My Dad's Mum - Eleanor Margaret "Mag"Dixon - taken 1911
My dear wife Robyn,with our three children : Marianne, Justine and Matthew at Mount Wilson - Autumn 1980 (?)
My dear Mum Elsie Georgina Beckmann (R) and her Mum Louisa Beckmann (Standing) with Grandad Edward Beckmann and sisters Charlotte (L) and Ernestine "Kate" (centre) in 1910 - 1911
Our daughter Justine with 2 mths premature son Daniel (born 1st June, 2009) now a charmer & picture of robust good health
Here I am surrounded by a pictorial bouquet of Mothers !( I think "bouquet"is a suitable collective noun for a group of Mothers!) Each one of them I have had the privilege and joy to share my life with, and each one has been a remarkable example of love and kindness in action, even in the gravest difficulty. The pictures are in no particular order. Obviously the first Mother I knew was my very own dear Mum,who led a life of self- sacrifice , love and loyalty in the most adverse circumstances.Her love was generous and kind, never in the least demanding. She was the ideal example of her Father's philosophy that love and respect go hand in hand :: if you have not got love you will show no respect, if you show no respect, you have no love. Grandad hit the nail on the head, and my dear Mum had absorbed the lesson and lived it out.
Next I got to know my Grandma Dixon who lived on the next block one street behind us. Hers was also a tough life coping with a difficult husband and who gave herself to helping many human strays in the family orbit. She was very loving in her treatment of me and in early primary school days I used to walk home via Grandma's place, where she would always be seated on the verandah - waiting for me with a One Shilling piece( with its Merino Sheep Head image on it) clutched in her hand which she gave to me for treats. I can still recall its warmth from her hand, to-day.
My Mum's Mother, Grandma Beckmann, was a very special lady too. She was more self - confident and outgoing within the family group than my Mum or Grandma Dixon and her love was open-hearted and generous, her hugs big and strong. She was totally devoted to her husband "Ted"Edward Beckmann and in the family circle she would refer to him as "Daddy"( they had 9 children!). When I knew him his health was failing, and though she would firmly proclaim that "Daddy and I are going to live on into the (Biblical) Millenium ", looking back ,I can see her anxiety that he was slipping away. She was a wonderful example of love and affection and that ,constant and reliable.She had had a tough life with never a lot of money around , and when some windfall occurred an adverse development would sweep it away. She suffered a lot for marrying a "German" especially in World War I as did the older girls, reproached for being "Germans".I recall her unconditional love of me ,and those strong, generous hugs to-day.And, as she lay close to death in Hospital , I can recall her calling out "Mummy" - my Grandmother, at the end of her life - calling out for Her Mother!
Then we come to the full colour Mums. My dear wife Robyn and those three beautiful children, what fun we had that day in the bracing air and rich autumn tones of Mount Wilson! What fun we have had over all the years - and how much of that is due to Robyn , loving loyal, devoted wife and Mother. I guess we have had more good times than all the predecessor Mothers and their families combined and yet we have had a ton of tough times, but Robyn has been a constant source of love and loyalty through thick and thin, and even thinner!No - one could ask for abetter Wife or ,the children, a better Mother.
The latest Mother in the family blood line is our dear daughter Justine, Mother to Emily, Christopher and Daniel. Words nearly fail me ( nearly! I always have a few left!) As parents we could not be prouder of this thoroughly modern Mother. She is an exemplary model of love and devotion in effective action , handling even the strain of tiny Daniel's birth when this tiny literal handful of life seemed to us too fragile , she brought him to the fullness of healthy life with dedication and love, without skipping a beat in the care of Emily and Christopher and husband Paul.And like her paternal Grandmother she is a stalwart strength for her parents.
So Mothers of mine, I salute you and honour you , but most of all, I love you unfailingly.