‘‘Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.’’
Who comes to mind when you think of great women? These three names came into my head as I reflected – Trudi, Pam and Joan.
My mum has reached the wonderful age of 80. Her world is peppered with women whose praises she sings, who feed her soul and spirit and help her with the practical and necessary things of daily living. They make mum’s days easier and more rewarding.
Without realising it, these women help create stability and peace for my mum and many others.Trudi is mum’s doctor. She is always kind and positive and allays mum’s fears about any medical issues. Questions are answered slowly and calmly and there is never a rush to get mum out.
What mum appreciates most is that she feels she is being listened to. In a world where her influence is shrinking, mum’s visits to Trudi give her the opportunity to express some of her thoughts, knowing she will not be judged.
With age, mum’s steps have become more tentative, her days of brisk walking have slowed to a more gentle pace. Pam is mum’s podiatrist and helps alleviate some of the aches and pains that mum experiences.
Watching Pam I am reminded of Jesus as he washed the feet of the disciples, because her act of service is done with humility and the knowledge that her deft and skilled hands work alchemy on my mother’s feet.
St Augustine said: “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others.”
Joan is my mother’s personal trainer and she calls mum “a champion’’. Every Tuesday mum has a session with Joan, who puts her through her paces of light weights and cardio.
Mum tells me all about her sessions. They consist of delightful conversations, her ability to knock out a 13th rep and the knowledge that she is still vigorous and capable. I think that Joan has done more for mum than just help keep her body moving; she has helped mum believe that she is still a strong and vital woman. Eighty is definitely the new 70.
As an octogenarian my mother is valued for her life experience and these women provide mum with something that is truly important: they foster a relationship that is vital for her happiness and wellbeing.
In a recent speech, Oprah referred to women whose great works have gone unnoticed: “These are the names we will never know.”
So I thank Trudi, Pam and Joan and those women whose names I will never know.
Gemma DiBari is a Melbourne writer.