rise up against a ruthless enemy



My mum had breast cancer.

My dad had prostrate cancer.

My father-in-law had stomach cancer.

My boss had malignant tumour.

A friend’s daughter had one behind her eye.

All of them faced a battle, fought bravely, but sadly, only some of them won the war.

Cancer is a ruthless, unforgiving and indisciminate enemy.

Today I went along to my mum’s cancer support groups monthly get-together that included their event for The Biggest Morning Tea.

I was drawn in by the promise of triangle cut sandwiches and sausage rolls.

However, I was privileged to hear the story a Cancer Council volunteer, who had lost her 24-year-old son to leukemia but was now a passionate advocate for the council’s work.

In that brief time I learnt:

  • This month the Cancer Council marks the 20th anniversary of Biggest Morning Tea fund-raiser.

  • In that time more than 61,000 lives have been saved from this insidious disease, that’s eight lives a day.

  • Sadly though, in the future, one in two will be diagnosed with cancer.That means between you and me, one us will have a battle on our hands.

Scary stuff.

My mum and dad won the war. I’ve had to say a final goodbye to the others.

There is nary a day goes past that I, probably you, don’t hear the story of someone you know that has entered the trenches to battle cancer, whether it be them or a loved one.

This is why I urge you to make a difference, no matter how small.

Attend an event, organise one yourself, pop a few coins in a bright yellow donation box.

Or when you take your coffee break today just hop over to the website and the hit donate button.

And raise a cup to a cure for cancer.

I don’t want much, but not a high-pressure washer either



The email popped into my inbox the other day, the subject line screaming “50% off gifts your mother will love”.

Ooh, I thought, I might pick up a bargain here. My favourite perfume on special, perhaps.

Except, no.

This well-known, well-marketed company was offering high-pressure washers among top picks for Mother’s Day.

Now I get that, sometimes, a mum will forsake luxuries for the greater good and get something practical and that fulfils a need at home.

It reminds me of the story of a colleague, with grown boys, the wife of a successful businessman, who for Christmas one year was given an urn, as in the hot water variety.

She unwrapped it in the middle of the lounge room floor, surrounded by the colourful detritus of festive paper.

And that’s where she left. For several days.

Practical, yes. Personal, no.

He was in hot water, so to speak.

But I digress.

A recent survey of 3000 Australian mums found for 75 per cent of them, Mother’s Day would be business as usual, about half would not get breakfast in bed and a third said while they looked forward to Mother’s Day, they often ended up feeling disappointed.

And they didn’t want much. Faced with financial pressures, nearly 20 per cent just wanted a little “me-time”.

Who can blame them? Every mum wants a moment where they can put all the balls down on the ground, just for a while. A break from the endless piles of laundry, the dirty dishes, the rotting salad leaves mocking her from the bottom of the crisper.

I’m happy to say, and lucky, that I’m not one of those 30 per cent left disappointed. The Mr cooks a mean breakfast, not just mother’s day but most weekends, and as I type, the boys are drawing and colouring Mother’s day cards and pictures, and making plans to buy something special, at the school stall, all the while reminding dad they “need to go shopping”.

And I’m not really a fan of breakfast in bed anyway.

In the past week I’ve made sure to tell the responsible one, the eldest son, a few simple things I would like for Mother’s Day – a new shower cap, an iPhone case, a pretty scarf. Small things, I might not necessarily buy myself, but requires a little thought and time on their part.

But I would also be happy if  someone to cooked me dinner, cleaned out the fridge, or some other job around the house that has been languishing on the to do list. These are all things that would make me, maybe even you, feel special, too.

For my little ones, it’s about giving them the chance to give, the joy of doing something for someone else, about showing appreciation.

It is about mums.

So what are you hoping for this Mother’s Day?

* The survey was real and came by chance across my desk and was done by Fantastic Furniture, which thinks mum deserves to sit down and put her feet up, most likely on a new couch.


making connections



I recently wrote about connections in my weekly newsletter here.

And I got to thinking.

The internet is all about connections ~ literally and figuratively.

Those little bytes of data are right now streaming from my keys, down the cable and spewing forth into the world, making connections.

The internet allows introverts, like me, or those that like their alone time, also like me, to make connections that  otherwise they might not have made.

Have you noticed, too, the intricate web of such connections? Six degrees of separation and all that.

It’s a small world after all.

You know that song [earworm alert] was written in 1963, well before the internet exploded and morphed into what it is today.

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears.
It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears.
There’s so much that we share,
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all.

But it’s kind of appropriate.

what will you do for earth day?

Earth Day 2013

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~ Native American Proverb