Well, to be honest, August was not a good friend of mine.
Late in July, I received a call from a family friend that my mother’s illness had gotten worse. I jumped on the first flights I could in order to get from Sydney to Milwaukee. From that point onwards, I was very fortunate spend the month of August with my mother. Sadly, last night (CDT) she passed away.
I would like to mention several of my mother’s accomplishments:
- She performed in the title role in a production of Carmen at Howard University.
- Also, while at Howard, she toured South America with the university’s choir (beating out an unknown Roberta Flack for a spot).
- She was one of the first ever management consultants to specialise in affirmative action in the United States, heading up her first business in New York City during the late 1960s.
- In the face of many local (Milwaukee) critics at the time, she was able to build her second business into a nationally respected firm surpassing the success of her first.
- She openly encouraged everyone that she met to truly believe that they can succeed at their dreams and aspirations provided they truly believe in them and work hard at it daily.
My mother & I, both being only children had a very special bond. You often hear about parents trying to be their children’s friend instead of being a parent. I can truly say that my mother succeeded in both areas.
Mother told me that upon hearing that her only child resided in Australia, people would express shock that she could feel comfortable with the situation. She would respond with a smile and state that it would be a sign of poor parenting if she never allowed her own child to go his own way.
Mother’s passing marks a major transition in my life, as you’d expect. You see, as an only child from a very small family (both immediate and extended), I find myself in the position of no longer needing to be in the US for any extended length of time in the future. She marked my closest and arguably sole reason to come here. Her passing now means that I have to say goodbye to the US as well.
My mother’s family has long believed that good parenting is that which allows the child to go as far as possible with the proper tools to deal with it.
I believe that I can deal with being away from the US for the rest of my life, courtesy of my mother. She will always travel with me no matter where life finds me.
Thank you, mom.