My Mother is a beautiful person. Born in England and brought up by her Grandparents, she was lead to believe that they were her parents. She visited her mother regularly, all the while accepting her as an Aunt; her brothers and sisters as cousins. Hers was a frugal and quiet household, with church on Sundays, and not much more than her imagination and a pet chicken to keep her company.
It wasn’t until she was around 16 years of age that she started to question concepts once believed to be facts, that no longer made sense to a teenager, and discovered the truth about her family. This realisation fueled a rebellion inside of her and a desire to be more than just a “strawberry picker” from Tiptree and it wasn’t long until she left her little village to study nursing, and to migrate to Australia as a “10 pound Pom”.
Australia was an exciting adventure for Mum. She was independent and ready for the diverse experiences and people it had to offer. She travelled with a nursing friend and they often hitched rides from town to town enjoying the colourful lives and interesting communities that were so unique to Australia.
Mum ultimately found herself in a small town called Bega, and was introduced to my Father’s family by his sister who was also a nurse. My parents eventually met at a party on the farm, which Dad had returned from his studies in Sydney to attend. A friendship was formed, however, Mum was elusive and wanted more time to enjoy her first delicious tastes of freedom. It wasn’t until several years later, after many letters and a vigorous pursuit by Dad, that she joyously accepted his proposal of marriage.
There is an air of naivety about my Mother that she has carried with her from her youth. It is endearing and charming, and like a language learnt in another country from birth, it will forever accent her character.