Dad, A, K, Mom and myself
Yesterday my Mom celebrated her 75th birthday. We are very blessed to have her living just 5kms around the corner given that we come from South Africa and had to leave my folks behind when we left in 2000. They applied for a Parent Contributory Visa (at a cost of $65,000) and came over to live here in 2006. Those 6 years without having them around, except when they were on holiday, was tough. I used to talk to them every day when we lived in South Africa but we couldn't afford to do that once we moved here.
My Mom, who up until 2000, had only used golf ball typewriters and very slowly upgraded to an electric typewriter. She didn't 'do' computers. I told her she was going to have to learn as I couldn't afford to phone her every day but at least we could mail every day. She was very hesitant. She was scared. She didn't like technology. Luckily my Dad was reasonably computer literate so he started to teach her. We lived with them for the last 2 weeks before we moved here and every night we would sit down and I would try to show her what she could do. She didn't like it but she knew that she was going to have to master it.
She made copious notes of what to do at every single step and yet still she managed to battle to do it. Dad would have to log on and get everything to the point where she just had to type into the body of the mail. 12 years later she can log on and send her own mails - she is very proud of this fact and I am extremely proud of her for learning this new skill at the grand old age of 63 !!
When we were growing up, my Mom worked at the University of Durban, for the engineering students running a bookshop for them. She finished work at 1.30 every day to make sure that, after year 1 and 2, she was always at home when we finished school. I don't recall that she ever did anything with us when we got home as we normally dashed in from school, changed and went out to play with the other kids in the neighbourhood.
What I do remember are the cakes and scones she used to bake - they were as light as anything and so yummy. Her chocolate cake was to die for. Sadly here the flour seems to be quite different and so she doesn't bake much anymore. She still makes milk tarts and I can never have too much of that - it is delicious and I am so glad I have mastered the art of making milk tarts that taste just like hers. I guess that happens when you have a great teacher.
There is nothing that my Mom can't sew / make / knit / crochet. She has amazing skills when it comes to these crafts. For all the years we were here and they were there, she and my Dad would make, and then sell, table cloths, placemats, aprons, library book bags, cushion covers etc at craft markets each week and this was their "Sew To Go" business - their logo was a map of Africa, a map of Australia and the route of the airplane ! Every year they made the trip in July for 4 weeks - I used to absolutely hang out for those 4 weeks of the year. After they left to go back home, I felt like I had lost an arm or a leg. One of the happiest days of my life would have to be the day they were accepted to immigrate to Australia.
My Mom has knowledge she doesn't even realise. When I start a knitting / crocheting project, she is the one who checks my needle size to make sure my tension is right - I am getting better at this but only because she is such a great teacher.
We bought new doona covers ages ago and they have been in the cupboard ever since. We put them on the other day and they doonas never seemed to stay put in them because they were a bit big - no trouble, she altered them so that they fit so nicely I would love her to do our other doona covers !!! Any sort of bag or holder she can make. If anything breaks / needs to be mended, she is our go to person - not because I can't do it - more because she is so much better at it than I am and more importantly, she LOVES to help us out. I would say that at least 5 days a week they call to see what they can do for us and sometimes I have to make up things for them to do !!!
She has a heart of gold. There is nothing she won't do for others. She has done such a huge amount of knitting / crocheting for charity I think she should get a medal. But she doesn't do it to get a medal - she does it because she wants to make someone else's life better - even if it is only a handmade jumper in winter.
They feed wallabies in their back yard. I cannot imagine how many kilos of carrots she has cut up for the wallabies that visit. They all have names and some of them are so tame, if there is no food in their bowl (because she won't leave it out as it dries out so she brings it in after they leave each time !!) they will tap on the door to let her know they are there and there is no food there !!
When she comes to visit Alfie and Rosie love her to bits ! (Yes, they do love everyone who comes to visit but sometimes I think my Mom gets an extra special welcome when she comes) They buy them bones when they are out and love to spend time just watching them either playing in the Broadwater when we take them down or jumping up and catching the water when A has the hosepipe out.
Mom, you are an amazing woman, who I am proud to call Mom. I know that there is going to come a day when you won't be here anymore and when that day arrives, it will be too soon.
I love her more than she will ever know even though I tell her every time I see her but I don't know that the words I say can convey just how much I do love her.
For those of you who still have Mom's with you - I hope that you love, appreciate and validate them while they are still here. For those of you whose Mom's are no longer here, I believe they are still watching over you.
I am so glad that you had such a great birthday Mom - you deserve nothing less.
I am hoping to link in with WeHeartLife for TT but there is no post there at the moment because I am so thankful that my Mom is who she is and she has helped make me who I am today.
TFTD : Happiness is the vehicle we travel in, not our destination.