What does 50 mean to you?

The google search of 50 revealed Hawaii 5-0 Police Academy.

Lindsay Woolman reckons

it’s a good thing, a time to celebrate

To create new goals

You just gotta accept it

The number 50 is found in the bible on 154 occassions but I don’t even want to go there

The huffin post says

embrace it

Enjoy it

Tell everyone

It’s a once in a life time event

So milk it for all its worth

The angel numbers talk about the number five (5) and the number zero (0).

Number 5 resonates with healing, personal freedom, adventure, curiosity, opportunity, courage, making positive life choices and changes. The number zero resonates with attributes of eternity, infinity, cycles, flow and a point to begin.

What 50 means to me is that you are here rejoicing: that’s 50 out of 50 100%!

50 years on this Earth with you at different stages, part of my journey

I honor you and absent friends and family.

Standing on the shoulders of those who came before with gratitude for you are the reason I am here.

I reflect, embrace, honour all that I have know. The people that are ever present on this journey remind us of lessons we have or haven’t quite mastered. Those who come and go, ebb and flow bring us lessons that reflect the aspirations we seek.The gifts are innate. You are beacons:

Nonna Pasqualina Pipicella and my Mum, Giuseppa taught me how to cook,  how to sew, creative energy, the analogy of which is integrated in art, the art of making, doing, being, the importance of looking after others, appreciating simple things.

After Nonna’s  funeral we were allowed to take one item from her belongings.

When we looked, I expected to see a cupboard of undiscovered treasures, instead, familiar objects, photos I had seen before and a few hand sew dresses.

What is in a life- It is not about the material things. It is about the people who are with us. Nonna valued the people around her, her family was her life. She gave away everything, even when she had nothing to give.  When she laughed it was like the whole world was bouncing overflowing with generosity of spirit.

I learnt generosity.

I honor the gifts of my ancestors. I honor my Mother and Father, for teaching the art of working hard and loving and giving unconditionally in what they knew in making a good life.

I honor my sisters and brothers for teaching me how to care, that I can ask for help when I need it, that life is also about having fun too as we played together with all our kids and we have great gatherings.

I honor my sister Elena who has been constant solid rock, a support from the time she helped me make a hat for a school parade- when I was grade prep- to when I had a break down to the present day- always checking in, so generous and supportive- thank you for your strength and resilience and stability and fun- always positive, energetic and inventive. I also honor Jack, Lucinda and Isabella who have grown into intelligent young inspiring people-really enjoy hearing their stories and being with them.

I want to honor my cousins who taught me how to be social, how to play, how to compete and how to appreciate what it means to be second generation Australian to know our identity and culture. Thank you to the cousins who have travelled to be here today- so honored to have you here today and those who could not make it but called to wish me a happy party.

I want to honor my university friends who have also become like family, they taught me things I cannot repeat here but they too have become part of my family.

I want to honor those I have worked with over the years who taught me teaching skills, how to work with the community and how to sit with discomfort, navigating politics and how to stick up for my work rights. I loved working with you.

Thank you to Mark’s family and friends who have included me and are so generous in their appreciation- I have loved being part of our gatherings and look forward to more to come- Thank you

To Mark’s Brother Don who has a special place in our lives and in particular our son Max’s life- you have taught me what it means to be patient and been a terrific support to our son Max.

I want to thank all of you for being here today for your gifts of friendship, participation, invitation, appreciation, the truth of beauty and authenticity, coaching, writing, gardening, music, song, sharing, caring, crying together, walking and talking, celebration, innovation, creativity, friendship, good neighbours, kisses and hugs, conversations, reflections, discussions and debates and what it means to be strong, healthy and to eat and live well. What it means to support and help each other from day to day. I love that I can invite you to celebrate with me and that you are a part of my life and continue to be.

I honor two more important people, my son Max Patton who is so smart and clever and currently approaching a milestone of his own at 12 years of age as he goes into Secondary school- every day you surprise me

You help me to see the world with fresh eyes, you remind me of what really matters: hugs and kisses and the fetish of scratching knuckles.

To my dear partner Mark Patton, we have weathered good and bad times together over the last 26 years and I express my gratitude

You taught me to drive a car. You also taught me the true meaning of unconditional love. You are respectful, selfless, generous, happy, interested in what others bring, kind, authentic and compassionate person. You are also a talented artist and hard worker who is always making beautiful things, and appreciate beauty- you have always supported me in all my adventures selflessly.

Mark painted a picture for the play I produced in 1990- the real inspector Hound and since then has been making things for me for various projects, that I create in my head- he makes them real, so talented- you have also made the beautiful furniture in our house that symbolically honors our old house. Thank you- Thank you for your unconditional love and compliments

Thank you to all of you, friends and family and for being here today I appreciate your presence, I also miss those who are absent.



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