Mother’s Day is an unusual event in our family. We don’t see Kin’s mother, courtesy of a serial restraining order that makes us grateful every day, despite the sadness. That means that, for both of us, my mother is it. So when this Mother’s Day was such a special day for her, the two of us were also very happy.
And it has been such a special day. Although neither my sister nor I could be with our mother, she was definitely not forgotten. We sent parcels and photographs, we chatted and sang and our gifts and attention were welcomed with the appreciation that only mothers (and grandmothers) can offer. This year, though, our mother is experiencing a joy that has nothing to do with either of us.
This year, there are bigger things to be grateful for than presents and perfumes or conversations on Skype. Things like universal health care, advances in surgery and the ultimate generosity of a stranger and the family who loved that person most. Because, thanks to all of those things, our mother is more than a mother this Mother’s Day. Our mother is also a sister.
On Friday, my critically ill uncle underwent a double-lung transplant at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. Today, he was moved from intensive care into an ordinary ward. In less than a month, he’ll be at home, preparing to resume his life.
The Australian year is moving to a slower period right now. Mother’s Day is one of the signs that autumn is beginning to tip over into winter. But no matter what the calendar says, it’s spring where my family are, with new life and second chances on everyone’s mind.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mothers out there. Thank you, not just for ourselves, but for the brothers and sisters you gave us as well. They will remain precious to us every day that we live; my own mother shows me that.