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My parents…

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A Paris Journey… / Family / My parents…


Filed Under: Family April 5, 2013, 19:33



I feel like I’ve led a charmed life…

I come from good stock as they say, not royal stock but two good hardworking, committed and loving people who worked together to provide my siblings and me with simple luxuries and a roof over our heads.

I was taught from a young age to respect my elders, stand up and offer a seat on the bus to someone in need, how to be a good friend, how to set a good example and most of all to know right from wrong.

I lost both my parents when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s … my Dad died at the age of 56 from a heart attack and my Mom died six years later at the age of 60 from Lung Cancer.  It was two of the hardest things I have ever had to accept, I’m still accepting it and with each year passing I seem to grieve their loss more.

I have fond memories of both my parents though and this sustains me when I am feeling low and sad like today hence my need to write about them.


My Dad!


Image 3My Dad was a true bloke’s bloke.

He loved the solitude of his shed, had all kinds of tools which were hand drawn on the wall so that everyone knew what went where and would spend hours just pottering away with the potbelly stove roaring in the winter months and the doors to the shed flung wide open in the summer months.

He was a great ‘fixer’ of things and very talented in creating items out of wood, he loved his wood lathe machine!  One year he made Mom a very beautiful coffee table out of Huon Pine which was proudly displayed in our lounge room and he also made some fabulous bowls which I still have as an item in my kitchen today!

My Dad made solid friendships with many people and when he died those friendships helped keep my Mom going. I know he wouldn’t have wanted her or us to be sad for too long and to go on with our lives in a way that he would be proud of.  I believe each of us have done that and I believe he is still looking after us in his own special way. I felt his presence descend over me two nights after he died when I was sleeping with my Mom in their bed. To this day I can still recall the feeling of it…takes my breath away.

Family time was important to both my parents. I am the middle child and youngest daughter of 5 children.  My two younger brothers would shadow my Dad around on the weekends he was home from fishing and every night they would play ‘shintano’ on the floor, which is a made up word of course but means to wrestle. Somehow my Dad would let both my brothers win and they would go off to bed happy and loving him just as it should be.

My Dad was extremely protective of his three daughters which I guess every Father is and I know it will continue to be that way for the remainder of time. He knew how to be firm but fair and would try and fix things for us if they needed fixing, of course he had no clue at all when it came to matters of the heart which was my Mom’s domain but my Dad always was there for a hug if he saw that I was upset or sad.

In particular, I can still see him sitting on my bed one morning to wake me with the news that my first love had been killed in his car the night before. He must have been sitting watching me before he woke me as I could see his eyes were misty and he struggled to speak his words.  He just hugged me for a long time. I remember at the time thinking that he wasn’t really saying those words and that maybe he was just playing a trick on me, but no, every word he said was true. Being 16 is too young to die.

I spent many years grieving for my first love. I have written numerous poems for him over the years and to this day the way I live and breathe and laugh and smile reflects the effect of his passing. It will simply always be that way.

My Dad liked his drink… he liked beer, wine and whiskey, not necessarily in that order but towards the end of a party night you would see him with a whiskey in hand surrounded by his mates telling long stories that had everyone enthralled to the end. My Dad was a good Kiwi bloke through and through and I loved him with all my heart and soul.

My Mom!


Image 4My Mom was well liked and well loved.

She was the glue that kept our family together. When my Dad was away fishing she was left to keep five children in order. It was a struggle for her I know but she did her best and would come home after a full day’s work to provide us with a hot meal and ensure our homework was done and get us bathed and tuck us in each night.

Everyone loved my Mom! She was always there for her friends and was always doing kind deeds for them. On more than one occasion she would do our neighbours hair colour or perms or set rollers for them in our kitchen. My Mom had the most infectious laugh and often we would hear her laughter echo through the house when her friends were over or parties were held.

My Mom was fiercely Australian and proud of it. Whenever Australia and New Zealand played in the Rugby she would sport her Australian scarf, socks and anything else she could get her hands on and be a stalwart for her team. Of course the All Blacks mostly proved the winners but that didn’t stop my Mom from barracking for the opposition!

