The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

79 Years & 4 Days Ago, An Amazing Thing Happened …
October 30, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So this weekend is a big weekend.

Not for me – well, not directly – but for my Mum.

You see on Saturday, 3rd November, she turns an amazing 80 years of age.

Now Mum being Mum, she doesn’t want a fuss but 80 isn’t something you can just ignore, which is why we’re flying over to see her and then in Feb, we’re going to take her near the North Pole so she can see the Northern Lights.

No, I’m not doing it because I’m a bastard, I’m doing it because she wants to see the Northern Lights.

Yes, I know you can see them from Scotland, but this is something she’s always wanted to witness so I’m not going to leave anything to chance.

Obviously what this all means is that they’ll be no more blog posts from me for over a week.

Yes, it’s my Mum’s birthday but you’re getting the presents but the cost of that is that you have to hear me sign off with a post of great sentimentality.

I love my Mum.

I know you know that, but I don’t care.

Apart from being a warm, kind, generous, intelligent, supportive, compassionate, wonderful woman … she is also just ace.

You see unlike other people who are of that age, my Mum doesn’t want to consign herself to irrelevance.

That doesn’t mean she dresses like a hipster and calls herself a ‘Parental Ninja’, it simply means she wants to be part of this generation as much as she was part of every previous generation.

Whereas so many people – some half of her age – try and create a separation between their life and the life going on around them, my Mum embraces it.

Whether it’s exposing herself to popular culture in terms of movies, music, theatre or television through to embracing digital communication to do everything from Skyping, buying groceries and holidays [which let’s not forget, involves coming to see in whichever mental country I’ve decided to live in at the time] and keeping on top of World news … my Mum’s frame of reference is as relevant and informed as anybody’s and at 80, I think that is amazing and fantastic.

In all honesty, my Mum is an inspiration to me.

Not just because her life has been filled with troubles, struggles & challenges and yet has maintained her spirit of compassion, generosity, and open mindedness.

Not just because she has maintained her relevance, interest and involvement in a fast moving World.

But because she has manages to do all this without letting go of her beliefs and values.

She has always been fiercely protective of what she believes in.

Of course she expresses it in ways that are sweetness personified, but she has strong opinions on what should – and shouldn’t be done – of which ‘following your heart’ is most definitely one of them.

To be honest, I have benefited the most from this.

Whereas many parents would stand in the way of their children’s will, when they openly expressed their desire to buy a VHS player, go into music or move overseas … my Mum [and my Dad] were very supportive.

Sure, we had big discussions about it, they wanted to make sure I’d thought things through and was aware of the implications … but once they were satisfied my intentions were good, they backed me 100%.

This was never more apparent than when my Dad had a stroke 3 weeks before I was due to move to Australia.

To be honest, I didn’t want to go, but despite the hardship, stress and worry … they said I had to.

Did they really want me to leave?

No … not just because of the situation with my Dad’s health, but because I am their only son and they loved me very much.

However their view was that because this was something I’d been been planning to do for 9 months, if I didn’t go now, then I might never have the courage to take that step … so as much as they would miss me, they felt the experience – regardless of the outcome – would be invaluable for me.

And they were right, because everything I have in my life today can be tied back to that decision to encourage me to go.

That is the definition of love.

That’s true selflessness.

I’d love to think I’d be that strong for my children, but I really question whether I would … and when I take into account how she continued to protect me at a time where I should have been protecting her, I am utterly humbled by how amazing a person she is.

Would they have preferred me to have a career in law or medicine?

Probably – if only for the fact they understand what lawyers and doctors actually do – but their ambitions for me were always far more focused on leading a life of fulfillment than anything else.

And that’s the thing, they have always actively encouraged and supported me to lead a full and interesting life, not just a life of contentment.

They taught me – as my Mum still practices now – to explore and embrace possibilities and opportunities … to keep learning, listening and challenging … to embrace the weird, the wonderful and the unheard … to be loyal to the people and things that matter and ignore those that don’t … to stand up for what I believe in and most importantly, never settle for easy.

And while it can be argued I have not pushed those beliefs as far as my parents did – or wanted me too – the life I live now is testimony to the values and beliefs they instilled in me and encouraged me to maintain.

To be honest, the fact I have been able to do this – at least to some degree – is the present my Mum values the most.

All she has ever wanted for me is my happiness.

All she has ever asked for is the satisfaction of my ambitions and interests.

She is selfless to the extreme … and while that can be annoying when she takes an age to accept any help from me … it is another reason why she is so special and why so many of my friends hold her in the highest esteem.

There are so many things to thank my Mum for.

So many things to celebrate my Mum for.

But the best way I can sum it up is to say I love her with all my heart and I am proud, honored and happy she’s mine.

