Archive | May, 2015

How do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?

5 May

Dad and Mum turned 60 this year, just a couple of weeks apart so we organised a bit of a get together for friends and family to celebrate the occasion.IMG_7308

After a couple of months of planning, literally a thousand instant messages backwards and forwards, emails, spreadsheets and phone calls between my siblings and I, we were excited to be able to successfully organise an enjoyable afternoon. I admit it took a bit to find the names and addresses of everyone (and it isn’t break and enter if you have a key right…), and we’re thankful for those who acted as our agents in getting invitations to a few that we just couldn’t quite get in touch with… but we were so pleased to have such a wide variety of people present from all across Mum and Dad’s life. Family, the minister who married Mum and Dad 40 years ago (this year), Keith friends (who travelled 3 hours each way), church friends, school friends, work friends, uni friends… the list goes on!

I’ve been thinking about the day and I had such a wonderful time. I was responsible for getting a few photos of the day and looking back at those photos further added to my joy.  You see, in celebrating Mum and Dad’s life we also got to celebrate. Because our lives are so closely interwoven with Mum and Dad’s, the friendships they had made over those years had also shaped my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them.  Let me tell you what I mean…

  • Family – Dad and Mum are both one of 5 children – most of them were able to come on the weekend (including those that travelled from Perth and Sydney to be there!). My extended family are wonderful. I’m so thankful for them. They’re our supporters, and importantly, at times provide the necessary correction we need – but always in love. Laughter, tears, joy – we’ve shared it all and I love them dearly.
  • Keith friends – old next door neighbours, church friends, pastors… these are the crew shaped my early years. From birth to 8 years old. They were my Sunday school teachers, showing me God’s love at an early age. They were our first port of call when we were in need. They were, and still are, always ready with the biggest, warmest hugs, and the belly laughs as we remember stories of just doing life together. Their faces are permanently etched in my brain (and they haven’t changed in 25 years!!!) – Just seeing their faces brings me joy.
  • Melbourne – it may have only been 18 months of my life, and I may not have been that old, but we learned even more about community here. Building a church together, helping others as they had needs. Central to many memories of that time are Graham and Jill Boothby and their “kids” who were similar in age to us. When we are able to catch up it continues on as if no time has passed. I appreciate Graham’s logic and wisdom and Jill’s quiet, caring nature.
  • Adelaide friends – too many to name… from those whose faces we saw each day at School, to those who attended Pedare/Journey Uniting Church… being a teenager isn’t always easy but there were so many who role modelled love, care, compassion and Christ. I’m forever grateful to them.  So many who care for us, look out for us and pray for us. As I write this all their names and faces pass through my mind. Growing up with them and with their children was a blessing, to now count them as friends as well, is awesome. These are the people that have been there as a teenager, as I moved out of home, married and ultimately as I moved interstate (still checking up on me on return visits, facebook, sms and on occasion in person in Qld).
  • Mum and Dad, David, Narelle, Tim and Josh, Dave, Helen, Scott, Izzy and Annie, Peter, Mandy and Josiah – from crayons to perfume (sorry for the rip off To Sir With Love), each and every step of the way, blessed beyond measure. Here’s to decades more!

To some at the party on the weekend the sea of faces was simply that. To others, they knew some of the sea – a few faces who they’ve done an aspect of their life with. To me – I knew the ocean – all the sea of faces had an individual meaning to me (though admit there were a couple of people I hadn’t actually met before – and it was a pleasure meeting them!). All have had an important part to play in Mum and Dad’s life, but also in mine. To look over that ocean is to remember experiences, joy, sadness, care, love… life!

So if I didn’t get to thank you personally on the day, and if you happen to be reading this now, thank you. Thank you for the part you played in Mum and Dad’s life – but also, thank you for the part you played in mine (and my brothers and sister), because whether you particularly realised it at the time or not, your actions impacted the next generation. I wouldn’t be the person I am without each and every one of your involvement in Mum and Dad’s life – in shaping them into the parents I’m so proud to call my own. In showing them love, so they had extra love to give to us. In being there for them, so they could be there for us.  In welcoming them, and therefore in welcoming us. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to come and celebrate Mum and Dad’s 60 years of life. Thank you for travelling small or large distances to be there. Thank you for sowing into my family’s life over the years. Thank you for the continued support and love in the years to come that I know you will continue to provide. May there be many more celebrations to come!

Philippians 1:3:  I thank my God every time I remember you