Sunday, 10 August 2008
Today, I lay on the living room floor, my head on a cushion, my arms wrapped around my eldest son, watching a tiny, nervous Chinese gymnast delicately balance on a 4 inch wide beam, her eyes never leaving it. I hold my breath as she sticks her dismount, and my sons eyes are wide, wondrous and he cheers for her. "That's a great one, Mummy! She's just great jumper!".
And for a moment, I feel her presence. I feel my mother, her arms wrapped around me, as my 5 year old self watched in awe of Nadia Comaneci, on the same apparatus.
We watched so many sporting events together, my mother and I. We loved Rugby League first and foremost. NRL matches (well, ARL first, it didn't become NRL til much later), State of Origins and test matches. We'd get up in the wee hours of the morning, setting our alarms so as not to miss kick off.
We watched Tennis together, Rugby Union, Commonwealth and Olympic Games. We especially loved the Gymnastics, Swimming and Diving. We'd watch the Syncronised swimming and mock the outfits.
I miss you Mum. I haven't been able to watch a State of Origin since you died, without crying. So much so that in the past 2 years, I've not even tried to watch. But I want to create those same memories with Alexander. We're starting with the Olympics. We're watching the diving and the gymnastics together. And, we'll talk about you. I'll tell him all about when you'd come in at 2 in the morning, a warm cuppa in your hands for me, to wake me before the 2.30am kickoff for the Aust Vs Great Britain Test Match in the Kangaroos Tour of Great Britain. How we held hands and silently cheered as Wally scored again, marvelling at his artistry.
Maybe one day he'll look back on these moments with the same love as I do. Thank you for those moments, Mum. Thank you for making those memories with me. I treasure them.