If my mother had lived this long, she would have been 99 today. If only the world and her loved ones had been so fortunate to have had her kindness, love and wisdom still, to this day. But sadly she passed away in 1993, aged 76.
My mother was an exceptional woman. In many ways she lived the life of a woman of her time but in more ways, she was different because of her broad interest in life outside of her small community. She read extensively and brought information to our home that was both inspirational and enlightening, if you took time to listen. Despite ongoing difficult family situations, hardships and many early deaths of loved ones, she spoke kindly about others and practiced daily gratitude and instilled these qualities in my sister, brother and myself.
My mother loved nature and her magnificent garden - all organic without a drop of chemical fertiliser or bug killer to be seen. I have fond memories of her in the garden on her hands and knees picking up snail pellets one by one that my father had scattered around the vegetables. When a small child at the time I asked why she was doing this, she stated simply 'think about it, if it kills the snails, what do you think it could be doing to us?' She was a great one for having what she believed was common sense.
She loved quiet time sitting in the sun, reading, peaceful walks on the beach and she adored music and dancing. She was a lovely singer and played the piano with great enthusiasm. To get the housework done and over with she'd sing and dance her way around the house advising me to make unwanted chores fun and then they wouldn't be unpleasant anymore.
She spoke constantly about being grateful for life, everything you have and all your blessings. She used the term 'it's no use crying over spilt milk' freely and believed that yes, hard stuff happens and you acknowledge it, but don't dwell on it and focus instead on all the good you have around you.
My mother lived quietly and simply and was dearly loved by all who came in contact with her. She was a cooking and electrical appliance demonstrator in a local Myers store in the 60's and constantly won prizes for being the top salesperson Australia wide. She had no particular sales skills, she just loved helping people, had a joyful uplifting manner, was honest and caring and people came back and asked for her long after she retired.
She was intelligent but politely kept her thoughts and opinions to herself (except when she came across someone who shared her philosophy on life) as one did in her community of the time. She was gentle yet incredibly strong with an inner calm that rarely wavered. She kept our family together happily and she encouraged and nurtured each one of us right until the end of her life.
My dearest Mother, I'm sorry for all the times I went off track from your wise teachings and sound guidance throughout my life, but you'd be pleased to know I've acquired some wisdom in my more mature years and I think you'd be proud of the way I live now. But then, you never judged me anyway and always loved and accepted me no matter what I did or said even though I was a wild child full of scatterbrained notions that challenged the norm. That was one of your special ways of letting me know I was always loved.
I adored and cherished you while you lived but as more and more years go by without your physical presence around me, I appreciate you and your invaluable contribution to my life more than ever.
I miss you so much but thanks to your beautiful ways you shared so generously, I can always say Every Day Gets Better and mean it.
In Memory of Marjorie Alice Bryan (nee Vendy) 1917 - 1993.