It was in the 80’s, in the late 80’s….I was visiting the second Family Home, quaint phrase these daze…..It was always an effort to drive from St Kilda/Elwood to Mulgrave, or has been described as North Springvale….I did it for almost twenty years, it was a display home that we moved to in 1968 after living in Murrumbeena since 1946….for me it seemed almost rural, but Mum and Dad needed a three bedroom house as my younger brother became older….it was a classical faux Colonial with ‘gold’ taps and ‘marble’ basin that you saw in brochures of the time…in fact from memory it became almost ritualistic for families to make pilgrimages to outer suburbs and visit Display Villages…
My brother was still at Secondary School and I was in my second year at Frankston Teachers’ College. Both Mum and Dad had a car. I did not. I felt isolated but friends drove me to College each day and home again.
Initially the new house was a sea of polished boards, eventually they put carpet through the living and dining area. No idea as to why. Mum was the decorator. And it was while we lived here that she applied for a job in a factory. I can’t remember what she actually was doing other than to know it gave here independence after far too many years of ‘home making’. My father was quick to stifle any of this and told her that if she were to go to work it would, in some vague way I have no idea of, affect his taxation. Am an economic Luddite sadly. Funnily enough he was a great admirer of PJ Keating..
This has been such a roundabout way of getting out the words that I want share. I am an old, white man. I tend not to be angry for too much of the time. I do respond to outrageous injustice as many of you might have picked up from my Facebook Posts. Having said that, I want to offer a tiny glimpse into an exchange twixt my mother and I not long before she died at 66 years of age from lung cancer.
It took place in the home I have just described, though far from the gold taps, closer to the carpeted living and dining room….she sat in her ubiquitous Green Chair and said to me : ‘Lloyd, I am sorry, you are too much like me!’ I replied : ‘There is no need for Apology Marie, I consider you a strong woman, and that I admire’
I hope that her Legacy remains and her, the female members of the family, all whom had/have a great impression and influence when I was a young boy, strength is a gift.