My mum has had such an impact on my life. She raised four kids, some of it single-handedly and this has moulded her into the person she is today. Sharing that journey with her, and being influenced by her during this time has also shaped me into the person I am. I have no doubt that the quality of life that I lead, the relationships that I have fostered and the perspective with which I view the world comes from her.
So this tribute I share with you mum, as a sign of my gratitude and recognition of the decades of love and effort you've poured into me and my siblings, and our children as well. This is a token of my thanks for all the sacrifices you’ve made and the challenges you’ve faced. I know there were times when it was so very difficult, but I know you believe it’s all been worthwhile as you’ve released a well-rounded brood into this world and I know we’ll all lead lives worthy of your expectations.
My mum was a driving force in instilling a strong set of values in me, my sister and our two brothers, constantly reinforcing how we should behave toward one another. She would explain how our interactions with each other and our social circles would have impacts that we needed to understand. How we needed to conduct ourselves in a manner that reflected the high standards we had set for ourselves.
It’s impossible to recollect every time we were comforted for scraped knees, soothed back to sleep after nightmares or cheered on vociferously during our sporting endeavours. These things added up and became a guiding direction that I have continued my life upon. As a child I believe my actions and my choices were a product of the environment created for me and my siblings.
As a kid I remember always hearing from teachers and friend’s parents how the standard my siblings and I set was of a high standard. I credit this to your diligence in raising us with a strong set of values, of always showing respect and having a polite disposition. I’m proud to say that these traits haven't skipped a generation and your grandchildren have these qualities instilled in them as well.
I will always remember the effort and planning you put into my 21st Birthday celebration. Inviting family & friends from interstate, coordinating the catering & speeches, surprising me with a wonderful gift. These are all part of my cherished memories, formed only as a product of the effort and thoughtfulness you put into a defining moment in my life. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will strive to provide a similar experience for my children when their time arrives.
We moved a lot when we were younger, sometimes changing places, schools and friends every few years. The constant for us was knowing that we would always stay together, despite the changing surroundings. My mother worked tirelessly to ensure that our homes were as comfortable for us as possible, had the things that we liked and we never really lacked for any of the creature comforts.
In some ways I was given more than my friends and peers. I was the first student to own a cell phone in my school, allowed some freedoms others my age weren’t and I was shown some of the darker things in life a little earlier than I would show my own children. Without these little graces I wouldn't have the grounded view of the world that I do today.
In other ways we had less than others, slightly disconnected and a little inaccessible, we were often told that we would be moving on to somewhere else at the end of the year. This put a strain on friendships, but served as a reminder to enjoy the moments of joy and adventure when they arose. I put this in here because these memories serve to remind me of the power of perspective, of learning to adapt to a changing environment.
A childhood filled with love, kindness and support has shown me the way with my own children. I constantly draw on the lessons I learned from my youth, pouring myself into their growth and thoroughly enjoying the moments we share. This is also a tribute to you mum, because without the opportunities my brothers, sister and I were offered to work together we would surely not have developed the strong sense of teamwork that we are often praised for.
Sometimes I lament that my children lack the perspective of not having everything they need, and more. I have come to realise that these lessons were also shared with me over the years from your childhood experiences, and I am comforted to know that in time they will come to understand and have that same perspective too. I remember the wild times playing outside in the luxury of some good-sized properties, of sharing these experiences with friends who didn't have dirt-bikes, a pool table or a games console.
It is an absolutely pleasure watching you play with your grandchildren. I know they thoroughly enjoy the activities you engage in together; whether it’s cooking, fishing or simply preparing for a family gathering they are captivated by everything you say, the way you conduct yourself and they continually await the next adventure. It is rare to find an adult who speaks to young children the way you do; encouraging but not coddling, patient but not without boundaries, a voice that doesn't possess a hint of malice or spite.
May you continue to prosper in your rich life and continue to offer guidance to those you love. I’m extremely proud of all that you’ve achieved and I know the future holds even brighter things for you. Continue to persevere, never stop searching for that love that we all know is out there and I look forward to our next visit and the adventure that surely awaits us with you.
Your loving Son.
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