#455 A smaller Mother’s Day

I had this fleeting thought cross my mind sometime Friday, or Saturday. I was thinking of the upcoming Mother’s Day, and how we had ALL this stuff we were planning to do… go to the shops and buy outfits for ourselves for my parents’ upcoming wedding anniversary; go to visit my MIL on the other side of town; AND of course, visit my Mum also on the other side of town.

This was meant to happen after a late Saturday night, a normal sleep-in, and trying to get a never-sit-still baby girl to go along with it ALL.

Yep. It wasn’t likely to go smoothly.

Still, that was the plan. And yet, with all this impending busy-ness on the horizon, and knowing it was all for fun, a little voice inside me said ‘wouldn’t it be nice to just have a little Mother’s Day, just our family?’

Just baby girl, Hubbie and I. No running around. No 15 tasks. Just us.

Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes, little voices make a large ripple.

In a quite funny turn of events: my MIL stayed back late on Saturday night, and with her own plans for Sunday, we kind of had our unofficial catch up with her late yesterday evening; and my sister and bro-in-law were under the weather, and having had an up and down baby girl and Hubbie battling cold symptoms as well, we all decided to keep away from Mum and Dad, especially in the lead up to such a big event next week – which suddenly meant, that on Mother’s Day it was just –

Me, baby girl and Hubbie. Just US. As I had thought, so, so innocently.

And as much as I missed seeing my Mum and my sister terribly today, the quiet was quite nice:)

We had a lovely sleep in – no rushing around trying to madly get out of the house. We took some photos at home, drove to the shopping centre, then spent almost ALL DAY there. Not a brief 90 minute session.  I’m talking over 5 hours. Hubbie got some sneakers and shoes, baby girl got some toys, and I got not 1, but 2 outfit possibilities for next week.

That’s because I’m a Mum, and for us Mums, we can’t just go shopping when we like, and likewise, finding something we like in the limited time we have, is even HARDER. As it was it took 3 hours just to find those 2 outfits, so next time we have another event, at least I know I’M SET.

So, this year, a different kind of Mother’s Day. But it seems like my thought came true…. so a word of warning… be careful what you wish for…!

P.S Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums out there 🙂

#359 Mum joined facebook

Like, literally. This happened in the real world, TODAY.

I had messaged sis late last night with a whole barrage of various questions

(Do you want to see the Wiggles in Frankston/What size sour cream goes into that awesome dip/Can I get the bread a day in advance)

so it came as a little surprise when I turned on my phone and her reply to me this morning was

“Pls send FB request for Mum when you have a minute.”

What?!

I cared not that she hadn’t answered my questions, nor that I was in the middle of preparing brekkie and a hungry baby girl was nearby… I hightailed it to my FB app and typed in Mum’s name, and lo and behold THERE WAS AN ONLINE IDENTITY FOR HER.

(Angels sing!)

For people who are old-school, and who grew up in a tiny European village with one pair of pants, and a toilet as a hole in the ground, this is a big deal. As forward thinking and open-minded as my parents are, I still never thought I would ever see THIS day. We had been talking about getting Mum a new phone lately, with a FB app so she could connect with family here and abroad, but until I saw my Mum’s profile pic (of her and my Dad, shucks) it actually didn’t seem possible.

I for one, am over the moon. I never thought of the possibilities of my Mum having a facebook account, and I guess it’s just the thought that she can see what I see, and also, see me, and baby girl, and Hubbie online, whenever she likes, especially now that we are living further away from each other. The opportunities are exciting for her, and I know this even if she doesn’t, yet, which is why I am so happy for her.

What did I do upon finding her profile? On her wall:

“Hi Mum, welcome to facebook! ♥”

🙂

I’m chuffed my Mum is on Facebook. Really, words I never thought I would utter.

#322 Re-commencing the holidays

Our holidays have been on hold since my Dad was taken to hospital several days ago. And even though he was discharged yesterday, I was still busy with both him and Mum today, organising many other things for them.

I would run to the side of any of my immediate family members or close friends who needed me, whether due to health, heartache, or general ‘help’ reasons. And I am so grateful that Dad is now doing better.

But I can also say that I’m grateful our holidays are starting up again. We went out to dinner tonight, and it was great to do so with such satisfaction and relief, knowing that not only did Sis and I do everything we could for our parents these last few days, but they are both getting looked after and WILL be getting better. Things ARE actually, genuinely, on the improve.

Which means my last few days of the holidays, will surely be on the improve too.

(Exhale).

#321 Freedom from hospital

I walked in and out of hospital a lot today.

Re-park the car. Get some coffee. Get some food. Make a phone call. Re-park the car.

Repeat repeat repeat.

And in that time, I saw, A LOT. People getting wheeled in on beds, masks over their faces. Wheelchair-bound patients, angry looks on their faces. Elderly people sitting side by side, hunched over in their solitary hospital room. The sound of pain. The look of helplessness. Tiredness. Despondent eyes. Clinical walls and grey grey grey, EVERYWHERE.

My lips did turn upwards too, though. I remembered with weird fondness, as I looked up to the familiar flight of stairs, how over 3 and a half years ago I was in the midst of such pain, only to be met by the most amazing, beautiful and curious eyes in the world, in the immediate aftermath.

I saw babies. I saw mother’s and father’s carrying their own. I looked at little children, the adult hands they were holding, and a part of me was happy.

Despite my thoughts, I was still happy to be able to move in and out of the hospital as I pleased, to not be bound by ill health or medical necessity to require a stay, no matter how short or long, there. And it was twice as nice when I walked out late afternoon, with both Mum, AND Dad beside me.

