Thirty eight years ago yesterday my mum died.
Just typing that - thirty eight years ago - makes it seem too far in the rear view mirror to be able to see, let alone feel sad about.
And I don’t feel sad. Not right now, anyway. But the hole is always there.
Right now I’m Rockhampton rehearsing for Women in Voice with amazing singers and songwriters, all of whom happen to be mothers. And, probably because it is an anniversary week, I’m especially thinking of how much my mum would have loved this show - to see it, to sing in it, to be part of it.
It’s only in recent years that I’ve really realised what guts and courage and fierceness it must have taken for her - a single mother in the early 1980’s - to keep actively pursuing performing while she raised kids, especially in an era where that definitely wasn’t the done thing.
Of course, her time got cut short before she could see what might come of her creative dreams.
But truly, even the fact she chose to pursue them at all is downright kickass.
Isn’t it amazing how the ones we loved and lost can still teach us things long after they’re gone?
Here she is, decades after I last hugged her, nudging me to reassess what success means.
If a true measure of how well we’ve done in life is only found in the end results: the recognition, the money, the accolades, then I guess most of us are going to feel like miserable failures.
And even worse, we’re going to rob ourselves in the meantime of the joy and privilege and appreciation of being alive and able and willing to walk a path we want to be on.
Because that - thank you mum - is the victory.