It was a blisteringly hot morning, but we decided to go anyway. We were meeting a group of ladies for a walk along the river bank. Half-way along, we encountered a majestic horse and his petite rider. My friend Karen not only smiled as they approached, she went up and asked to take a photo. The rider was happy to oblige, and said her name was Sam. Sam told us that she travelled to South Australia to gain her handsome companion, mentioning that she has joint issues, so needed a calm horse. She trotted alongside us in the heat, and disclosed a part of her story. Sam is twenty-five years old, and autistic. She had endured leukemia and a car accident in the past ten years. Her dream is to take part in a big fundraiser in the city later in the year (I will post details at a later date).
She has known more pain than many other young women, and yet still she rises. I asked what keeps her motivated and she pointed at her dancing horse. “Him.” Children approached and adults stood in wonder on their approach. It was obvious that he knew how handsome he was. The love between the pair was heartwarming; they were in complete symbiosis. It were as though they were an extension of each other.
This young woman’s dreams shall come true, of that I am certain. She deserves them to, after the long and hard road she has travelled. I am grateful to my friend for reiterating that when you feel an urge to approach a stranger, it is the right thing to do. Sam was gracious and I think, grateful to have people to chat to by the river. Her strength and courage shall stay with me throughout the year ahead.
I met Serena when my daughter was a year old, and we always did Mothers Day together. When the Mothers Day Classic hit our town four years ago, we walked the track side by side. She was the first to bow her head and reflect when the minute of silence began. She was there last year, and now she is not. I saw her boys yesterday. Oh darling, they are growing up. They are being cared for and loved. I wish you were here. I always felt like I didn’t belong when it came to Mothers Day. Ten years of infertility and no family will do that. You helped me find my place. We would go to a local historical farm after the walk, eating gozleme, patting the horses and watching the kids on the rides. I would hug you and whisper ‘Happy Mothers Day.’ You were a superb mother, tending not only to your own children, but taking a real interest in your school and the kids therein. You were there more than you were at home. I hugged your little boys yesterday, talked to them and looked at pictures of what they have been up to. I still can’t believe you aren’t here. This morning, my little girl ran into the bedroom with gifts, cards and art. Expressions of love. My heart was with you. If I could have given you a piece of my heart so you could be here today, I would have. In a heartbeat.
I had my coffee and my little girl and I went to the Mother’s Day Classic. I was expecting to see you, and was bereft when you didn’t show. I kept seeing you everywhere. My beautiful friend Di, is undergoing chemo at the moment, and her little boy is unwell. She so wanted to do the walk this morning. We walked for the pair of you. Two girls from the UK, who made your home in Sydney. Serena, you loved this place more than most Aussies do, and I certainly know Di does. The sunshine means more to you, as does the scenery. You can become jaded when viewing the Opera House and Harbor every week of your life. You become spoilt. We bagged a medal for you both.
Afterward, we tried to get into the farm for our traditional lunch, but the crowd was crazy! Instead, we went to a takeaway, and got potato scallops and pineapple fritters covered with cinnamon. Now, I am going to light a candle for you and Di. I will also light a candle for all those separated by death from their children; for those with sick children and those whom are undergoing cancer treatment. For those who are single mums, and those removed from their own. You are all remembered today.
Here’s to mothers, aunts and females. You matter, you always will.