It has been an emotional, gut wrenching, I’m so lucky, it’s time to celebrate, roller coaster ride these past few weeks. Anyone that knows me well, will know that I don’t do roller coasters – having tried to jump off twice in my life! Once as a child at the Auckland Easter Show – thank you dear Brother for holding me on while my Mum got the bloke in charge to stop the ride and let me off and once at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, where my husband held me on while my then, preteen BossBoy, was heard to say …. Just let her jump, Dad! …. (due to my embarrassing antics) and my Mum, who was visiting from New Zealand, just shook her head and said … I told you so! So with my emotions on a roller coaster ride my thoughts turned to those that hold on to me when the ride gets bumpy – my Men.
Men have always been important in my life. As a child, I wasn’t really a girly girl. More of a tomboy who enjoyed the physical challenges hanging with the boys could bring. I liked the teasing that went on from my boy cousins and loved nothing more than hanging out on the back of their motorbikes, or riding horses on a friend’s farm or to be at the skating rink with my brother and his mates. Don’t be mistaken, women & girls were and continue to be a big part of my life but when my third and last baby arrived as a third son …. I kinda sighed with relief.
The beginning of November, always brings my Dad to the forefront of my mind. His birthday falls in this month as does Remembrance Day and the anniversary of his death. So November is definitely a Dad month for me. He was the first man that held on to me when I wanted to jump but although he supported and provided for me, our relationship was never an easy one. So many personality traits the same and so many differences between us and then there was the, what I believe to be, life changing time he spent in the army in Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped – long before I was born. He loved his family …. hard! Just like me. But communication was not his strength and I was a mouthy child and teenager (I know that surprises you) who insisted on trying to get him to express his thoughts and feelings!! This often caused friction for me and anger from him. Dad struggled to tell me what he freely told others – that he loved me and was proud of me but was always there when I needed him. I know these things now and am pleased that I can use the important gifts he gave me, such as loyalty, a love of family, the place of respect in relationships and my great love of sport! So November comes with Dad memories but no regrets.
My Brother has always been there for me – see above roller coaster incident! He was also there when I tried to drown myself at a surf beach as a teenager. He is younger than me and is the strong silent type. As he gets older, he is becoming more like our Dad and this can also cause friction between us, as I turned into a mouthy adult (I know this surprises you) who often leads with her heart and not her mind. Which doesn’t mean my Brother doesn’t lead with his heart but rather means he is very thoughtful and clear with his point of view. I, on the other hand am often not! My Brother is an awesome father and grandfather who loves his family …… hard! I am so glad I am in his family and therefore loved – totally, if not a little quietly for my liking!!! Thank you God for not making everyone just like me! He is my rock and I always know that if I need anything, he will be there for me.
My Boys are the constant men in my life, especially in the 10 or so years since their father’s illness and subsequent death. They are true champions and I am grateful to have them in my life. They are each different and therefore hold on to me in different ways. They all tend to be quiet and thoughtful, while I tend to be a mouthy mother (I know this surprises you) who shares too much about herself and her Boys and this sometimes causes friction for me and embarrassment for them. This month has been a struggle for each of them with work stress, visa stress, moving stress, money stress, health issues and storm damage. But they continue to hold on to me, so that I do not jump off that roller coaster. I’m certain at times they all wish they could say like BossBoy of years ago – Let her jump, Dad! But they don’t say it. They hold me on through their love and support; through their creativity in art and music; through their travel and adventure; through their loyalty and encouragement. They love our family …. hard! They ride my roller coaster with me – holding me on – always!