Category Archives: Family

A mother’s letter to her children

In 1985 most women stayed at home after having a baby and parenting was considered the mother’s role.

I loved my job working in the early days of computing but I wanted to start a family and was overjoyed when I fell pregnant. I resigned my position and looked forward to being a mum never once regretting it even during difficult times.

There were times when people seemed disinterested when I said I was a stay at home mum of three. I also notice this today when I tell others I’m not working as a woman in her 50s. We live in a society that evaluates us on our career choice. I believe people should be able do what’s right for them without judgment.

I have cherished being a mum since day one and will continue to until my last breath. I have seen you grow from babies to toddlers to children to teenagers to young adults and now as adults.

I love you all dearly and each of you brings me joy in your own way. I adore hearing your news and try hard not to interfere but just be there for you to talk things through without judgment.

Remember how we loved the book “Love you Forever”? Maybe it influenced our lives or maybe it foretold our future. Either way it told my story. The blurb on the back of the book says it all “This is the story of how the child goes through the stages of childhood. It is also about the enduring nature of parents’ love and how it crosses generations”.

I reckon we are two-thirds through the book where the mum climbs through the window of her son’s house to sing her mantra.

I am not just a mum. I am the luckiest person alive because I am a mum. It is the best position in life that I will never retire from.

“I’ll love you forever I’ll like you for always As long as I’m living my babies you’ll be.”

Special moments

gratful-thankfulSome days pass by unnoticed and others are extraordinary. Last Saturday was extra special making me thankful and happy.

At various stages throughout the day all three of our adult children spent unplanned time with us sharing stories of what’s happening in their lives. At the end of the day my husband and I talked about how happy it made us feel to have a close relationship with each of our children. This is the true definition of happiness for us.

Laura our youngest daughter celebrates her 24th birthday tomorrow. She is an amazing young woman who inspires, loves, creates and spreads joy. I saw this quote by Walt Disney and immediately thought of Laura. I’ve always thought of her as my magical Peter Pan.
Happy birthday Lawna.



gratitude and happiness

Eternal love

The creaking sound of her rickety rattan chair comforts Nina as she sinks down into the seat. Every afternoon she enjoys sitting and admiring her garden.

Familiar sounds echo as she breathes in the earthy pleasures of rich soil and damp leaves. A cool breeze blows gently on her skin. Sitting and watching she feels alive, in harmony with nature.

Nina’s garden is her haven, a place of renewal where she nourishes her soul. Silently she thanks each plant and ornament for bringing her joy,  they are valued members of her extended family.

Nina lives alone in a modest old timber house. A wooden nameplate bearing the name Akiko,meaning Iris; light and bright, hangs at the cottage entrance.

Her life is quiet and sometimes lonely. Most days she gardens and preens her tiny house. She does this for her own satisfaction and because she is grateful for everything she has.

As she sits looking at the garden her gaze is drawn to her flourishing Suma bush. She involuntarily gasps at its radiance. An affectionate loving smile spreads across her face. This plant tells her story.

As a young woman Nina spent her lunch breaks in the tranquil Jenku Gardens. This peaceful daily experience inspired her to create her own garden. She knew little about gardening but was eager to learn.

Nina planted a Suma bush near her front entrance so she could admire its soft beauty and smell its subtle fragrance each time she came in and out of her house.

Despite meticulous care and constant love her Suma failed to thrive. The foliage thinned and the vibrant green leaves faded to an insipid yellow.

Nina felt a deep sense of failure and loss. It broke her heart to see her Suma in such a bad state. Reluctantly she moved the plant to the back garden.

Weeks later she noticed new green shoots sprouting on the Suma’s spindly stem. Nina’s heart filled with thanks knowing her plant was showing signs of regeneration.

It dawned on her that this species survives better in the shade. She realised her Suma could not flourish where she’d wanted it to grow no matter how much care she lavished on the plant.

This lesson taught her to respect the inherent needs of each species. Over years her garden grew and matured into a place of natural beauty with thriving plant and bird life coexisting within her garden sanctuary.

