Today is Mother’s day in Australia.
My mother died in 1983, such a long time ago and she was only a young woman by today’s standard.
She was a stay home mum; every morning she would make breakfast, which was often something left over from the night before to go with our cereal.
My mother was a sporty woman. She was brought up playing tennis and next door where her mother lived there was a tennis court. So when I was old enough I was given a tennis racket and sent off to lessons. I have to admit I wasn’t very good at it but I did learn to hit the ball back and I became very good at picking the ball up from the fence behind me.
My mother taught me a love of sport, to play it with passion whatever game it was. She also taught me to be competitive but also to be a good sport. You don’t always win, as I found out very soon as a player but it was important to play and compete, hit the ball back and then see what the other guy could do with it. Often it was to hit it past me.
My mother saw the benefit of us playing a sport. We lived in the country and in an area where tennis, cricket and football were the major games.
If mum saw you had some aptitude for a game she would do all she could to see that you had the right gear to play. She could never afford the top of the range but you knew that what you wore was the best she could get for you.
I miss my mother and every year on this day I take flowers to her grave and remember her as the person who loved me, cared for me and who nurtured within me a love of sport and playing as well as I could. Fair play was so important to her, we were taught to accept the umpire’s decision and it never occurred to us to question them.
Her legacy lived on through my children, most of whom she never knew, but who played their respective sports in a manner she would have been proud of.