Seventy – Five


My mother was born in 1933, and spent the majority of her life in, and around, the small country town where  I was also conceived, born and grew up.

She attended a one-room school, where the other students were mostly relatives; until she was about 13 when she was packed off to boarding school in Sydney.  Here she was taught to darn beautifully and other things that would benefit ladies of that time  – she wanted to learn science.

When she finished school she returned to the small country town and began working as a photographic artist in the local studio – which specialized in weddings and family portraits.

One day a handsome foreigner walked into the studio and swept her off her feet.  They married in 1956 and moved into my grandparent's house on the farm where myself and 3 siblings were to grow up. (My grandparents had built themselves a house and moved into the civilization of town).

My mother has 2 green thumbs and 8 green fingers.  She has made fabulous gardens and won many prizes in delicate flower arranging. She could also demolish a snake with a shovel! 

Mum was only 53 and starting to explore life without children at home, when my father had a massive stroke which changed the course of her "retirement".   She has cared, full-time, for my father every day since – a very difficult and mostly thankless task.

She is a breast cancer survivor twice (30+ years apart).  She has had both knees totally replaced in the past 4 years  – the first one a success, the other leaving her dependent on a walker to get around. She has a dodgy shoulder.

She has faced all of her battles without any complaint. She has infinite patience and she is definitely the kindest person I have ever met!   I think the only gene I inherited, from her, was the snake killing one – though I will totally deny that I am anything like my father!

Happy 75th birthday mum! 


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30 responses

  1. Thank you. I'm sure she has lots of great stories to tell – it is hard for her to find time to sit and tell them. My father has been recording some of his stories and my sister types them up – I think my mother should start doing the same.

  2. Thank you. You know, the funny thing about that photo is that I think you can tell it is her. If I was shown that photo and asked to guess who it was, I would say "mum".

  3. Thank you Sergio. The photo is sort of framed in old cardboard and was wrapped in tissue paper which probably helped to keep the air from it for all these years. Plus where we lived is a very dry environment – so no mould etc. I suspect that photos printed today will not retain their colour after so many years!

  4. Thank you Karen – I know you understand how tough things have been for her. I only hope that if I was faced with the same I would do as well as both of you have done!

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