stay for a week when my husband went back to work. It was the best just having her there. She was even there when I bought my wedding dress. Mind you, it was late one night, online, but she was there.
She raised me and my brothers by herself, while studying, working and being a leader in the scouts. She still is in the scouting movement. She must be almost up to 25 years. Still studying and working. She is an amazing, strong, determined and dedicated woman. She mentioned retirement a while ago…if she did, she would get restless and start working again. Nothing keeps her down. I get my fire from her.
She’s been there through my love and heartbreaks, crazy hair styles, tattoos, bad clothing choices, the births of both my boys, my wedding…and I’m sure there’s more to come.
I owe her everything and a lot of money. I don’t thank her enough. I hope I can become half the woman she is. Even a third would be nice.
I love you mum…one day I’ll get a tattoo for you.