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Key Moments

What springs to mind when you think of key moments?

They can be good or bad, right?

One that popped into my head unexpectedly, as I write this, is a memory from the year, 2000. In my mind’s eye, I recall my then seven-year-old younger daughter with a backpack filled to the brim; tears are streaming down her face, as she struggles to get up off the chair in an airport. We are about to commence the second leg of our journey, this time, departing Hong Kong, on our way to New Zealand, and a new life. At that time, our small family of four was emotionally and physically drained having left behind all that we knew (in Zimbabwe, Africa) for a better life.

My husband and I knelt at her side, as her older sister (by just two-and-a-half years) looked on—just as tired—rubbing her eyes. A twelve-hour stopover during what turned out to be, at the time, a heatwave in Hong Kong, meant that nerves were frayed. A pair of slippers—from her backpack—went into my husband’s jacket pockets and I placed two small hardbacked children’s books under my arm. It wasn’t much but it also helped that my husband held the top of her backpack as she resignedly placed her feet on the floor—at our urging—and placed one foot in front of the other, with him bearing most of that weight. We all had backpacks too …

Key Moments

That image speaks to me of resilience and determination; both of which have been the foundation of our journey to happiness and many achievements since fleeing Zimbabwe that fateful year. New Zealand was a calming and confidence-making influence for the six years that we lived there—and achieved citizenship status—before we made our way to the bright lights of Australia. Nevertheless, that image still stays with me. It might also be one of the reasons that the same daughter now travels with very little baggage even though she has journeyed all over the world!

Of course, key moments include births and deaths; marriages and divorces; and many other opposing experiences. Likely, they are pivotal instances in our lives once we start mulling over them. Or, perhaps, we realise retrospectively, that was an opportunity that could have been taken. In our constantly changing world, we must grasp at key moments with both hands outstretched … perhaps we have to grit our teeth too and be resolute and focused on our way forward. Second-guessing just undermines our confidence and likely the success of our goal.

I look at the photo of my mum with her faithful dog, Bambi, by her side. How different her new life was in Africa when they migrated in 1955. Mamma had never been out of Italy; she had never been away from her mother or her nonna, for even one night before then, and she had never had any pets to look after as they had struggled through WW2 and slowly, had to scrape together every penny to build a new life for themselves after those frightening years.

I wonder what was going through her mind when this photo was taken? I wonder what key moments she looks back on now … Mamma has often told me that she never regrets leaving Italy although she wishes she could have had a bit more time with her mother and her nonna before they passed so unexpectedly.

May this next month find good fortune coming your way and may you take the time to mull it over and make the most of any opportunities that present themselves!


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