Celebrating Motherhood: Irene reflects on her journey this Mother’s Day

  • 4 mins

In this special Mother’s Day article, we speak with HenderCare Home Care Package (HCP) client Irene and her son, Ashley, to explore the heartfelt memories they share on this special day.

As they reflect on their personal stories and the evolving dynamics of their relationship, Irene and Ashley offer a glimpse into the deep bond that Mother’s Day helps to strengthen each year.

Irene, tell us a little about yourself.

Irene: I am 82 years of age, and I got married soon after the age of 26.

My husband died very, very suddenly – Ashley had just turned 21. It was a very big shock to me, but as you know, one gets over these things… and Ash and I just got on with the business of living.

  • I love to travel, going on cruises, shows and exhibitions.
  • I’m very, very fond of ancient history and read what I possibly can on it.
  • I am also very fond of live theatre; we recently saw the production of Cats, which was absolutely wonderful!

I’ve had a lovely life. I think if every elderly lady had a life like mine, they would be very, very happy indeed.

What was Ashley like growing up?

 Irene: Ash was a lovely lad growing up. He went to school, took on a few jobs, and now he’s a master plumber. He played footy all his life, and now he coaches the young ones; we’re both very community-minded folks. 

We went on lots of trips with the family with his uncle John, holidaying in tents, up on the coast where it was warm.  He has had a very lovely childhood and upbringing. 

Ashley: Mum and Dad also brought up my cousins because my uncle and aunt were busy travelling; they were missionaries.

So, even though I was brought up as an only child, and mum only had me, there’s actually five of us.

There’s a photo of Mum (below) with her nephews and nieces. She treated them like they were her own, and they treated her the same as their mother.  

Is being involved and helping out something you have always been passionate about?

Ashley: Mum’s always helped round the community, like in the councils, schools, committees, the church… She’s always been on the front foot to help other people, and that’s what she’s instilled in me: how to be a better person, to be there for others, to listen, learn and that just talking to someone may change their day. She has made us better people.  

Irene: If I can do a good hand for somebody, I will go do it for them. 

What do you remember about your Mum growing up?

Ashley: I remember great childhood memories of travel and that family connection.

Mum and Dad were just amazing. She’s reflected things [values] that I instil in my children. When my wife and I were flat out with work, she would help with the kids – and spend a week with us. She’s really made me a better person. 

How has your relationship developed over time?

Irene: Well, it’s strange, you know. I have a doctor who has been treating myself and Ashley for over 28 years, and he said:

“You know, Irene, Ash becomes you. You are the child again, and Ashley is the adult guiding you.”

I thought that was very, very good because that’s how Ash is to me. If I’ve got a problem, I ring him, and we work it out together.  

Ashley: I’d do anything for her, you know; if I’ve got to take her dress shopping, I’ll take her dress shopping, you know what I mean? I do like helping Mum with her things, but sometimes, she is frustrating. It’s like the naughty teenager, and the roles are reversed. I’m like the parent, and she’s the child.   

What have you realised about motherhood, and what kind of advice would you share with other parents? 

Irene: Just use your own intuition. All babies and mothers are different, but you do what you think is right for your child and is right for yourself. Teach them right from wrong – teach them empathy and you love that child unconditionally no matter what they do. 

How would you encourage others to celebrate Mother’s Day?

Irene: Enjoy your Mother’s Day with your family; remember that just being there and having a cup of coffee, or a cup of tea or something and being there to talk over things with Mum is just as good as a great big bunch of flowers or whatever. 

We would like to thank Irene and Ashley for sharing their stories with us.

Skip to content