Sunday, 21 June 2015

Who you are to me..

To the most wonderful, caring, amazingly smart go-getter girl I know,

Your bright bubbly personality today is far from who you were when I first met you. I honestly can't believe you're where you are today. When I first met you were cautious, unsure, quiet and very reserved.. but now look at you.. Outgoing, confident and full of fun! You are my go-to girl, the friend I turn to for advice, support and guidance. In the hardest parts of my life you have kept me accountable and you always give me your honest opinion even when it's hard. I admire you for that.

This year you moved to Melbourne, something I didn't think you'd ever do. In moving here you have motivated me so much and have created a little life for yourself. Your in your own little unit, you have made amazing friends, stuck to your job even when things have been tough and are juggling full time study too. At times it may not feel like anyone notices but I notice, I see what you do and am so so proud of you!

I also see how much you miss your family. Family is something that is a big part of who you are and also something you deal with so well. The love you have for them shines if the way you speak of them and is in the little way you go about your every day. They too are a part of who you are today and I see that more now then I did back when we lived together in Brisbane.

Kel, you are beautiful, loved and so highly respected by me. I look up to you so much and you're more of a sister then my sister has ever been to me. You've always been here for me, encouraging me, believing in me and leading the way. Without you in my life I don't know who I would have leaned on to be the person you are in my world me today. 

I am so thankful for your presence in my life..
Thank you..
I love you..
&


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Sunday, 14 June 2015

Love and Acceptance

As I have written about before my Mum is homeless. Literally. She lives in an alley way in Melbournes CBD, she begs for money and drinks cheap wine pretty much every day.

As for us we live a very middle classed lifestyle, in a well established home. I have lived in the small town of Bacchus Marsh for 10 years now, have been baptized and married here. My children were both born at the local hospital and have lived a good routine and structured lifestyle in the house they were born into. I'm not saying it's been easy raising my kids or that they have never been exposed to drama but for the most part I have sheltered them from the negativity, drugs and alcohol my life was full of before I became a mother.

With all this being said, today a verse (from the bible) I read a few years ago was revealed to me without me even realizing it. The verse is Matthew 18:3

Then he said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: Unless you change and become like   little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Today I can officially say that I realize what this passage means.

Today my kids and I were invited into the city to be a part of a music video. We went and had a great time. Afterwards I was looking forward to taking the kids somewhere nice for dinner. While deciding on a nice restaurant the kids bought up my Mum whom they know lives in the city. Both of my kids know she is homeless and all of the above but yet my kids absolutely love their grandmother and really wanted to have dinner with her. Me. Not so much. But I gave in to the idea and tried calling her phone. It was off but the kids insisted that we check to see if she was at the "water wall" where each night a community kitchen is put together to feed the homeless. So I said we could check but I doubted she'd be there.

Lets back up a minute. My kids know my mother (their grandmother) is homeless. They are okay with that. They also know where she eats. At the "water wall" where they feed the homeless. And that's where they wanted to have dinner? Wow. How's that for unconditional love and acceptance.

Walking towards the water wall none of us really expected that she'd be there but to all of our amazement she was.. She was there and the kids ran up to be embraced warmly by her. She was in tears as she picked them up off the ground to hold them before running over to me to hold me so tight. For her this would have been the highlight of her whole month.

Mum wasn't sober, but she was not drunk. Her breath smelt of wine but I think I'm the only one that picked it up. The organizers there had put on a BBQ tonight and Jie was the first one to put up his hand for an egg roll. Mum fried it up and Jie loved the fuss she made about her grandsons egg being made the best so she took over from the cooks. Jie stood there waiting feeling very important. Nevaeh sat with Mum's partner and I using some bread rolls to feed the seagulls. After Jie had his dinner they joined us and Nevaeh sat on Mum's lap and they sat there talking and feeding the birds.

As they sat there I wondered if it was a good idea my kids being there around people who were effected by drugs and alcohol swearing and carrying on. I felt the sudden urge to up and go but when I turned to see how happy my children were in the arms of my Mum I couldn't bare the thought of tearing them from her.

