Three short years ago we were dressing up and celebrating your 40th birthday. You were the Queen of the ball that night and now you’ve already left us. And the only way I can contact you is to turn on Smooth FM and wait until a really corny tune comes on and sing my heart out like we used to do together when we were in your car or trying to outdo each other at karaoke. We miss you so, precious sunshine, funny witty friend, devoted mother. I see you when the sun lights up the evening sky across the sea and your songs come on the radio. Shine on beautiful friend, thank you for inspiring me to do good work in the world
My eight year old’s teacher asked her where she would like to go on a class excursion. My daughter replied, “Dan Murphy’s*, that’s where Mummy would like to go.”
I was planning my 16 year old’s birthday party. She said, “Mum I don’t want any drugs at my party.” She could tell I was very disappointed, I didn’t know how to tell my friends they can’t come to her party.
I went to pick up my youngest child from a craft workshop. The teacher said, “We worked with coloured paper this afternoon and your daughter coloured in a piece of white paper with a bright green texta, cut it up into little pieces, put it in a bowl, then rolled the pieces into a long tube of white paper and pretended to smoke it. Where did she learn to do that?”
Later that night she said to me, “What’s a ghetto Mama?” Before I had a chance to answer she said, “Is a ghetto somewhere mamas go when dads have hurt their babies?”
*A well known bottle shop/off license chain in Australia
When I was pregnant with The One Who Changed Everything I read a memoir by Isabel Allende called Paula, written about her daughter. Until I read the book I’d been in massive ‘motherhood won’t change me’ denial about my gal’s impending birth, but I knew afterwards that I was about to embark on a life changing journey. After an exhausting start, a little girl called V opened me up to the beauty and joy and suffering in the world, she showed me the way.
Happy 17th birthday Vee-Yon-Say, so glad I am your mama. Thank you for your wisdom, your light and your humour. I know I am the Eddy to your Saffy, I love you smarty pants
In late 2001 I was pregnant with my second daughter and I went to have an ultrasound. I’ll never forget the words of the sonographer who looked at the images of my tiny girl on the screen and said, “What a beautiful baby.” Yes, she is, inside and out. Happy 12th birthday, my gorgeous horse daughter Moo. I love you.