Monday, March 7, 2016

Meditations from women: more than ' just' Mum's.

Women - we wouldn't be here without them, and we certainly wouldn't have had clean faces/ clothes and full tummies without Mummy's ointment spat on hankies and stashes of food in oversized handbags.

I honour all the woman in my life with a series of their heartfelt quotes. No hallmark bullshit with this series - because there is nothing photoshopped about being a woman and a mother.

There are so many hidden stories here. Background stories of relationship breakdowns; mothers, fathers and children being taken from our lives too soon, escape from violence, working 12 hours a day and struggling to get back to the war-zone that your home has become.... but these are background, invisible stories. See if you can reach behind the heart of these wisdoms and see the experiences that have shaped the words. 

The older I get the more I realise that suffering is grace. The 'poor me, poor life' fist pumping I did in my youth is being smoothed away. Being a woman involves suffering, but grace is the lesson that I continually learn. I wouldn't change a thing. I also love to hear the hidden messages behind every souls words. We are so lucky to peak into the soul of these words:

Jodie (Mrs Murray) a Mum who shows me how to be a real Mum.... 

When I was exasperated at the exponentially increased workload of holidaying with multiple children Mrs Murray shared her Mum's saying: "ahhhhh, it's all about the shared memories."  I can quite honestly say this reassurance has saved me (and my children - and my baby daddy) from toppling over when it all got too much.
"Know your own heart and mind, always trust your intuition, love fully and courageously, feel your strength deep in your being for it is gentle and powerful. Above all - never, ever give up (or lose your sense of humour)" Meredith aka Goddess Edwards

"'Being a mum is the toughest job on earth'.
(Having) two daughters, first birth at age 19 second at age 36... both extremely difficult births. Two generations of vast difference at being a mum. But once you're a mum, everything, the whole world changes. You give everything to your kids and go without so they can have everything you didn't have. Love, kindness, friendship and support until the day that you die.
I want to live to age 86 because my youngest daughter will be 50 and hopefully by that age she won't miss me too much. I didn't have the love and support from my mother as long as I can remember so when she passed at age 88, two years ago, I didn't feel too sad, isn't that just awful?
So what I am trying to say is love your kids and your fur babies... with all of your heart and soul. We brought our kids into this world and we suffer pain, anguish and happiness every day. Our kids hate us from time to time and we quarrel over the dumbest things but then it is all good again. My kids said that I am strict but fair. 
I guess I have done the right thing. One is now 43 - a policewoman for 24 years. The other is 26- a RN in a cardiac unit. Both have gone to uni and now the youngest is doing her masters. I made them both get a part-time job when they were 14 1/2 so they could understand the value of me giving them $20 to go to the movies etc. They both soon realised they had to work hard for 3 hours to make that $20. The both have their own properties and money in the bank and have got their shit together.
I almost lost my eldest when she was 22 to a massive brain haemorrhage. That was the toughest time of my life. That is when you really feel the knife entering your heart and twisting. Thank God, she made it but I have never been the same since. 
Love for your kids is always unconditional, look after them and treat them with respect, kindness and support and they will always be there for you..."
Helen Joachim: my 'Mum' when I was in the Police Academy. We were in a squad together.  
This is a photo off us 'living in' 1995.
Helen was very kind to a very young, very naive, very unfit little girl (me). She introduced me to fitness. Her eldest daughter (in photos above) was a really young police officer that graduated a few years before we did! Yvie suffered a massive brain haemorrhage a couple of months after we got out of the academy. It was a bit of a sliding doors thing for me..... It rocked my world so much I stopped drinking, and started devouring natural therapy theories because I couldn't reconcile that a 22 year old Police woman was in a coma (because of the shift work and lifestyle of Police at that time).  
Here's the freaky bit. Mum (Helen) was with me during our first autopsies at the academy - about a year BEFORE her eldest daughter lapsed into a coma. I remember her gently volunteering to dress a very young girl at the morgue that had died (HERE WE GO) of a brain haemorrhage due to a freak fall. Helen was so gentle, and while us young peanuts where freaking out at touching a dead body, she was graceful and angelic - combing the dead child's hair and arranging the sheets for when her parents would 'view' her. I could feel Helen's heart wrapped protectively around the lifeless girl. This was my first lesson of the boundless love of a mother for ALL children. Helen aka Mum shaped me... profoundly.
"Love yourself so that you can love others. Look after yourself so you can look after others."
Jodie Chambers
"As soon as our little people come into the world, your needs/wants become second priority (or third or forth!) & that's ok. You wouldn't have it any other way & it's not even something you consciously do - you just do it because that's what unconditional love looks like. There may not be a reward at the end & there's often not much thanks along the way because that's what unconditional love is. What mums do is usually only noticed when it's not done! The little people we are entrusted with to nurture & grow through life & the unconditional love we show will teach them how important it is to love with no conditions. Being a mother is the hardest job in the world but also by far the most rewarding.

