My parents

My mum and dad and me.

My mother isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. Nor is she intimidated by fashion and wears whatever she wants, wherever she wants. Much to the horror of a 14-year-old. Me, a few years ago.

I liked my socks to match, Mum didn’t. She once wore a pink striped sock with a black sock. I pleaded with her to change them or else wear different (but the same pair) shoes to hide the fact her socks were different. But she told me she didn’t care and I shouldn’t either.

“But people will look at you!” I probably whined. Then she repeated the phrase she often said to us, “You’d be more upset if you knew how many people weren’t looking at you.”

She always told this to me and my two younger sisters. The advice didn’t stick until a few years later. Now as an adult, I sometimes wear different coloured socks and let people see them. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that my mother taught me how to be an individual.

Her lessons didn’t just include personality. She taught my sisters and me how to be strong in the face of adversity. She also taught us how to be kind and how to speak up for ourselves. She taught us how to be humble and how to have fun. She tried to teach me how to cook — but that was one lesson I never learned.

At my wedding this past summer my mother’s dress matched the colour of my bridal party — green. She looked beautiful and cool as the hot August sun drenched all the guests. My mum could have worn different coloured socks and two different shoes and it wouldn’t have mattered to me. As long as she was there. So when everyone was looking at me while I married my husband I knew I had been well prepared for the moment and my future. Thank you mum.