|Sarah (29), Ben (22) & Bec (21)|
My oldest daughter, Sarah, has completed a Diploma of Interior Design and is now working in her dream job for a highly respected Interior Design firm. She and her husband have just bought a lovely Queensland worker's cottage which Sarah will have the joy of utilising her wonderful gift to renovate & decorate it. It will be a welcome change, with regard to living and outdoor space, from their tiny apartment.
My youngest son, Ben, has only 12 months left of his Bachelor of Engineering and has done very well this year. He has also been working part time for an Engineering related company while he completes his degree. He has a lovely girlfriend who we have known for almost 10 years. They have been going strong for 18 months.
My youngest daughter, Bec, has finally found her niche and is half way through a Bachelor of Nursing. She is thriving in her chosen field of study, and is a mine of medical information. She also has a great part time job in the hospitality industry and has received a couple of awards for her consistently high work ethic.
Yes, I'm a very proud Mum! They have seen much adversity in their early years, but have risen above it all. They may have had life without a Dad, and gone without many things that their friends considered "normal". However, they have never expressed the desire to have had more opportunities, more things, or a better life. In fact, they often say how appreciative & blessed they are for the life they had and the opportunities I could afford give them.
I am truly blessed and I can unashamedly say that I raised them right.
Unfortunately my oldest son, Daniel (24, and not in the photo above), has chosen not to remain in contact with any of his family. He is a prodigal. For the last 5 1/2 years, he has been in and out of our lives... over those years, the "in" times became shorter and shorter and the "out" times have become longer and longer. The last time he was in our lives was Feb/March 2011 for 5 short weeks while he stayed with us after some trouble he'd gotten himself into. It was then I was able to meet my grandson, Matthew (who is now 3 1/2). I have never met my grand daughter, Annabelle (now almost 2), and we recently discovered there is another child on the way (most likely born already). After my son and his partner (now his wife) left, they assured us we would "never see them again".
|This is the last photo I have of my son, Daniel, and his son, Matthew (then 9 months old, March 2011)|
|L-R: Daniel, Ben, me, Sarah & Bec, on my wedding day December 2009|
Christmas is drawing closer and closer. For me and my children Christmas was always a wonderful day filled with joy, happiness & togetherness. I am sure this year will be a wonderful family day again, but there will still remain that nagging feeling that a part of me is missing.
As with my other 3 children, I love Daniel with all my heart. The greatest gift right now would be to have him & his little family here to celebrate Christmas & life with the rest of us...
If not, then this is a message to my son:
I love you with all my heart and I know deep down that you know that. I also believe that deep down in your heart, you love your family and miss us all. I will never understand why you have chosen to walk away, but whenever you choose to come back to your family, we will greet you with open arms as if nothing ever happened, because that's what family is about.
We love you Dan and miss you terribly. We miss you all. Don't stay away too long.
Your loving Mum. xxoo