If I ever wondered where I got my adventurous spirit from, all I need to do is look at this photo of my Dad. A young, fit, handsome, and funny guy who loved hiking and camping. God knew he had to be because he was about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. He had just married a beautiful, charming, witty and strong-willed girl, and he was going to be a Dad.
My grandparents didn’t like this young Catholic who was too idealistic, that had taken their daughter away from the Protestant faith to also become a Catholic. Her father was so upset that he didn’t even attend their wedding. But my parents were in love and looked forward to their future. They dreamed of having a large family and talked about a house with a white-picket fence. There was so much to look forward to.
They felt strongly about their faith and thought carefully about our names, selecting them from either the Bible or from one of the Saints. So our names became Julie Maree, Robyn Louis, Peter Anthony, Stephen John, Paul Gerard, Simon Christopher, Martin James, Joseph Bernard and Aaron Mathew. We went to Mass and confession every week, had family bible studies every night, and every Christmas Eve we played out the nativity scene in our lounge-room with one of our own as baby Jesus.
We had very little money and only a few toys. But Dad’s natural talent for art, photography, music and singing were our inheritance. Both my parents were always looking for purpose, searching for more, while at the same time trying to do the best with what they had. This was the best part of their lives. There’s so much more I could tell you…..but that’s for another blog.
No wonder I am strong, determined and creative. My mother showed me faith and tenacity. I always give something a go, and if that doesn’t work I’ll try something else. But at times this meant that I jumped ahead too quick and made some pretty major mistakes. Yet these have taught me to rely on God’s wisdom, and seek His council before forging ahead.
What I love about my Dad is his great sense of humour, which he still maintains even though he has gone through some serious health issues. He has shown strength through suffering. And he still loves to study the Bible.