If you were here…

Happy Birthday baby girl. Our angel baby, our rainbow child.

It’s a special year this one… and I wanted to tell you a few things.

Honouring your legacy has become a bit of an obsession since I moved to Newcastle 16 years ago, and it seems the people of this beautiful city feel that I deserve some recognition.

On Australia Day, I was awarded the title of Newcastle’s Citizen of the Year 2020.

I’m very honoured and humbled by the attention… but I’m just being me. A mother who’s been giving back all of the love and support that we received all those years ago.

I often wonder what our life would be like today… if you were here.

Your little sister Renee, and her big-hearted husband Dave, have two beautiful children of their own. Your nieces, Lorna and Beatrice. You’d be so proud of your sister and her little family. I certainly am. She’s a confident, capable, sensitive girl who is already making a wonderful, positive impact on her community in so many ways. She became a marriage celebrant a while ago and she’s doing so well. She’s a genuine, down to earth, caring human, helping others celebrate important moments in their life.

I wonder about the relationship you would be having with them… if you were here.

This personal journey of mine, through the intricate pathways of life since you left us, hasn’t all been roses.

I didn’t allow myself the time to grieve your loss, back then when I should have. That grief eventually found me… many years later. Even then, when it caught up with me, I didn’t understand what it was. I fought long and hard, pretending I was ok, burying what was deep inside, trying to come out. But that’s a story in itself. I might tell you about that one day.

I wonder what that time would have been like… if you were here.

You’ve taught me many things, and the most significant lesson I’ve learned is to always find the positive in the negative. It’s become my mantra. I live by it.

It was such a difficult time back then. Losing you, is still the hardest thing I’ve ever endured. You fought so hard to stay with us, but it just wasn’t to be.

The positives I’ve taken from that heart wrenching time?

You opened my eyes to the world of community and connection. The importance of connecting with others and accepting support when you need it, cannot ever be underestimated. It’s integral for our survival. It’s what we as humans innately need. Connection.

Without it we’re doomed.

It may have taken me a couple of decades to be in a position to physically ‘give back’, and moving here to Newcastle, allowed me the freedom to do just that.

That ‘giving back’ has taken me on the most heart-warming, fun-filled adventure around the globe. It has given me purpose. It’s brought wonderful friendships and the trust of a community I simply adore. All because of you.

I wonder what you’d say about all that… if you were here.

Happy Birthday Jessica. Your grew your wings far too soon, but your legacy lives on, in the hearts of many…and for that I am grateful.

  One thought on “If you were here…

  1. Julie Harris
    February 24, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Beautifully written with your story told!

  2. Elaine Bromilow Bromilow
    February 24, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Lovely writting Michelle. Happy Birthday Jessica.

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