Friday, May 8, 2015

STELLA, my mother

I want to celebrate Stella Violet Kinnear, my darling mum, on Mother's Day. She is now with the Lord but still remains in my heart.

Did I receive my writing abilities from her? No. Stella was one of those active on-the-go wives and mothers who didn't have all that much time for reading. But she soon realized I loved reading and encouraged me.

Her mother, Beatrice, was a real dreamer and always to be found with her nose in a book. Oh, yes many a time wisps of smoke came from the kitchen where a nice dinner was sacrificed to the arts. Thinking back, I wonder why my mum didn't resent that and make sure her daughter would follow a more practical turn of mind.

Stella was also an artist (from her father, Harrie Mackie Kinnear, a Scot.) It came to the fore when, during the Second World War with Dad in the RAAF, money was scarce. She hand made jewelry from bread! Beautiful little flowers coloured and baked in the oven. She also designed patterns for Patons Knitting Company and I was the recipient of lovely little jumpers, cardigans and hats. All this was enough to make a deposit on a small house.

By that time she'd become a savvy business woman and some years later she sent me to art school and began a ceramics studio in our backyard named Gymea Pottery. Dad cast various shapes of clay, and we two women decorated it with Aboriginal Art and Australian flowers and fauna. Then it would be fired to the bisque state, glazed and fired again to 1,000 degrees Centigrade. It was a real hit with American business folk who were involved in the Kurnell Oil Refineries at the time. Many would come to buy and ask about the stories behind each piece. I loved telling those stories!

But similar to the book business today, the markets became flooded. How could we compete with cheap pottery from China? Never mind that it wasn't authentic Australian Art.  We closed up and gave the big kilns to Gymea Technical College. (They had the expense of hiring a crane and removing one of the walls.)

Full book cover
My darling mother was never able to read even one of my books, because she'd gone before they were published. Oh, that still hurts me, because in her later years, she too had taken up reading. But there's a lot of my life with her and Nan among the Aboriginal folk in my first book, Fire in the Rock. All changed of course in its fictional sense. And now my new book, The Tie That Binds, is a stand-alone, but it follows on from Signed Sealed Delivered.  I became aware that the heroine's longing to find her mother is a part of my longing for my mum who has gone to be with her Lord.

My book's theme is: Everything can change in a heartbeat.  This statement has now become my brand and logo represented by the little open heart of  Rita Stella Press  soon to go online.

That is such a truism in all our lives. We are all just one heartbeat away from changed circumstances whatever they happen to be - wonderful or tragic. Is there any one of you who have been estranged from your mother? Please dear ones, change that situation before you'll have to live with regrets for the rest of your life. Forgiveness comes from God.

1 comment:

Mary Hawkins said...

A really beautiful story, Rita. I do understand your feelings this year about Mother's Day. My dear Mum went home with Jesus seven years ago. Her birthday was May 26th, so each Mother's Day I still miss trying to work out what gifts to buy. So sorry your dear mother never had a chance to read your books. I'm sure she was still very proud of her beautiful, very talented daughter who for so many years has shared her love for Jesus through your wonderful, art