He was discharged today. An unexpected happiness that we are so happy about.

I know there is a tremendous amount of positivity and amazing acts performed by the medical staff in hospitals all over the world, but seriously, I’m just glad that I was able to leave the premises today. With both my parents.

#320 3 generations on the bed

A continuation of an earlier post.

Last night Mum stayed with my sister during Dad’s first overnight hospital stay.

Tonight, it was our turn.

We had already passed on our “sweet dreams” and well wishes for the night to her, with baby girl repeatedly confirming that Baka, was indeed sleeping next door to her, and followed that with several hugs and kisses.

I was tidying around the house and went into baby girl’s room when I heard my Mum’s loud laughter. I moved around the room, and it happened again. I grinned. “You ok in there?”

She had done her bid: she had caught my attention.

I went into the dimly lit room and sat on the bed with her as she proceeded to tell me some things that had been on her mind, kind of funny, kind of not, but nonetheless I listened and lended her my ear.

Baby girl soon realised I was missing and came charging into the room. She disappeared during our conversation to bring along some Wiggles figurines to the party, and soon, there were 3 generations on the bed… alongside Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony of course. Talking to my Mum like that reminded me of our conversations of old, when I would have 3 hour D&Ms with her on a Saturday morning as a teen, sitting across from each other at our old round kitchen table.

I smiled with much content, as baby girl repeatedly hugged her Baka, watching their reflection in the opposite dresser mirror, while my Mum casually returned the embraces and kissed her while not missing or pausing for a forgotten word. When my Mum laughed, so did baby girl, mimicking her characteristic tone.

I was very happy. It is lovely indeed, when you find precious and beautiful moments amidst such uncertainty. It was heart-warming to see such love between them, and seeing how they related to one another, along with the physical resemblance, makes it all the more appropriate that baby girl is her namesake 🙂

 

 

#319 Little Scares

Big things aren’t always the best things. Sometimes, the little things are much rather preferred.

Take a little scare, over a big scare, for example.

It’s been a long and tiring day. It felt like it took 3 times as long to drive to the hospital where Dad was, following his health scare this morning. Plagued with worries and unreal scenarios in my mind, indented by the picture I had of Dad smiling at us that I posted about the other day, I was a bit of an emotional mess.

But I had no reason to be. Because it was a little scare. For now it seems anyway, and they are keeping him overnight more as a precaution, than a real concern. Dad is good, his spirits are well, and I even noticed how we had a moment of silly family fun, as Mum, Sis and I waited for Dad to be moved into another room, joking with the ‘taxi driver’ (bed mover) in the process.

I will take a little scare any day. When it comes to my family, it allows me to at least, breathe a sigh of relief, and express deep heartfelt thanks for it.

 

#299 The Saint Nicholas Tradition

On my mother’s side of the family, there is a custom. A long-serving and deep-rooted family tradition. My Mother’s Father, and most likely many before him too, celebrated the saint day of Saint Nicholas, referred to in our native tongue as Sveti Nikola.

It’s a generational thing, and men pass it down to their sons and so on, so that the tradition of Sveti Nikola lives on. My Mum’s brothers have celebrated it, and passed it on to their sons, my cousins… and that’s exactly what we were doing tonight, on December the 19th. Celebrating the Saint who is the inspiration behind Santa Claus.

😉

There are many traditions upheld on this Saint day. They involve food and drink, but perhaps most importantly is the tradition of family unity, of love and peace and togetherness. I haven’t seen my cousins for about 4 months, and it was 4 months too long let me tell you. There have been so many life-changes of late, that I just wanted to see them, talk to them, and be in their company, if only for a little while. And what better time to do it than at a family union celebrating a tradition from our Forefathers.

When I looked into the tradition of Saint Nicholas this time last year, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he was the basis of our modern day Santa Claus, with his image, meaning and celebration date slightly modified over the years. Nicholas himself was born in the 3rd century and raised as a devout Christian by parents who unfortunately died while he was still quite young. He spent his life giving all he had to the poor and unfortunate and helping those in need, leading to stories and legends about him as a protector and helper of humankind.

One story tells of a poor man with three daughters, who had no dowry, nothing of value to offer prospective husbands for his daughters. And this was a horrible fate, for not marrying would mean they were destined to be sold as slaves. However on three separate occasions, bags of gold were mysteriously and conveniently thrown into an open window, providing the much-needed dowry, apparently landing in a stocking drying by the fire. This is the basis for the tradition of children hanging out stockings for Saint Nicholas to put gifts in.

I find it beautiful, and highly convenient, that the patron Saint in my family is based on the man who today’s Santa Claus is inspired by. And it’s something to remember at this time of year. Whereas today there can often be an unnecessary focus on expensive gifts, people rushing about and not taking the much-needed time out, not to mention those whiners who just CAN’T WAIT ’til this year is over with, I much prefer the relaxed approach that this Saint day brings: unyielding family tradition, sharing love and happiness, and giving to help others, rather than giving so you can boast about how much you have.

I guess you can do those things on Christmas Day, which we do… but when you celebrate a Saint and have his picture in mind, and then remember all those before you… it makes it all the more personal.

saintnicholas

I love this time of year. 🙂

If you are interested in the rest of the world’s early portrayal of Saint Nicholas, and more info on how Saint Nicholas came to be the Santa Claus that we know and love, I found a great resource at this website with a tonne of really interesting facts:

https://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/who-is-st-nicholas/

Actually… I do love Santa, but after reading from the above link, I think I love Saint Nicholas more.