When my sister and I left Australia after our father’s funeral, we left my mother with quite a bit to do. It was so hard leaving her, knowing the mammoth task she had ahead of her and for her to have to do it all alone. I can only help so much on our daily phone calls.
The estate agent asked her to clear the 5-bedroom house of all the stuff and take all the hundreds of pictures off the walls. He also asked her to fix all the broken bits, clean and paint. She had just over a month to accomplish this before the Open Day, to sell the house.
Mum and Dad have lived in this house for 30 years and have filled it to the brim of 70+ years of their stuff (and to be honest some of my sister’s and my stuff too :)) How was she to get rid of it all? How was she to mend rotting skirting boards and facia boards? How was she to get rid of the mould on the ceilings, which comes with the territory of living in the Tropics? How was she to do all this alone?
Well I shouldn’t have worried. Mum hasn’t been alone, not for one day. An army of neighbours and friends have been around EVERY day to help her. They have sorted, packed, taken to the dump, garage sale organised, sold things on Gumtree and Facebook, cleaned, bleached, pressure hosed, mended, fixed, painted and oh my word – just everything. And these people are really a bit cross that we are taking Mum away from them, but they have all come together as a community anyway and helped her – so very, very much. They have worked in 35-degree heat and 85 percent humidity, they have got sweaty, dirty and tired – all for my mum. They are just wonderful and I don’t know what to say to express just how beautiful and kind they are.
The world at the moment is pretty yuk with all the nasty politics going on – in fact I am a bit worried we are going back into the dark ages with scientists being vilified, domestic violence being decriminalised (Russia), racism, wars, etc. etc. – yuk, yuk, yuk.
Then I am reminded about community. Our communities, the life we are living in and I have a resurgence of hope. I am so amazed at the people that have and are helping my mum. I am amazed at the lovely community of ladies at my work, who let me run away at a moment notice at Christmas and have since been regularly checking in on me to see if I am ok. I love the very essential community of mums at the school gate, who I know are always there to pick up my kids if something happens.
I have also joined a new community for the course I am doing. I have entered a little peer group of woman who are all juggling, work, life, kids and now studying. They are lovely and we are all there to help and support each other. I am loving it.
I know that celebrating our communities may seem pointless in the face of the horrible politics going on, but I definitely think it’s a good starting point. And also, a nice personal reminder that not all people are racist idiots. So, here’s cheers to all the lovely groups of people that help us get through our days! Thank you…