My favorite quote that gets me through all sorts of situations is: 'This too shall pass.' Sometimes things seem overwhelming & there might not feel like there's an end to sleepless nights, cleaning up mess you didn't make, troubles with friends, homework, taxi-ing between multiple events.... but there is & it passes. This quote helps me get perspective when things seem way out of control." Deb 'Muscles' Jeffers
Lesley Phinn on how a fight with breast cancer meant a fight live to see her children grow up:

 "Last year I learnt a lot about me and the people around me. I learnt that things DON'T happen for a reason, bad things just happen. Don't dwell on why it happened, just get up, face it and deal with it. The people in your life who truely care about you will be there with you for all of the bad and the good. You don't need to go find those people they are people you already know. Look forward with these friends and not back. Live your life now." 

 I love the photo above of Lesley with a shaved do. Lesley's beautiful flowing strawberry hair was her crowning glory - but I believe it is THIS haircut that made her enormously sexy. Raw, exposed, feminine, conquerer. Rrrrrrrrarrrrrrr.

"I haven't learnt to but you need to look after yourself as well as your family and staff for self preservation or self care. I'm very bad at it - recharge your batteries and power up, refuel your energy, catch up with your friends - don't see it as a luxury! Which I do and feel guilty for even thinking about it!!"
My Fee

"In a world where we measure beautiful with duck face selfies, filters and cosmetic accessories, don't be beautiful. Be brilliant! Have a brilliant brain and flood it with knowledge. Teach your sons and daughters to be brilliant, see brilliance and love brilliance."
Bear Bum, my little sister and scary high school teacher

" greatest challenge yet. Some days I feel like I've got it in the bag, other days I'm treading water and learning lessons. But that moment when they are all tucked up in bed at night and the house is silent, I feel accomplished and know I can do it all again tomorrow."

Karen "Sizzle'' Stevenson - she claims to not be a wordsmith. I think she is a magician.

 "Tomorrow is never guaranteed, live for today and appreciate the little things, they often turn out to be the big things."
Lisa Jane: a daughter who misses her Mum.

"Only worry about what you can control.... Which is pretty much nothing except your attitude. Realise that shit happens, often very literally, don't sweat the small stuff, which is 90% of stuff, then take a deep breath, make like Tay-Tay & Shake it off. Take solace in the fact that far less capable people than you have managed to keep small humans alive, all you need to do is just love the crap out of them and yourself. You've got this mumma."

"No matter what you do, as long as it comes from a place of caring and love it is right. Nob
ody has the right to judge you for trying!.....
And your health is your most prized possession.  Without it you have nothing." 

Tall Jan aka Shannies Mum (see above).

"I've been formulating a response about the need for self-care, but it just wasn't coming together.... Then this popped up today and says everything I wanted to!!"  Melissa Straughton - my high school best friend.
"Since becoming a mum, the biggest change for me has been replacing judgement with kindness and compassion. Especially towards other women, but most importantly towards myself.
The following quotes (from women!) explain how I feel as a mother/woman/human more eloquently than I ever could."
Nicki 'HAB' Zaini - she once said to me, 'when you have babies you see beauty in ALL BABIES....' cause that's how her kind heart rolls.

Dear Mum,
Thank you for making dress up costumes for a fuller figured dwarf child, coloured popcorn and mending my thumb worn dummy blankets while I was at camp.
You raised 4 children single-mighty-fistedly from the day that Bear Bum (to my left) was born, and never: drank wine or coffee, had a 'girls weekend', a 'date night', no babysitting, no child support, or custody sharing, or a wee by yourself. Never. Not one single day. And all on the extravagant wage of a casual at Franklins Brookside.
No respite: except for maybe a sneaky, filthy 'Porkies' VHS you watched with Aunty Dawnie and Mrs Hilton after school drop off. Disgraceful.
Recently you lost your Mum, my Grandma.  And I am sad for you, and a little sorry for myself, because she was one of my favourite people in the world.  She loved me when I was unlovable.  And I miss her.
So I write this because I don't want both you and her to go unrecognised - before it's too late.  You hang our moons, and you light the stars for your grandchildren (all 4000 million of them).  
Love your second (and now favourite) child, Erin.

Luke 6:43-44: For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.

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