Happy Birthday

by | Feb 27, 2011 | Uncategorized | 22 comments

Happy Birthday

February 27, 1945

The baby girl is born.

Unlike her older brother, his chest crushed as his little body made its way into the world some 18 months prior, she survives.

 

1950

The little girl. The tummy ache. The party she doesn’t want to miss. The burst appendix. The stomach gangrene. She will not live, they say.

She survives.

 

1970

The young woman. A newlywed. An ectopic pregnancy. Almost total infertility.

She survives. And becomes a mother anyway.

 

1977

The beautiful young woman. Such fun. The life of the party. Who drinks a bottle of sherry before she sets foot in that party. Who finds herself falling until she finds herself sober. A meeting. An alcoholic who never much cared for the anonymous part.

Just grateful that she survives.

 

1990

A woman, middle-aged but still beautiful. A discovery. A lump in the breast. Cancer. Surgery.

She survives.

 

January 1991

The woman, half way through her life. A betrayal. A departure. Bankruptcy a lasting legacy to twenty-two years of marriage.

She survives.

 

March 1991

The woman, in the aftermath of a collapsed marriage. Pieces held together, barely. Early morning, still in her dressing gown. An intruder. A knife. Demands for cash and credit cards. And just because he can, just because he fucking can, a rape.

She survives.

 

1999

The woman, remarried, happily. A teenaged daughter. Step-children. A full-time job and full-time study.

She survives – with a graduate diploma and a new career as a drug and alcohol counsellor.

 

Today

An older woman but never more vital. A wife. A friend. Granma.

My mother and my best friend.

 

I don’t want the words I have in my heart to be delivered as a eulogy that she is not around to hear. So I write them now.

Mumma, we are the imperfect pair, destined for one another from the very start.

I am unable to think of a world without you in it. It is the loneliest of feelings to even contemplate it. I have never stopped needing you. I can see now that I never will.

You are the single most frustrating woman I have ever known. The day when I can no longer sift through your inconsistencies and contradictions in that annoyingly superior way that I do, I will be lost.

You are the most courageous woman I know. And the silliest.

I have shaped so much of my world view around what you have taught me. And then you’ll say something so ridiculous that I begin to wonder if this was folly.

But I don’t mind so much. There are worse things I could grow up to be than my silly mother.

You and I know that there is a whole life around the handful of dates above. They don’t even begin to paint the picture. You are so much more than any one of those events. But they help illustrate what the human spirit can endure.

You have survived. But it’s so much more than that.

Your spirit is remarkable. You are remarkable.

But silly. Oh, so silly.

Happy Birthday, Mumma.

Love Angie  

Hello friends

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I’m Angie!  I mum. I write. I wife. My husband would say this is the correct order.  He’s so neeeedy. I live with my family in Melbourne, Australia, where I complain about the weather for 90% of the year – but I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Except maybe in Lake Como, waving to my neighbours George and Amal each morning.

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22 Comments

  1. Basia

    Oh my God that made me cry. What an amazing woman your mother is, and you for recognising it. What a wonderful pair the two of you make. Happy Birthday to your Mumma.

    Reply
  2. Belle

    …speechless…yet again…..tears-yet again. Thank God for awesomely amazing women such as your Mumma honey, how truly blessed you are to have been given each other xo
    PS. You need to write a novel, IMMEDIATELY!!!! The world needs to read more of your amazingly brutal, honest and beautiful words girl 🙂

    Reply
  3. Kirsty

    Oh Angie that is the most beautiful tribute to your mum, such an obviously strong woman.
    Wishing your mum a very happy birthday.

    Reply
  4. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Thank you, darling friend.

    We are supremely blessed, Mum and I. She is a special one. And I am quite special, too. Ha!

    From your fingertips to a publisher’s eyes, my love. Let’s start a campaign!

    Thank you for reading. xxx

    Reply
  5. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Thank you, lovely one.

    She is amazingly strong. And also, vulnerable. A real and complex human being. My mum.

    Reply
  6. Tina

    I’m speechless and crying. Bless you my beautiful girl.

    Reply
  7. Rae

    Happy Birthday to your incredible, beautiful and inspirational Mumma xx

    Reply
  8. melbo

    That’s amazing Angie. I just don’t know what to say. You’re lucky to have each other.

    Reply
  9. Mad

    Although I’ve not met her, I can tell that your mum is one hell of an inspiring lady (and I never use that adjective lightly).

    I love that you know how blessed you are, and don’t take it for granted. At all.

    Reply
  10. E

    how utterly beautiful Angie – your mother must be the proudest!
    Happy Birthday Mrs Angie’s Mum!

    Lovely xx

    Reply
  11. Jane

    Trying to think of something to say that will do your entry justice, but can’t other than what an amazing post Angie. Happy birthday to your Mum.

    Reply
  12. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Thank you, dear friend.

    Mum and I were rejoicing at the miracle that is Tia yesterday. We agreed it was perhaps the best news we had heard in a long time. xxx

    Reply
  13. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    That she is, Mad. She collects admirers wherever she goes.

    She drives me mad, I mean, batshit crazy but she is all mine and I know what that’s worth.

    Reply
  14. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    Thank you, lovely one.

    And yes, she is. Crazy proud. Embarrassingly so. Don’t ask her to count the ways – she tends to go on…

    Reply
  15. Bilby

    What an incredible woman your Mum is Angie. What an amazing strength of character she must have to have gone through all that she has, but still go on smiling and make the most out of all that she has, and then some. What a lovely living tribute to your Mum, I wish her an amazing birthday, and many, many more! xx

    Reply
  16. Ladybird

    I aspire to have the same relationship with my own daughter. Especially the drive bat shit crazy part 😛
    I think the apple has not fallen far from the tree.
    Your Mum is awesome, you are awesome. That’s all kinds of awesomeness.
    Happy Birthday Angel’s Mum. x

    Reply
  17. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    She is incredible. So incredible. And she is such an example of not just surviving but truly living. It is never too late to live your best life – my mum has shown me this.

    Thank you. xx

    Reply
  18. Angie @ The Little Mumma

    I have no doubt you and your girl will have this – but expect some tense years while you get through her teens! It will all be worth it if you get to where Mum and I are now.

    Thanks, Ladybird. xxxx

    Reply

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