Parents are the people who most develop a person in her formative years – and their influence extends throughout a lifetime. Lessons learnt during those formative years – love, commitment, honesty, self confidence, respect and justice are ingrained and learnt almost by osmosis. Dorothy and Ron also included self-belief, irreverence and a quirky sense of humour. Unconditional love from doting maternal grandparents also came with doses of great expectations of future excellence. Six years younger, an unwell sister, developed in her – tolerance, patience and streak of selfishness.
How can we ever evaluate the role of education in the things that shaped us? Miss Ray, at prep school, who encouraged a love of learning and inquisitiveness; Mr Leckie, school librarian, who encouraged a shy girl to escape into books and challenge her world view. I see a couple of other teachers here too, with special interest subjects English, art, history and geography – strange, I note, maths and science are not represented.
The workplace, where she learned to adapt and change like a chameleon to suit the requirements of many personalitities and differing environments. I see some work colleagues here and thank you for attending. You all aided in her personal development and skills as a competent and effective employee and ultimately, employer.
Her husband John will acclaim that the wonderful person she is, is all his doing. But, we’ll not go into this.
Children make you change your ideas and challenge some long held beliefs. The two boys certainly shaped Noelle. Motherhood offers a range of areas where re-thinking and personality shaping is a necessity. Along with this are the parenting skills developed, commitment to ‘other’, and being ‘someone who shaped me’ re-played. Along with social and institutional change, expectations must be reassessed. Other parents also offer support, information and guidance, re-shaping the original ‘me’.
We must also acknowledge the influence in our lives of our heroes. Artists, authors, musicians et al, who all in their way have a positive role in the development of the individual psyche. And our friends and mentors, what incredible influence they have on our personality, trust, health and communication. Each of you have formed a special bond, developed specific interests, extended expertise, and challenged her to excel but also to be compassionate, caring and responsible. All so special.
And so, here she is …
Thank you all so much—I cannot believe you are all here, all so much a part of me, it is overwhelming. Sorry, I am tearing up, forgive me
All my life I have tried to please – to be the person you have wanted me to be, and thus, I have often felt fragmented. Daughter, child, student, wife, mother, friend, work mate, confidant, companion the list goes on. I have often considered the old television show, when the compere says Will the real Noelle McCracken please stand up? that either 20 people will stand up or no one.
But here I am.