I spent the latter half of last month celebrating "17 days of Mum" - or rather the last quality time we ever had to spend together when she came over for a holiday just after we had come to Australia. She just loved the Jacarandas & would always admire them pointing them out in the distance as we drove around - or gasp in amazement as we drove the streets lined with them locally.
|One of the Jacaranda lined streets locally.|
Sometimes it's a bit difficult to look around this place & imagine what it was like 3 years ago when Mum arrived 3 1/2 months after we had moved here. I wasn't fully unpacked, hadn't replaced any of the furniture left behind in NZ.... & certainly didn't know my way around Brisbane, or a fraction of what it had to offer.
Heck, at that point we had only just got our own car (finally settled in a stress filled rush the week before she got here) & I had been brave enough to drive on the local motorway all of 3 or 4 times....if that!
Never the less on the day of her arrival I'd put my big girl panties on, plugged in the "specially purchased so I could galavant around the countryside with Mum" GPS & braved the even bigger, scarier motorway down to the Gold Coast. Thankfully, after that, Allan was around for most of the bigger trips.
I suspect that Mum never realised how absolutely petrified I was on that particular drive, a suspicion backed up by the fact that when we were almost back home that evening, she mentioned that she'd like to revisit Robina Town Centre Mall .....which was way back down where we'd just come from. Or maybe she was just trying to encourage me in her own special way ;)
|The colour takes on a different hue in the shade.|
I've always disliked the fact that she'd arrived to a house that still didn't feel like home, a non existent garden &, after an extremely dry winter, a parched lawn & sad looking trees. I was tired & my energy levels at an all time low as I hadn't yet managed to find a Doctor here that could deal with my stupid thyroid & had run out of my prescription a month earlier - most mornings were a battle just to wake up enough to function in a semi human manner. But eventually my body would catch up with my sluggish mind & we'd get going - Mum often leading the race everywhere. I remember teasing her that she should share her excess energy with me - & I my excess body weight with her!!
We had a good time - loads of laughs, lots of travel, wine o'clock every evening & lots of shopping. Mum was an encourager & an enabler in that aspect - gosh, how she loved the shops!! We made memories, of course dreaming at the time that we would make more once we were more settled over here. The only thing there wasn't enough of were photos of the two of us together.
|The pops of purple throughout the suburbs really make an impact.|
So, this last month has been a bit of a journey in more ways than one. I've revisited some of the memories we did make while she was here....& had a few laughs about some of the smaller memories such as big ass spider that would always choose Mum's shower time to visit the bathroom!! Determined to celebrate her life, rather than focus on the huge space she has left in mine, I finished a project that I had been working on when Mum was here - & there is a story behind that, so I will leave if for another post.
These days gardening seems bitter sweet somehow. Mum was one of the few people that understood my passion for it (heck, she was one of the few people who understood & encouraged my passion for anything!). So as I intermittently plod on trying to liven up what was once crispy grass & overgrown bush, I think often of Mum & wish so much that she could see what I have done. I know it would make her smile - & draw in a contented breath while saying to herself "ahh, Deb has settled into her new life".
As for the Jacarandas' - now when they are in flower they will always remind me of Mum & her visit here.
They are also bright, vibrant & offer up a note of positivity in a landscape of sameness - just as she was.