The Macquarie dictionary has many definitions of the word mother. There are 17 different definitions the first being "A Female Parent".
Just as there are many differing ways in describing the term mother so there is great difficulty in attempting to describe my true mother Aileen Dawn Clark (Parley) born 21 January 1930 passed away 18 September 2006.
The only adult contact I had with my mother was four letters and three telephone calls. Then at her request all contact was terminated. Such a final word terminated. At the time I had hoped there was a chance of meeting her but when she died in 2006, all hope was ended. So the feelings I have for my late mother are so very complex and to a certain degree confusing.
I started searching for my mother after the passing of my adoptive mother in 1990. It took me 6 years to find her. Then after those four letters and a three telephone calls that was it. To my profound sadness, I didn't speak or have any further contact with her.
I never tried to impose myself upon her as I respected the fact that she had a right to her privacy.
When she died on 18th September 2006, her sister rang me and for the first time she called Parley my mother. At last there was familial recognition that I was her son.
She gave me the phone number of one of my brothers - Howard and the next night I called him.
For the first time I spoke to a person who was a son of my mother. I was told that if I wanted to go to the funeral service I could. However, I believed I would be a hindrance in relation to a memorial of her life so i did not go.
After a time I was taken to the spot at Bellerive where her ashes were spread into the Derwent River.
How do you pay tribute to person you never met - apart from 6 short weeks when you were a baby. From the telephone conversations we had, she sounded a kindly person. I believe she would have tried very hard to be a good mother to me had she been given a chance. but that never happened and so the die was cast.
I was fortunate to listen to her poems; they also showed a very intelligent person and caring person. That she loved her husband very much is also evidenced in her poetry. From her two sons and daughters from her husband, I know they loved her deeply and that can only come from love given.
Sadly society never gave either of us a chance so we were not able to develop a relationship that I would have really loved to have had. I never wanted to know the why's and other things that many believe comes from meeting one's mother. I just wanted to bask in her company and to hug her.
At one stage I put her up on a pedestal and in retrospect I see this as not realistic, as from what i have managed to ascertain, my mother was a typical hardworking working class woman from a typical working class family.
However, she raised three children whilst living with the pain of not really knowing what had happened to the two children she lost to adoption. She had a love of dogs which is something we both share.
Sir Robert Menzies once remarked when seeing Queen Elizabeth " I did but see her passing by but I will love her till I die"
I will never be able to fully do justice to my mothers memory but I can say this :
" Thank you for giving me life and I will love you till I die"