Over the last few months, I have been so lucky to foster and share a beautiful relationship with one of my mum’s friends. Thirty five years of friendship, and one year of unbiased and unconditional motherhood. If anything, this special relationship has taught me that family is not always blood related.
Over the years, I have heard so many stories about Christine (and mum’s other catering college friends). Mum always praised her ambition and dedication to her family and work, and how it was something to strive for. Even though we hadn’t met until last year, I knew enough to know that she was special. Today, I know with certainty, she is more than special.
Part IV: Chris Sr aka Mama Fernandes aka Nan
She exclaims with pride, “I was married at 22, had my first child at 23.” We were watching tv the other day when I asked her if she would’ve done things differently had she been in a similar situation today. Would it be mind over heart? Work over family? I explained how most of my friends today want to wait and would think 23 is too young. At 23, we barely know ourselves. How do you know you’re ready for marriage or children? She didn’t pause, she didn’t think, she just said, “We knew when it was right and saw no point in waiting. I don’t see why anyone would. And even today, I don’t see why one should because you can always have the best of both worlds.”
This is Christine. My foster mom, guide and source of inspiration. My home away from home.
Christine opened her arms, home and heart to me when I first moved to Australia. What at the time was a short-term plan suddenly turned into home (even Christmas apart wasn’t too easy). I have watched family turn on their own so often. Here, I watched a lady who hadn’t even met me, open her doors and trust me. She didn’t have to but she did anyway with no filters or expectations. If this isn’t motherhood, what is?
Christine is a pocketful of sunshine – full of love, light and laughter. Each day in the Fernandes household is a treat – especially watching her go from being hangry to happy, or gutted to giggly (no Xav?). I feel to grateful to have these days and dreams.
I am a strong believer of fate. I believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason. I was meant to meet you and now you’re never allowed to leave. Thank you for sharing even a little bit of your life with me.
Our special relationship has taught me that you can choose your family, and you’re mine.
Happy Mother’s Day Mama (Nan) Fernandes!
Thank you Mama Correia, for your friends who are now family.
Today’s tune: I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.
Day 13 – 16 May 2017.
353 days to go.
Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.