It's hard to believe that one year has passed since you were taken from us. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and wish you were here. Missing you heaps Mum.xxxxx
As Mother's Day fast approaches I feel so sad that you are not here for me to spoil you. In your memory I'm participating in the Mother's Day Classic to raise funds for breast cancer research. If anyone reading this would like to donate the link is: http://sponsor.s.eventarc.com/sponsor/view/27168/kerri-franke
Like most women Mum had a love of chocolate. When it came to Easter Eggs her preference was the little solid and caramel filled eggs. I used to buy an Easter bag and fill it with all different types of little eggs and she would make it last for months!
My wedding dress fitting fell on your birthday - the first one without you. I wondered if it was an omen - turned out it was, a good omen! After much worry about the dress it looked great and I'm sure you were there giving your seal of approval. I know you'll be there with us in 6 weeks sharing in our wedding day.
When living at Bidwill many years ago, I asked Joy for a recipe for Apricot Chicken. Joy made that dish, and we all loved it. She gladly shared the recipe and it has been a favourite in my family since. It is even made by my children for my grandchildren. It's easy but very nice. It's always known as 'Joy's Apricot Chicken'.
Our family Christmas tradition - It started as a stocking filler from Santa - a Darrell Lea Christmas Pudding. It continued long after and extended to grandchildren, daughter-in-law and future son-in-law. Mum never forgot to to buy one for everyone and they were always eagerly anticipated. She'll be happy to know that the tradition is continuing this year - Dad has taken over the job but it just won't be the same without her.
As Xmas fast approaches and we are talking about favourite drinks, I'm reminded of Joy's drink of choice. It was cherry advocat and lemonade. I remember as a kid, always wanted a pink fluffy thing to drink like Joycie!
A recent visit to the Blue Mountains bought back a flood of memories. We often went there on family picnics and BBQs at Govetts Leap. A highlight of a trip to the Blue Mountains was going to the shop at the 3 sisters with Mum to buy a "devil doll" now known as "mountain dolls". These dolls are made from a seed husk which is the head and pipe cleaners for the arms and legs and they were dressed either as fairies (in tule) or as devils in red cape complete with pipe cleaner fork. They were ugly but we loved them!
Been talking lately about Kings Falls (near Picton) and remembering jumping puddles in the rock shelf and buying lollies from the caravan on site. Have a photo of me on Joycie's lap on a swing..... I look like I'm bawling but Joy just smiles for the camera. Isn't that what all big sisters do?
We often used to laugh that Mum sometimes lacked tact - she would just blurt out what was on her mind without really thinking about how it sounded. I remember my brother and I were sticky beaking over the fence into the new neighbours backyard and we saw big rats running around. We ran in and told Mum. She was worried the rats might come into our place so she called them up on the phone and started off very nicely and said "I don't mean to offend you but you have (change of voice to a screech) RATS! We couldn't stop laughing. Mum hadn't even realised what she'd done until she hung up. We've often laughed about that over the years.
Mum it's still hard to believe that you're gone and not a day goes by that I don't think about you and wish you were here. It's 5 months until I get married and as we plan the wedding it's bittersweet as all I want is to share each and every detail with you.
Mum was a traditional cook and made fantastic baked dinners. Another family favourite was silverside – the grandkids all loved this and always requested it when visiting Mum & Dad. Mum also had times where she liked to experiment with mixed results. She created what she called her “Friday night special” – there was no set recipe and as a result it was never the same twice. She also made fabulous bread and butter pudding – she was offering to make it for me when I went to visit only a couple of weeks before she went into hospital. I don’t think anyone else’s will ever stand up to Mum’s.
Growing up we always had a menagerie of animals. We somehow ended up with a duck who we called Dinky. Dinky lived happily in the backyard and slept with both the dog and the cat. Dad had a friend with a small farm so we decided to let Dinky go and live there and have babies etc. A few years later Mum said to me “Don’t tell Jason but Dinky is dead”. I thought she said “Don’t tell Jason but I think he’s dead”. We laughed and laughed when I told her what I thought she said as he was playing with cousins in the yard at the time. We often laughed about that over the years.
