Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Our Mothers' and Fathers' Stories

I just returned from a night at Gleebooks listening to some wonderful Australian authors talk about a book which by the title 'My Mother, My Father, On Losing a Parent', sounds like a bit of a downer, but it was filled with more laughter than tears.

The authors wrote of their experiences of their parents' passing in a way that made them think that they may be becoming their parents and the majority of the audience's reaction seemed to nod along.

I bought the book and lined up with the other fans for Thomas Keneally, David Marr and Kathryn Heyman to sign and possibly get to tell a little of me to them.  I always blurt out the weirdest shit when I meet someone I admire and this time was no different.  Let's just say David Marr was either impressed with my blurt and he really did think I should write about it or his eyebrows shoot up his forehead and he says this to shoo away pesky weirdos all the time.

Nevertheless, I actually said something for a change to all three of them (Thomas Keneally shared a joke about ever present dead mothers with me) and I wasn't totally embarrassed with myself.

On a related note (but a much sadder one), Mr Moneymaker's Little Nanny died last week (our kids called her Little Nanny as she was tinier than her daughter/their grandmother, Nanny).  She was 90 and only suffered for a short amount of time but lived the life of a tough, Maltese immigrant that lived through the bombing of her home and who almost single handedly brought up a large family in a new country with almost no English.

She spent her last years in the care of one of her daughters without complaint or demands (as far as I know). She must have had a huge influence on her children as all five of them kept close and lived within ten minutes of each other most of their lives, along with most of their children (I think Mr Moneymaker was the rebel there).

Unfortunately I cannot make the funeral but I hope that her progeny send her off in the manner she deserved. But with a touch of humour and sentiment.  I didn't have much contact with Little Nanny but the times I was with her I could tell there was more going on in her mind than what most of the family seemed to think (I could be wrong). But there were times at family gatherings where someone would almost always do something ridiculous and when I looked to see her reaction she would have a slightly Mona Lisa smile, possibly wondering how this huge, noisy and outspoken family originated from her.

Hopefully someone has remembered her story (I would love to have known what she was like as a girl) as David Marr did. As his father was on his death bed, David did what he always did throughout life - he took notes.  Its something I wished I did, along with asking, even urging, my parents for their story.  As it is, I'll just have to make some of it up.

Do you know your parents' stories?

**Joining up with Jess for IBOT**


  1. I actually want to find out more about my mum's story - and must write it down. Thanks for the reminder Becci :)

  2. I love hearing my parents' stories. I've been meaning to ask them a bit more about my grandparents' stories too...

  3. I know a lot of my dad's cause he shares them all the time. I made him write some down too.
    Sorry about little Nanny. I know of a few people who passed away last week. None a surprise but still sad nonetheless xx


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