With your HSC behind you at the end of 2000, you embarked on University. Science and Psychology were the paths you chose, and we often joked about the need for this family to have its own “in house” Psych.
You and I, had a rocky path to honesty but there was never a time when I even considered the journey was not worth it.
Maybe, a more enlightened High School would have preached tolerance rather than religion and your path would have easier. The world is full of maybes and this is just one of them, the important thing is, we both came out the other end.
You took to University life with a hunger and thirst for experiences, your old and new friends became a jumble, as old primary school mates became university colleagues and again part of your social spectrum.
It occurs to me as I write this, that you were the only one of the kids to be totally educated in Sydney; you had one Primary school and one High School.
Your roots were deeper than anyone else’s and I think this resulted in the depth of friendships you have been able to create.
I often wonder at your acceptance and tolerance of different nationalities, sexual orientation and religions as you went through your Uni years and beyond.
There is no fiercer advocate for tolerance than you, I guess it is easier to accept difference in your friends than it is your father. Maybe on this, we are more alike than either of us would like to admit.
You were becoming a proud, independent woman, this at times caused all the normal frictions between parents and child but our battles never lasted very long, and the joy of your presence is something I always look forward to.
2003 was a big year for you. You saw your eldest Sister get married in February and we had the fun and hilarity of your 21st in the latter half of the year.
Friends of mine who mingled at these events, often remarked how alike you and I were, I always took it as a compliment but can understand if you were not so enamored of the comparison LOL.
The two things I remember most about your 21st are the huge bin of fruit salad, Billy made for the night and, Mark’s speech.
Your birthday marked the first-time Billy and I would be seen as a couple at broader family events. We had been together since April and slowly he had become part of the family inner dynamic. After this event, he would be forever known as the fruit salad king. He has never managed to get quantities right, but he certainly made sure all and sundry did not go short of fruit for the next week.
Mark and you had a special bond, his laboriously crafted and executed speech, was perhaps wasted on many of your guests. Certainly though, from my point of view it reflected the special things you had brought to his and our lives.
His career as a Barrister has gone from strength to strength, sometimes I reflect, whether your party was the start of his brilliant career LOL.
You and Mark have gone your separate ways, which is probably for the best, but your bonds from this time have never been broken.
Your personal journey has taken you to many parts of the world. Our journey together, has been very special.