Welcome, my dear friends. It means so much to me that you are here.
Thank you for choosing to share this journey with me.
I have spent the last three weeks working on this new space, and I’m delighted to finally be able to share it with you. Four people in particular have made this possible. My husband for his constant support and encouragement. My mother-in-law Mary for looking after the boys so that I could have time to think outside the house. Tash for her beautiful butterflies. And Dave for his attention-to-detail in converting my design to code and for his endless patience with my emails titled ‘One more thing’ which eventually became ‘One last change’.
For the longest time, I have wanted to find out more about my parents’ childhood. Their stories are ones that I am not familiar with. I know only bits and pieces of information. Not enough to even fill one page. This saddens me deeply. How is it that I am thirty-four, and yet I know so little about my parents’ lives?
Three weeks ago, my mother called me to say that she has a cyst in her brain. It was a complete shock. I remember sitting there, at the cafe, eyes brimming with tears and my heart clutching with anxiety. As if on reflex, my head played out the worst case scenario, and it was like someone had pummeled me in the stomach. In that moment, my mind was made up.
I needed to spend more time with my mother, and I needed to find out about her story. If I didn’t seize the opportunity now, what would I tell the boys when they were older and wanted to know? After all, I would not be here today without my parents. My boys would not be here today without them.
By God’s grace, we have since learnt that mum’s cyst is benign and that, in all probability, she’s had it since birth. The relief has been overwhelming.
Nonetheless, my resolve remains. I have procrastinated on this for too long. The time for me to take action is now.
And so, The Shoemaker’s Daughter is all about stories. Not just my stories, but also my family’s stories. Which are, I guess, mine as well.
This will be a personal memoir, of days past and present.
I am here to preserve our story.
I hope to document conversations with my mum, and whatever I can share, I will share with you.
I plan to journal and write for myself, and whatever I can share, I will share here with you.
I will also endeavour to tell stories with my camera – my trusty Fujifilm x100s. My hope is to master the art of capturing moments and creating imagery that speaks for itself.
Ultimately, this will be both a written memoir and a visual memoir.
Some days, there will be words here. Some days you will find only imagery. Both, I believe, are essential in documenting this life of ours.
Life moves too rapidly.
I want to slow down every day, to stop, and to record. I want to pause long enough to cherish the little details of life. I want to document where my children are at today, where our family life is at right now.
I don’t want life to become a blur.
In ten years’ time, I want solid memories to grasp hold of. I want to remember milestones, meltdowns, events, discoveries, jokes, words, conversations, and emotions. I want to remember the things that made me laugh and the things that made me cry. I want to remember the things my boys said and did and the million ways in which they’re different and the same all at once. I want to remember the colour of the sky on a summer evening, the flowers from my mum’s backyard, the smile on my boys’ faces, the golden light in my studio on a Sunday afternoon, and the way twilight transforms day into night in the most beautiful way possible.
And in honour of my mother, I have named this blog after her.
My grandfather was a shoemaker. He had one son, four daughters, another son, and another four daughters. Tragically, two of his children died when they were young.
My mum was Number Six.
And for me, that’s where it all began…