On the eve of each of my children’s birthdays my mind will forever screen re-runs of every moment, every sound and every thought which ran through my mind as the most important memories of my life are played back to me. I love to indulge in these reruns to ensure I never, ever forget every second of the most important days of my life. This year is no different except that we are marking a special quarter of a century – 25 years ago tomorrow, my baby came into this world and for those interested the story goes like this…
25 years ago in country Victoria, Australia on a cold and wet afternoon at Bendigo Base Hospital a young 27 year old was lying on a gurney waiting to go into theater to give birth to her second child via Cesarean section when she felt the first contractions of her little one’s journey into life possibly set off from her nerves and anticipation of what was coming next.
As excited and nervous thoughts swirled around in her head on whether she would have another boy or if God would bless her with a daughter this time around, she was wheeled in to theatre just before 2pm, her breath shallow and a tear in her eye knowing that this was the last baby she would carry having had decided with her husband that if we were to give our children the best we could then two would be it for us. I deliberately did not find out the sex of this child I was carrying as my heart was set on a girl after having had my firstborn, a son only 15 months earlier. Had this birth resulted in another boy, that decision above would have been turned on its head. So on that day shortly after I brought another most precious gift into this world ~ a gift which has bought me more joy and pride than I ever thought possible and hands down has been my most important role in this lifetime ~ to be a mother.
August 9th, 1991. I even got to pick the date and this date fell on a Friday so I remember thinking it would be easier for relatives to come and visit on the weekend – little did this young mum realise that after a Caesar she was in no shape for any visitors. Melissa was a ‘breech’ baby which should have warned me then, that this child would have a mind of her own…
And so ‘my Melly‘ was born at 2:10pm and taken away for me to recoup from the anesthetic. I did not see her for a few hours after she was born. In that time, her father named her Melissa Jane and welcomed his second daughter into the world. I recall waking up groggily and asking the nurse what did I have. She told me I had a beautiful baby girl named Melissa. I could hardly believe it, that I had been blessed with my own daughter. I remember being all chocked up and it was a very emotional moment when I asked to see her and Melissa placed into my arms.
It’s hard to believe
that was 25 years ago…
so many chapters & memories
we have nurtured and shared together over that time…
So this special post is for you Melly
in celebration of a milestone
and in celebration
of the beautiful woman you have become!
My dearest Melly,…it was a rough start for the two of us at first.I worked out years later that you must have been lactose intolerant even though not one medical doctor picked it up. It took us 6 months & a trip up to sunny Queensland for the two of us to find a routine, contentment and sleep but I can honestly say that after we got over that little hurdle the first 5 years of your life were my absolute favourite even though I have quite a few favourite years :).
As a little girl, you would follow me around the house, a quizzical little girl, always chattering, exploring or doing something new. It was obvious from very early on I had a determined, independent and very creative little daughter.
As you grew, so did your imagination. When you were in primary school, you spent many an hour up an old large oak tree outside of our home in Winston Road pretending you were Pocahontas and that tree was Grandmother Willow. Sometimes I would make sandwiches and take them to you in that tree and just smile, loving your creative little spirit.
However, it wasn’t until I was called to the principals office to explain why you would draw on the toilet wall in grade 6 and listened to your reasoning so innocently ‘to make it look pretty‘ then I knew you were destined to always be an ‘artist’, it was just so natural for you to create, wherever you were, no matter what the context…
Your teenage years were a bit tougher as you developed a mind of your own at a young age and although I wanted you to become independent and self assured, between 13-16 you did keep me on my toes 🙂 You never would conform to what you perceived to be as traditional activities instead opting to always stretch the boundaries a little and finding your ‘true north‘ following your own philosophies, becoming a vegetarian, joining an all girls soccer team and paving the world in ‘your way’
I was always so proud of you when you would find something new you wanted to try, or a new road to travel, you just kept at it until you were satisfied and if not then you would try something new…this resilience and unwavering persistence has shaped you to who you are today…
With those years behind us, you finished high school and was accepted into Monash University in Melbourne beginning an Arts Degree then later transferring to where your real passion lay, Fine Arts. I was so proud of you that day getting into Monash, I remember being terribly sick with gastro the morning the results were released and you couldn’t come in the door but stood at the doorway jumping up and down and me so sick and thrilled at the same time but I couldn’t hug you.
I cannot wait to see
where this road takes you
Melbourne art world and beyond…
We moved away from Melbourne around this time to start preparing the way for our retirement years. One of the hardest things I have had to do was leave you behind but you were so ready to live your own life without restrictions and I knew that it was time for you to begin planting your own dreams and living them on your terms.
So if I could have one wish come true it would be that the next 25 years move slower than the first and I know that over the next 25 years there is going to be so much more living and growing packed into it.
I love where you are right now, happy and content and know that you are on the right path pursuing your artist journey and fueling your passion. And one day, when you have children of your own, you will understand fully, the love that I hold for you in a very special part of my heart. But even now, with you as a ‘grown up’ one thing I know for sure is that I will always carry those special memories and moments we have shared, just the two of us and those all together as a family which live in my mind and heart forever…
Do you remember when you were a little girl and I had to leave you at kindergarten or school we would have a special ritual just between the two of us where we would touch each others hearts and imagine there was an invisible string that attached you to me. No one but us knew it was there, shining brightly and now that we are apart, it still connects us no matter how long it has been since we’ve talked or wherever you may live over the next 25 years, that invisible string will always connect us.
So today on your 25th journey around the sun,
I wish you more love and laughter
than you could ever need
I wanted to share
I love about you
- I love that you are funny, you always make me laugh, really laugh
- I love that you still call me ‘Mumma’
- I love your beauty
- I love your grace
- I love that I see your Grandmother in your eyes and high cheek bones
- I love that you have traits of your Nan, a softness and kind view of the world
- I love that you are really smart
- I love that you chose Art as your career
- I love your art and what you do
- I love that you are a strong woman and you know your voice
- I love that you have found love and it makes you grin from ear to ear talking about it
- I love that I can still tell you my opinion and you listen (or at least pretend to)
- I love that even though you sometimes think my universal theories are funny, you let me tell you them regardless
- I love when we can both sit with a red wine and ‘discuss life’
- I love your quirkiness
- I love your determination
- I love listening to your compassion and views on life
- I love that you use words sometimes I have never even heard of
- I love that you can cook really really well and make anything from nothing
- I love it when you visit
- I love when you stay a while
- I love that you always teach me something
- I love that you are not just my daughter but one of my closest friends
- I love that I will never ever stop loving you
- And I love that no matter what, you will always follow your ‘true north’
Love you to the moon and back
25 year old!
With love from Mumma xx