Her inner circle of friends consisted of two dear friends and neighbours, Mrs Bulling and Mrs Thompson. They were thick as thieves and would have their little outings to go eeling and whitebaiting and off to the races and numerous other things. She loved them as much as they loved her.  Only Mrs Thompson is alive now and I hope she can hold fast to those memories of my Mom and Mrs Bulling. My Mom taught me how to be kind. My motto today is ‘be kind and kindness will follow’.

When my Mom died in a Sydney hospice my sister and I were by her side. After three days of being in a coma she quietly slipped away when we were both asleep next to her. It was a hard day for us all. Harder for my other sister and two brothers who had to say their final goodbyes over a phone call a few days earlier. I wished with all my heart she didn’t have to leave us. The last word I heard my Mom say was ‘I love you too darlin’. Words simply cannot express my loss.

Today my life goes on without them. I know I am a stronger person because of their love for me, I know this but sometimes grief creeps up on you and all I want is to feel their hugs and feel safe in their arms again, but this will never be and so I must carry on the best I can.

The picture is of my brothers and sisters and me… celebrating my little brother’s wedding just last year. I know my parents are very proud of us all!

and I hope we continue to make them proud!


a Bientot!






  • Beautiful memories!

    • Roniece

      Thanks lovely…xx

  • Denise

    It’s funny, years after we loose our parents and we think we have got over it, grief suddenly creeps up on us and surprises us. Sometimes at my most vulnerable moments, I am suddenly a little girl again and want my mum or dad. Like you I lost my dad suddenly when I was 27, but sometimes I am unexpectedly hit with an aching grief.
    This post made me cry. A touching tribute to your parents and I can relate to your pain and pride.
    They sound like wonderful people. Their memory and legacy live on in you and your siblings.

    Love Denise

    • Roniece

      Denise… thank you for your lovely words. We both know the meaning of loss. Look forward to seeing you next week and to meeting Michael in Paris! Bisous xx

  • Janie

    What a beautiful tribute to your parents, but the most beautiful tribute of all is you! You are a true reflection of what you wrote and have taken the best from both of them! You bring a smile to everyone you come in contact with ( except that one French restaurateur!) and give back to the world in so many ways! I’m sure they were great people coz they raised you and you’re pretty great! 🙂

    • Roniece

      Thanks Muriel… it’s such a pleasure for me to have you here in Paris… loving spending time with you… merci xx

  • I loved reading this tribute to your parents, but I did cry because I think of my parents as well, and because I’m sentimental, I love reading about your Dad supporting you during your time of loss and sadness, the joy of your mother is in all the reading, and makes me understand why you’re so friendly, happy and loved by your sisters, brothers, neighbors and friends…I feel that your parents live in your heart and your brothers and sisters’ hearts forever. Thank you for that personal and beautiful testimony. In an age of complainers and constant negativity, what a breath of fresh air it is to focus on the blessings of family and parents. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal, moving tribute and encouraging us to consider doing the same! I wish you a wonderful day and please keep writing I love reading your blog! 🙂

    • Roniece

      Many heartfelt thanks Riccardo! You are always so encouraging of me and my blog.. I appreciate you for your kindness and good will.. Merci xx

  • Such a beautiful tribute to your parents and all that they taught you. Yes you are indeed blessed to have had such caring, loving parents although their time in this life was cut too short. I have been thinking much of my Mom, too, as she passed away on April 15, 2001. The anniversary is near. Much love to you, Muriel!

    • Roniece

      thanks lovely… I feel happy that I have written about them for all the world to see. I’m sure they will be smiling! I will have good thoughts for you as you remember your Mom with love. See you soon in Paris! xxx


Forever Paris...

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One of my passions is to travel. However for more than a few years now I seem to have found myself visiting Paris for extended periods of time.. well, make that weeks at least! i know it won't last forever but while it does... I'm going to enjoy every moment!