'I have become what I never wanted to become.' The thought struck me recently as I recalled a funeral I had attended as a teenager. I held my boyfriend's hand as a priest spoke about his Grandmother's life. Despite never having met her, I left feeling so disappointed on her behalf. Her whole life had been summed up by saying she was a wonderful Mother and a kind and generous friend. It seemed paltry praise for a women who had taken a slow boat from one side of the world to the other to grow up on Australian soil. A woman who had waited for family and friends to return from wars. Who had watched as domestic life changed and her copper boiler and ice chest were replaced by a washing machine and a fridge. Who watched with wonder as man walked on the moon. Who traveled the world. My teenage self railed against this distillation of her life to 'wife and friend'. I never wanted to be 'just a mother', 'just a friend.' I wanted more. A bigger life. A life you couldn't contain within one sentence.
Yet, with age and wisdom I realise how deep and meaningful those words were. I realise I am following in her foot steps. I am wife, friend and mother. And these are big things. I am valuing similar ideals. I too want to be a wonderful Mother, a generous friend. What is more important in life than to be kind and generous? How simple and profound to be remembered as such.
There are different ways to live a big life, but surely none are more important than loving and being loved?
Go and tell someone you love them. xx