My mum is one of those people who have a knowing looking in their eye. You know, the one where you can tell them know a lot more than the let on. No, I’m not referring to the reflection from her Lasic-corrected eye (sorry mum, but it does look like you can shoot beams from your eye), I guess it’s the mysterious, unspoken and glorious thing we call intuition or wisdom.
Mum has been retired for several years now and its been amazing to observe her, without the constraints of a busy household and a full-time job. She now embraces a new type of busy where she involves herself in golf, fishing, spending time with nana and the rest of the family, cooking for loved ones, coffee outings with friends… she truly has a zest for life.
In years gone by she went about her life with a clear focus on supporting the family; she worked long shift-work hours as a duty manager and also maintained many aspects of the home. She never complained, and if she felt drained or exhausted, then she never let it show. We depended on her strength and Superwoman she was. I remember her eyes looking focussed, determined and solid.
Before mum retired, mum started to feel exhausted and her eyes began to look tired and distant. The years of being the backbone of the family had a been a great responsibility for her, but the pressure coming from her workplace was wearing her down. Superwoman was not immune to kryptonite.
Mum ended up getting very unwell and it totally blind-sided her and our family. How could this happen? It was incredibly difficult to watch mum look so defeated and withdrawn, spending many months in hospital. Her spirit seemed so eroded and we were unable to communicate with her for what felt like an eternity. The burden she felt was so great.
Time heals all wounds, and gradually mum began to recover and respond. Through sheer rest, perseverance and determination, mum slowly regained the glint in her eye. She told us that even through the hardest days, she heard everything we said and used that as motivation to get better. She wanted to be there for dad, me, and my sisters.
Life is so bittersweet. What was a difficult experience for mum ended up being a blessing in disguise. It has been amazing to watch mum blossom and grow over the past few years. She seems so philisophical and peaceful about life and genuinely embraces each day. She talks far more openly that she ever has before. Her eyes are confident and she constantly reminds my sisters and I to look after ourselves and each other – family and health being the important things in life.
To the most wonderful battler/fighter/sage I know… thank you for your unending compassion, sincerity and love. I am forever proud of everything you do and wish you a very happy Mother’s Day.
Ia Manuia le aso o Tinā.