Last week I did what so many proud mothers do. I sent a picture of my daughter to a friend of mine. She was wearing the tennis dress that the same friend bought her for Christmas and she was proudly posing for the picture enroute to day-care. Tuesdays are tennis day there and she loves it and the photo depicted her happiness. I sent it to my friend, as I knew she’d get a kick out of seeing my daughter in the dress she had purchased. I didn’t expect my friend’s response to be much more than ‘so cute’ or something similar but what she wrote back floored me. I didn’t see it coming and I don’t think I’ll forget it anytime soon.
You see my friend is someone who has been around for years. She knows my story, my history and she’s been there in the good times and the bad.
She’s seen me at my most vulnerable. She was around all those years ago when it was a fight to survive, to take a step, to walk again. She’s sat by my bedside and cried with me as she held my hand and we both wondered how a catastrophic accident could change so much. Quite simply she’s seen it all.
Yet she’s seen other things too. She’s seen me marry a great man, have 3 beautiful children and overcome the adversity that has been thrown my way.
Her text in response to the picture was simple. It read: ‘OMG so so so cute!! Made my day! Honestly from under the garbage truck to this! You must pinch yourself every day. I’m a bit teary’.
I read it and I re-read it. I sat in my car and I thought about her words. You see I don’t pinch myself every day. I’m human and there are times when I want to sit down and cry and not in a good way, but because my kids are driving me crazy. Like many mums, some days all I want is to take a shower or close the toilet door and not have anyone disturb me. So in response to her comment, I don’t pinch myself every day but perhaps I should. I should be more grateful and I’ll try harder to remind myself of what she said.
As time went on I thought more about her words and how such a simple line caused me to reflect so much. You see, no matter how bad our situation, how hopeless we think things are, how depressed we may feel, things can, and often do, get better. I never imagined all those years ago that I would ever get married and have a family. Hell, my days were spent trying to make it to the door of my hospital room and back again without falling over. But I never gave up. At times it was lost but at the end of the day, I wanted so much more than my current situation dared me to dream of. I wanted my old life back and I was determined that my future would be as close to that as I could possibly make it. I think we should never lose sight of that feeling. Of the belief that things can and do get better. I can’t guarantee or tell everyone that their situation will improve but I can say that a positive attitude and deep belief in self will take you far. As my mother said to me all those years ago when I was wondering how I would see past the darkness that was enveloping me: ‘Things will get better Clare, I promise’. Indeed they have and my friend’s text response reminded me of just that.
Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly.
As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at law, published author, and nationally accredited mediator Clare has returned to work in a different capacity. Relocating to Noosa shortly after the birth of her first child, Clare found it difficult to make meaningful and real connections with other like-minded women away from her own network of friends. With this in mind, Clare’s idea was born. Dear Molly aims to provide connections for like-minded women in a real, meaningful and positive manner. It a platform to share, communicate and inspire other women about their ‘real’ life.