I remember coming home from shopping in Parramatta (a few days before I was to start college) and rushing to go to work at Coles on the Thursday night, when I turned onto Blaxcell St without a proper look and collided with a car heading down William St. My car was a mess! I wan't hurt too badly but I wanted support. I rang mum, told her I was ok and then immediately rang Joy and bawled to her that I hurt (I had 2 blood filled eyes and sore feet as well a seat belt bruising). She got in the car, drove past mums and picked her up (she was outside trying to flag a taxi) and they high tailed it down to me. Not long before they arrived, Denis and Dad came past on their way home from work. When Joy and Mum arrived it was a bit like a family convention. I rang Joy as she was always there for me and I thought she could help without worrying mum.
I remember Joy being the one drive Mum over to Auburn to pick me (and Penny) up from Woolies on Thursday nights after work, as mum didn't drive and Dad did night shift with Bruce. She was often our chauffer.
I use the butterfly image in many things since Joy nicknamed me Bonnie Butterfly. She had called me that in reference to my zipping in and out of mum and dad's place frequently and for a short time.
I remember going around to Joy's each Friday night after school. I'd stay over and I'd help with the basic housework. I'd do some vacuuming and clean the bath. We'd have dinner, get Kerri and Jason settled into bed and then sit down to watch the TV. The minties would be out and I can guarantee that each and every Friday, not long after those minties landed in her mouth, she was 'out' to it! I'd spend the night saying to her 'wake up and eat the lolly and then go to bed'. She was hopeless with sleeping in front of the TV.... think she inherited it from Dad!
Joyce & I became much closer as friends, more than cousins, when she moved from Guildford to Blue Haven on The Central Coast. We had many a laugh remembering our childhood days, particularly our Grandmother Alice May.<br /> We became each others confidant in the later years, supporting each other in time of need.
When I was little Mum would often set the table for breakfast on the weekends before she went to bed. The first time I woke up and saw this Mum told me that the fairies must have done it. From then on I was always very excited for the weekends to come to see if the "fairy" would set the table. She used to mix it up so we never really knew if the fairies were coming so it was always a surprise!
Mum had many wonderful sayings here are a few: * Look at me - this was said when she wanted to tell you off and you didn't want to face her (I think Kath & Kim stole this from her!) * The wind will change and you'll stay like that - when you're pulling a face * Having said that - a recent favourite * Tell me on my dying oath - used to get the truth out of us!
When Mum was pregnant with Jason I was 5 and very naive I had no idea that she had a baby in her belly - I thought she was just a bit fat. Dad used to work afternoon shift which meant that Mum and I were on our own in the evenings. Each night when she went to have a bath I'd follow her to the bathroom and sit on the toilet with my eyes transfixed on her belly waiting for movement. She was so patient with me - she had no privacy I followed her like a shadow. Once Jason was born Mum made sure that everyone who came to visit the new baby made a fuss about me before they saw the baby - she wanted me to feel loved and not left out.
I remember Joyce being heavily pregnant with Jason and Bruce building a cubby house for Kerri (and others) to play in. After it was finished, Bruce brought some paint home for the cubby to be painted. Joyce took it upon heself to paint the cubby walls and was close to passing out from the fumes inside close quarters.Mum was worried about her and was all a dither over her painting it. I don't think the cubby was ever painted again but it was a good source of many fun games in brightly painted surroundings.
I remember going on holidays to a place called 'The Sea Lion' at Ettalong (or was it Umina). The owners had installed a device for using the electricity. Every so often when the metre ran out, you had to put another 20c in the box to get it going again. When we go there we found the metre open and one could put the money in, get the electricity and then put the same 20c back in when it ran out. This was great, costing no money but the problem was when the real estate agent arrived to take the money out. While he was at the door talking to Joyce, she was frantically waving her hands around trying to close the case to the metre. God knows why she would bother as he would have known what was going on when all he got to take out of it was a lonely 20c piece.It was funny to see her waiving her hands around from behind the door though!
I remember Joy had a HABIT of always losing her keys. It was a standard joke that she wouldn't be able to find her keys when she was ready to go home from her Mum and Dad's place. Her dad used to tell her that if they had teeth they would bite her. Someone bought her a device that when you made a sound(clap or whistle I can't remember what) the keyring made a sound back making it easier to find.
Growing up each year I had a birthday party. Mum went to great lengths to make sure it was a perfect day. She stayed up late the night before preparing party baskets, making chocolate crackles and cakes etc. There seemed to be no limit to the amount of friends I could invite - everyone was welcome. We all had party hats and the best one, normally a princess type hat, was for me. She arranged all the games from pin the tail on the donkey to pass the parcel. Everyone always had a fabulous time thanks to my wonderful Mum.