Over the months that mum lived with us it reaffirmed the very special mum and daughter bond that we have but also highlighted the friendship that can exist with parents once you have become an adult.
I also consider myself bloody lucky to have the kind of mum who raised me to always believe I could. There was never any excuses or special treatment. My brothers and sister Dan, Jellina and Tim never making any compensation for my leg either… in fact I was always the scapegoat. Taking the fall for mischievous adventure that resulted in injury as they always suggested mum and dad would never get as cross with me (being the baby and all). I now call BULLSHIT.
One memory really stands out for me as mum headed off on a Saturday morning to work in her hairdressing salon. The four of us stayed at home to complete the list of chores written for us. Mum’s departing words were always ‘no horses and no driving the Vauxhall’. We were aged between 8-14yrs. On this Saturday Dan and Jellina (the eldest and more responsible of the four) suggested we go for a quick drive to the grid in the old Vauxhall ute.
‘But mum said…’ I began to say but was quickly overridden ‘she’ll be right it’s only to the grid and back’.
That’s all I needed.
So Jellina and Dan jumped into the front and Tim and I sat on the tailgate which they had lowered so our legs were dangling over the edge. Not sure if anyone knows the old Vauxhall ute but their tailgate was held in place by a metal bar hooked loosely through a hole.
The excitement was high as we were doing nothing we were meant to be doing.. Tim and I grinned at each other as we hung onto the lip of the tailgate while Dan took off slowly down the hill. We bounced around on the tailgate giggling.
That was my last memory, before we hit the corrugation at the bottom of the hill and the tailgate unhitched and fell away from under us..Tim and I hit that road in a big thud and rolled across the corrugated road until we were sprawled on the edge. We looked at each other in shock, what had just happened?! I recall Tim being covered in blood and dust. Me too. Skin off us everywhere. Blood everywhere.
The other two were still on their scenic trip to the grid only realising what had happened when they found Tim and I looking like we’d been flung from the back of a moving vehicle onto rocks (cause we had) on their return trip.
Chaos ensued and long story short – I took the fall. I had to explain to mum that Tim and I were covered in gravel rash because I was doubling him on my bike down the hill, I lost control and we fell.
Mum believed us – she was good like that – and Tim and I took the rap. The other two walking away scott free.
Like I say – no special treatment for me in our family – and for that I am so thankful.
Until now. First living with me and now most days coming to give me a hand around the place, Mum has been giving a lot of special treatment and this has kind of reestablished…. an umbilical cord!
I mean this in the nicest way. It is just hard now to have faith and let go as I start to find my independence again.. after all of the caring, cleaning and chauffeuring mum’s had to do – I get it.
But… my need for greater independence exploded last week after I drove to the grid!
It spurred me to investigate the exact restrictions around my return to driving. Following conversations with the DEPT of Main Roads and Transport it was clear I could return to driving an automatic without testing.. I take no medication, have both arms and legs, both eyes and no other heart/seizure or stroke related conditions. That pretty much summarises their criteria. My Doctor also gave me clearance.. just so I had covered all bases.
There was just that one last party to consult.. Yep Joybell (mum). I chose the personal approach of a text!
So today is my inaugural trip and there is nothing quite like going the whole hog straight away! I’m hitting the highway with the girls, a float and a couple of horses for a weekend of showjumping.
So if someone drives past you looking a bit like this….
New steps every day! 👣