It is fairly common knowledge that my dad solely raised Kate ( my sister) and I from the time I was five and she was seven. Like most children, if the situation doesn’t feel uncommon, we can rarely notice that our childhood is less than normal. My memories consisted of ( and still do) visits to the Eureka science center, amazing adventures to old English castles and playing at the seaside in Blackpool. The only significant memory that I have realizing it was not normal to not have a mum was at school as myself and another boy sat at a separate table while all the other children made Mothers Day cards.
When I turned ten, my dad remarried a women by the name of Gabriele and we moved from England to Canada. Now I won’t lie here, I was a handful to say the least. If there was a teenager who could push to see how far a step parent would go before they cracked, I was your girl. It took me until around the age of twenty-two to really appreciate this women who entered our lives, and now I’d like to tell you a little about her….
Gabriele is the type of women that you just love to be around. She is funny, happy and truly a care free spirit. This is extremely apparent by the way she accepts my friends who meet her, asking dozens of questions to make you feel welcome in her home.
I admire Gabriele for her fierce independence. While she has an amazing relationship with my dad, the kind that you need to experience to understand, she holds true to who she is. Today she finished a 800 Km walk.. yes walk, that’s 30 days straight in Europe :
Whilst travelling, she often sends emails to keep us up to date. One of my favorites reads:
” One thing I have learned is that the true comforts of home are a blessing. And yet , you don’t need all the entrapment of urban life to survive and have wonderful time. Your body is a wonderful machine you punish every day and it keeps going, and still you can enjoy everything around you”.
It was not that long ago that she found herself at the base camp of Everest. Talk about an accomplishment!
One year she travelled oversees help build stoves and visit orphanages, but not before strategically packing her backpack with toothbrushes and other hygiene supplies to give to those less fortunate that she met along the way.
She still continues to run on a daily basis, takes care of our family cat, and still finds time to send me friendly emails of anything she may come across that she thinks I might be interested in.
I am extremely anxious for her to get home so I can hear all about her travelling stories.
So while she may not be my birth mom, and I will forever remember the stories of my mum….. to me , Gabriele is mom to me. She has managed to get me to believe that I can do the things that I think I can’t, push myself when I think I can’t and truly strive to have the most amazing life possible.