Happy Birthday, Mum!

My mother’s birthday has always been near my own birthday. I haven’t been able to celebrate my mother’s birthday with her since 2014, when she came to Hong Kong with family, and my wife (then girlfriend) & I went to Hong Kong to spend time with them.

I love my mum to bits. She and I have similar twisted senses of humour, which makes things a lot easier for us. It’s been a struggle from time to time with us, but we tend to know each other really well.

Who is my mother?

She was born in western Sydney to a hard-working couple. In her early-to-mid twenties, she decided to head over to Perth with her book-keeping qualification. She decided to room with a man of similar age who had recently moved into Perth from country South Australia.

They began dating and wound up getting married. I was born a little over a year after their wedding.

Mum has primarily dedicated herself to house-wifery. She has been an excellent mother to myself and my brother and sister. I’ve always been the odd one out compared to my brother and sister, so I’m convinced that I was the hardest one for her to manage.

Her personality

She is equal with her brickbats and her bouquets. Mum had no qualms about knocking me down a few places when necessary, but when I was struggling she was there to try and help me up.

In some regards, I hid a lot from her. I was not as open as I could have been in terms of my battles with anxiety and depression, particularly in my teenage years. This came, in part, to my experience of being bullied – where any report to authorities of being bullied resulted in being bullied more. I learned to keep quiet and just absorb the mental and emotional damage. That internalizing meant that I hid a lot of that from her and from my father.

When I started to open up about it later in life, Mum was surprised about it, and is still coming to terms how anxiety, depression and a lack of self-confidence has formed my personality over the years. She has done her best to instill a positive sense in me.

One thing that Mum is excellent at is making friends. She has no problems talking to people for hours on end. When I got married, I found out days later that two friends of mine stayed chatting to her until the wee hours of the morning. She will talk to anyone, and it’s one thing that makes her a wonderful person. That’s one thing that she has definitely passed on to me – I will talk to almost anyone.

She is also a truth-teller. Mum is not afraid to tell me the truth, to my face, as much as it hurts. It has hurt me a few times, but I feel that I was better for it. That truth has been critical on a number of fronts. Her willingness to tell people what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear has occasionally upset people, but the family has been stronger as a result.

I will also point out that she is very tech-savvy. She has done extremely well in adjusting to the Internet and the web world. Audio books was one area that she jumped on board with really quickly, and has kept extremely safe when it comes to questionable emails and scams.

I wish I could be back in Perth to celebrate our birthdays in the same city together – it’s been a long time since we have done that.

MUM, I love you!! Have a happy birthday today!


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