Drawing her attention back to today a Pipi bird swoops under the Suma plant searching for food in the rich soil. Nina smiles and thanks every element of nature for keeping her company her whole life.

She feels tired and closes her eyes letting her head nod forward. She feels like she is floating.


Nina hears her mother’s voice. She must be dreaming. Such a lovely sweet sound.


Their arms instinctively embrace in a warm hug. Neither wanting to let go.

Nina’s tears flow freely as she recalls all the times she’d felt lonely and longed to talk things over with her mother.

“Take my hand Nina, it’s your time to rest with me.”

Months after her death Nina’s family sold Akiko cottage for a high price to a land developer. It took less than a day to bulldoze the house and garden leaving an empty block prime for multi story town houses.

Nina’s granddaughter Mai stands motionless looking at the barren land where her grandmother’s cottage and garden once were. She feels like she has been punched hard in the stomach sucking her breath away.

Mai closes her eyes and imagines all the times she sat chatting with her grandmother while looking at her precious garden.

Mai releases a primal scream and falls to her knees.

“They can destroy everything you created Grandmother but they can never destroy how loved and valued you made me feel.”


Hold your smile

There were times during my mother’s life when things were not going well. Like most of us she had her fair share of dramas in her life but she always seemed happy and had a smile for everyone.  I could never understand why Smile was her favourite song.

Now I understand

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile

That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile

Nat King Cole – Smile Lyric

Love is all you need

Yesterday I felt so much love for my old Dad who is 87 and I wanted to share the story with you.

I’ve blogged about the power of writing letters before and this email exchange between father and daughter created feelings of pure joy mixed with poignant sadness that only the written word can evoke. I know I will treasure this memory forever.

It is beautiful moments like this that enrich my life.divider-horizon-lineFrom:       JennaDee
To:              Dad
Sent:         Thursday, October 31, 2013 9:54 AM
Subject:   Love over money

Hi Dad
Thanks for organising the meeting with your accountant yesterday, it was most helpful.

I do however feel uncomfortable talking about my inheritance before the time when I will receive it. I want you to know I love you for being my Dad and the money side is inconsequential.

I would much rather have a family who love me as a sister and know me for who I am  than have a whole lot of money.

Love always
divider-horizon-lineFrom:             Dad
Subject:        Re: Love over money
Date:              31 October 2013 11:22:38 AM AEDT
To:                  JennaDee

Dear Jennie,
It’s strange you say the money doesn’t matter because I feel the same way. Maybe it’s because we have enough.

I love each of my kids for the persons they are and I would hate to think money made any difference, because it just would not be worth it.

Give your sister and brother a chance to show they love you for who you are, as I’m sure they do.

It needs someone with courage to make the first move. I would love you to test this out. Invite them over separately and quietly put all your cards on the table. I’m sure they remember and value the earlier days when they stood by you. I need not be in the picture, only if you want me to.

I’m sure it would make your mum very happy also.

You will be pleasantly surprised at the result about a situation that has arisen out of nothing. You will find the effort to fix it is worth it just as I have been happy in finding my sister again after a gap just as you are experiencing.

Please give this some thought and increase my special love that will always be between us.

Whatever happens, lots and lots of love from
Your Dad
divider-horizon-lineFrom:       JennaDee
To:             Dad
Sent:        Thursday, October 31, 2013 2:05 PM
Subject:  Thanks for your lovely reply to my email

Hi Dad
I will take your suggestions and try again to reconnect. I don’t want to live in their pockets, I just want to know that I belong to a family who care about me.

Please promise me that you won’t mention what I have said to them. It is up to me to keep trying to improve the situation.

I am so lucky that I have you to talk to about these sorts of problems. I feel very sad to think that one day you will not be here and then I will feel alone.

Your loving daughter

divider-horizon-lineFrom:            Dad
Subject:      Re: Thanks for your lovely reply to my email
           31 October 2013 2:49:48 PM AEDT
To:                 JennaDee

I promise.

You’ll never be alone while me or my spirit is about.

You’ll always be part of me.

Your Loving Dad