happy international women’s day

Today is International Women’s Day, so YAY for all the lovely ladies out there! According to the official website:

“International Women’s Day is celebrated across the world on March 8th each year. The day is about celebrating the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole while recognising that significant barriers to achieving women’s economic security and equality continue to exist. In 2012 UN Women Australia is focussing its fundraising efforts on the Partners Improving Markets program which is working to make marketplaces safe for women across the Pacific.”

For more information, visit the website here.

Most women spend this day talking about influential women who have made a difference to the way women are viewed in society, women like Martha Stewart, Ita Buttrose and Mother Teresa to name a few. They also write letters to their daughters or nieces or granddaughters about what they wish for their future. But I’m different. These women already have multitudes of articles written about them and I have no daughters or nieces or granddaughters. Instead, I’m going to talk about my mother.

My beautiful mother with me (on the right) and my sister (on the left)

My beautiful mother, Carol, was only 40 years old when she died in 2003. My sister and I were 14 and 13 respectively and there were many questions I wish I had a chance to ask her but I never did because at 13, I didn’t realise that one day I’d want to know.

But I do know this, my Mum was an incredible woman. In her 40 short years, she touched the lives of many around her and the church was overflowing with people coming to pay their respects on the day of her funeral.

In her final days when people were coming to the hospital to say goodbye, she was such a pillar of strength, smiling and comforting others. She knew her fate and wasn’t afraid to die. She knew that God was waiting for her in Heaven and I truly believe that made the whole process much easier.

She was incredibly kind and caring. She loved children and would always go to church with her bag full of goodies in case she was looking after a child during the service. She always wanted to be a Mum and was a great one. She was a high school music teacher who was always there to help her students. She spent her life looking after other people’s teenagers and when she finally had teenagers of her own, it was time to say goodbye, but she wasn’t bitter.

She knew that the cancer would take her and while tears were shed, she was never negative. She is the kind of person I hope to be someday. With her (usually) amazing sense of fashion, her sparkly, uncomfortable shoes and her inability to have a “quick” shopping trip, she was amazing.

My parents marriage is one that I aspire to have someday. While I think I sometimes idealise their relationship, they were very happily married and very much in love. They were caring and respectful towards each other. My Dad is also a man who respects women and I wish all men were just like him. My sister and I are incredibly lucky to have him as a father.

While she didn’t live long, she changed my life forever. I wish that she was still here because I would love a chance just to chat with her and I would give anything for another of her hugs. But she was a brilliant woman and International Women’s Day is all about celebrating women and today, I celebrate her.

IWD’s is also about improving conditions for women around the world, and as I mentioned earlier, this year focuses on women in the Pacific. Please donate money to the cause here.

Which women have had the most positive impact on your life?



  1. Jillian · March 8, 2012

    Monique, what a beautiful article! Every word true, and written so well. Love you xxx

  2. Lauren · March 8, 2012

    It is lovely that you can share with us all your memories of your mum, she sounds like a woman we could all aspire to be like and definitely someone to be celebrated. I’m sure she would be happy knowing how special she was to you. Happy IWD!

  3. xxxMissVxxx · March 10, 2012

    Beautifully written Monique.

  4. Rachel Stewart · March 12, 2012

    It’s beautiful Monique. As I have always told you, you are the strongest person I know. Looks like you got this trait from your wonderful mother. 🙂 I am glad I was lucky enough to meet her. Love you! Xx

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