A Portrate of Life

I remember over 10 years ago mother telling me this story.
Mother was living alone at her home in Morrisett NSW.
Always the "planner and the do'er" mother was always on the run, hardly stopping to gather it all in at times.

Mother once told me that a close friend of hers was an artist and that "Anne" wanted to paint mothers portate. Mother didnt know what to make of it, her first comment being - "how long do I have to sit still for?". Well Anne sorted things out and managed to get a number of good photos of mother from different angles so mother only had to sit through a photo session. Many months went past before I heard anything else about the painting progress, until this 1 phone call mother mentioned it.... "Anne is almost finished but I dont like the way she has done my jaw/mouth" , I remember replying with words similar to "Artists take alot of latitude in there work mom!". Mother went on to say that Anne intended to submit the portrate in "The Archibald Prize" when it was finished... "The Archibald Prize" is the highest achievement for artists in Australia.
I dont recall much other detail than mother telling me it was finished and she liked the final result, still mentioning her chin in the portrate...

Anyway > as ive been going through mothers box's of paperwork and stories I find photo's tucked under here, lost/hidden in an envelope there etc.....

I Find This Photo of Mother & Her Portrate

.... the photo is dated 1998. I first found this photo in late January, I have never seen it before, nor have I seen the actual portrate. I knew the moment I saw this photo that I needed to find the artist and tell her of mothers passing.

Today I spoke with Anne for the first time as I had no contact details for her, it took some time to track her down. Anne wish's to pass on her deepest condolences to our family. Anne offered the fact that she still has the portrate proudly displayed in her gallery/studio. Anne and I spoke for half and hour about mother and the portrate, telling me that it made it to the final 20 in "The Archibald Prize". I made the enquiry and Anne agreed to sell the portrate to me. I wont be able to collect it until later in the year and I would not think of having it shipped to me for fear of damage. I look forward in the future to posting a picture of "this photo next to the portrate".

We Will Love You Always Mother

I Am My Mothers Son.

These are my memories of some conversations with mother..... I very well will be wrong in the opinion of some as to the accuracy of said conversations. I never met my grandparents. I'm not speaking on mothers behalf - or on the behalf of any other family member!

I invite other family members to fill in where I have no idea.....

I remember many times.....
Elisabeth talking about her parents, grandparents and family in general. Its funny how family life changes as we all get older, its also funny how things will always stay the same.

Mother and I became best of friends over the past 10 years, no topic was off bounds.... even if the replies were only 1 sentance and of a "candy coated" nature. Mother always managed to tell the truth to me when ever I asked it of her, though she was always considerate of the "big picture" as not to tell me lies or lead me astray.

Dont get me wrong, mother and I had our "moments", as all relationships do. Difference of opinion was never grounds for the doors of comunication to be closed, if anything, over time... just the opposite.

I dont realy recall anything "ver-batum" that mother said about her grandparents but I do remember many things she said about her parents.

Mothers father, Jonas (Grandpa Jo), was a quietly spoken person who's silent presence in the room alone, commanded great respect wherever they went. Jonas was drawn to fine detail, always in "quality control" mode ( in my opinion this shows in a chistmas pic, Jonas appears to be scrutinising the christmas tree decorations).

Grandmother Mable (Grandma Jo) was also a quiet lady until something was out of order, mother passed on memories of a stern mother who knew the difference between black and grey. Grandmother Mable was a solid homemaker but didnt feel quite as home camping as Granddad Jonas.

Through out my growing up were many hundreds of conversations about mothers children, grandchildren & great grandchildren.... "Yes mother! ... I know I was only 5 years old when your 1st grandchild was born".... "Thats g/c number 3" ..... "Im going to be a Great Grand Mother" ..... "Now we have "Moira" thats g/g/c number 5.... or is that 4 ... " .

The point to this post is that mother taught me patience and compassion and a sence of being.

Patience = The ability to question ones self with a solid sence of empathy.

Compassion = The understanding that everybody has bad memories of some sort, its all to easy to focus on the bad.... the best & most simplistic of things seem easily forgotten or set aside.

Sence of being = The ability after questioning yourself, when you find you were wrong... to put my hand up and take responsability for such...... and by the same token, if I am not in the wrong... a sence of being never to be wavered from what I belive is correct... yet all at the same time, always retaining the ability to re-question myself with an open mind.

I Will Love You Always.

I Am My Mothers Son.

You'r Not My Mom!!!!

The only beatings I remember were the ones I got from my big sister, Bobby. She use to chase me through the house and when she caught me she would wrestle me to the floor, put her pointed knees into the middle of back and beat me on the back of my head with her fists screaming at me at the top of her voice. I'd have bruises for days. In all honesty though, I deserved every beating I got. I was giving her the worst times in her worst of times and for that I would like to apologize to her.

Dale Paul

Memory from Dale. Elisabeth's Second oldest son.

Wait Till Your Father Gets Home

I remember it was in the fall of 1957. We were living on Uncle Harry’s Christmas tree farm up in the valley. Dad had put up the tree trimming and cutting tools for the winter.

I had a fascination for just how large of a branch the big loppers could cut through so I went to the shed and found a pair of long heavy loppers. They were an old pair, heavy steel with wooden handles. I started with small branches that had fallen from the big maple tree in the front yard and worked my way up to the front of the house, finding bigger branches as I went.

That’s when I saw it, the ultimate object to be tested. Now mom was always very forgiving and patient with us kids, but on the other hand dad wasn't.

I grabbed the loppers and spread the jaws apart, then set them on the ground. Being only five years old I didn't have the strength to control them while holding on at the wooden handles so I grabbed near the jaws and put them around my intended subject. At this point I could grab the wooden handles and pull the jaws shut, so I did.

Now mom, she always kept a close eye on us younger siblings and had this ability to suddenly appear from out of now where just as we were about to do some thing that could result in bodily harm to our selves. Through all the sparks I saw her standing there not knowing weather it was safer to grab the loppers or me first.

By the time mom made her decision I had already dropped them the ground and the sparks had subsided. I had cut the electrical wire that came from the transformer on the telephone pole to our house and down to the fuse box in the cellar. Mom swept me up in her arms and did a quick check of my senses, then cradled me giving thanks that she hadn't lost another child. The only thing that prevented me from being electrocuted were the wooden handles.

Mom never did tell any of us kids “Wait till your father gets home!” But I knew the thought must have been on her mind and I did see stars twice that day, the moment those cutters touched the wires and then again when my father got home.

Love -n- hugs
Dale -N- Nette


We Will Love You Always