After Jie had finished eating and Nevaeh had ran out of bread we started making our way to McDonalds. Nevaeh's idea. We sat up and ate together with Mum telling the kids stories about my childhood. I got a chance to talk to Mum about her family and the fact that she has a brother she has never known about. She was curious but I think too effected by the alcohol to really take it all in.

Once we were finished our dinner and as I was buying my children an ice cream Mum had walked up the street a bit to sit down and beg. As we walked out of McDonalds she was sitting down asking passers by for change. Before I had a chance to gather my thoughts my kids were sitting either side of her licking their ice cream and listening as she was explaining what she was doing. Of maybe 12 people that passed only 1 looked her way. It really was confronting. I stood opposite her and watched as people walked passed judging her and my children. She made it fun ensuring people walking past that her grand-kids had a home but that she could do with some change.

As I stood opposite I could hear what people were saying about my Mum. "Disgusting!" was the first word I heard, then "Get a job" but the one that made me furious was "As if you would have your grandchildren out here begging. Another Black drunk!". I couldn't help it. Two men and one woman in their 40's slandering my mother I just had to step in. I walked towards them and said "What was that? They're my kids sitting down there and that's my Mum your talking about.." The man said "Are you Aboriginals?" to which I replied "No, we're Torres Strait Islanders.." He said "Same thing.." I said "What does that have anything to do with anything?" he winked at the guy beside him. I said "If you have something to say about my mother or my kids say it to me.. I'm listening.." The other guy spoke "We weren't talking about your Mum, we were talking about the horses" (Horse and carriages behind where they were standing). I said "It's funny how you speak of my family to each other but when I came up to you and you realized that that was my family you quickly closed your mouths." The lady and most likely her husband turned to leave and he shouted from a distance "You ought to be ashamed of yourself!". I smiled. The only person I was ashamed of were the people completely judging my Mum.

I see now how the bible teaches us to be childlike. My kids accept people so freely. No judgement. These people and the more people that walked passed criticizing, degrading and abusing my Mum who was begging with her grandchildren beside her are just a few of the types of people my Mum encounters daily. I felt like saying to them "Would you employ her?" that's half the reason she is out there..

I'm proud of my kids. The way they love people so freely. They way they accept those different to them. The way they share what little they have to give to people who have less than they have. Nevaeh gave her last 60c to a begger and while at the train station on the way home Jie sat beside a boy about 16 years of age whom was quite clearly Autistic to show him his YuGiOh cards and even allowed him to keep a few as we left. Accepting people for who they are is so rare out there. I hope my two beautifull beings never lose that beautiful trait.

They inspire me..


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Sunday, 7 June 2015

An Invite by the Bacchus Marsh Elders..

On Thursday, after posing around for more photos for the newspapers (more on this to come) I ran into a few of our communities elders. Upon speaking to them about a few issues I'd been having with the Moorabool Shire Council and local school they could see how frustrated I was and understood my frustration. They invited me and my children to a community event happening yesterday and I happily accepted. 

 My son Jiedyn and I, along with elders and other indigenous community members met at the Lerderderg Library at 9.30am yesterday for a bus organised by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Liaison of the Djerriwarrh Health Services in Melton. 

I was introduced to elders and aboriginal families in the area and it was amazing to finally feel connected with the indigenous people of my community.

The day was amazing and very well put together. We visited the..

Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre





Before heading to the..

Shrine of Remembrance



It was a great day for learning but more importantly teaching and showing my son our culture. Until recently neither of my children identified themselves as "Black Fullas". As much as I tried to explain that because I am a "black fulla" it makes them indigenous as well, but they failed to acknowledge their ethnicity because they look "white". 

But finally Jiedyn is understanding and embracing his culture. 

Thank you Damian and Elders for inviting us and for putting on such an enjoyable day. We look forward to getting a lot more involved in future events and meetings. We had a great time.
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