She is the best – not just as a Mum, but as a human being.

So Happy Birthday for Saturday my dear Mum, I can’t wait to see you.


46 Comments so far
Leave a comment

When you read about your mum, it is no surprise you can be such a sweet man Robert. May I be the first to wish you very many happy returns for the day Mrs Campbell.
You look younger and fitter than me.

Comment by George

This is a very lovely and loving post Robert.

If my children love me half as much as you love your Mom, I will consider myself very happy. If my skin is half as good as your Mom’s when I’m 80, I’ll consider myself very lucky.

From everyone in the Bryant household, happy, happy birthday Mrs Campbell. We hope you have a wonderful time with your occasionally wonderful son.


Comment by Mary Bryant

You also get a kiss Robert, for being so kind to your Mom.


Comment by Mary Bryant

Happy birthday Mrs C. Your tolerance knows no bounds.

Comment by John

Nice work Rob. Happy birthday for saturday Mrs C. If you’re happy having your son turn up for your special day, I can understand why you won’t mind heading to the bleak, cold and boring North Pole. Different places, same outcome. #happybdaymrsc (If this catches on, remember where you saw it first.)

Comment by DH

I like how George and Mary both refer to Rob as Robert. Is this because they’re both “proper” or because that’s what Mary told George he had to say?

Comment by DH

Don’t be cheeky David and protect yourself from the storm.

Comment by Mary Bryant

What my wife said.

Comment by George

I can see what you did there George. Nice comedy. Attempt.

Comment by DH

dont worry mary im safe and sound. actually im safe and bored, im in vancouver.

Comment by andy@cynic

Brilliant post for a brilliant person. Happy birthday Mrs Campbell.

@DH. Why are you hash tagging on a blog?

Comment by Pete

Stop making negative comments on Mrs C’s birthday post.

Comment by DH

Happy birthday Mrs Campbell. You look gorgeous.

Jemma xxx

Comment by Jemma King

Happy Birthday Mrs Campbell. To many more..

Comment by niko

happy birthday mrs c. take him for every penny hes got.

Comment by andy@cynic

you think buying a vhs video recorder was rebellious? fuck me campbell, what sort of man are you.

Comment by andy@cynic

ignore that, we already know mr eunuch.

and sorry for the swearing mrc c, it slipped out.

Comment by andy@cynic

Just for the record, it was back in 1989 and it was basically going to cost me half my monthly salary.

Yes, that’s right HALF my monthly salary … and that’s not because it was an amazing machine – it was second hand for gods sake – it’s because I was paid so badly.

Comment by Rob

you had enough money to buy kerrang magazine and sit in a cafe every fucking wednesday morning or whenever it came out though didnt you.

Comment by andy@cynic

sorry mrs c. my bad.

Comment by andy@cynic

if there was any doubt you were special mrs c, youve got mary, jemma and niko to come out of self imposed blog hibernation to send their best wishes. thats power. have an indulgent day and make sure campbell jnr pays for everything. no need to be shy, hes good for it and doesnt deserve a penny of it. even if he writes lovely stuff like this once in a while.

and campbell. you know you were born lucky when you had a mum like this. talk about life being unfair. but this is nice. no more than she deserves, but its nice. i like you today. a bit.

Comment by andy@cynic

Happy birthday Mrs Campbell.
You are beautiful inside and out.


Comment by Katerina

I know most of you haven’t met my Mum, but she has told me on more than one occasion she feels she knows you – so it will mean a lot to her to get these best wishes.

Thank you folks, though to be fair – she deserves it.

Comment by Rob

Many happy returns for Saturday Mrs Campbell.

Comment by Lee Hill

Happy birthday Mrs C. Enjoy the north pole. It still won’t be as cold as your sons heart when you ask for a salary review.

PS. What’s a VHS player? Is it pensioner tech?

Comment by Billy Whizz

Billy. I know you desperately want to deny it, but you’re pushing 35. You not only remember what VHS recorders are, but you were old enough to pop into your local Blockbuster [RIP].

Comment by Rob

Wonderful mother obviously not least because the evidence of this post indicates that the offspring is turning out pretty well (despite the queen thing)

Comment by Northern

What on earth are you doing up at this time?

Comment by Rob

‘Daddy it’s too dark’
‘Daddy its too light’
‘Daddy it’s too warm’

Daddy’s now wide awake and son happily fast asleep

Comment by Northern

Kids. They really screw you up. Just ask my Mum.

Comment by Rob

Wouldn’t change a thing (I’m not entirely sure mrs c would disagree )

Comment by Northern

All the best, Mrs C!

Comment by Leon Jacobs

I hope I do half as good as job with my boy as your mum did with you!

Happy Birthday Mrs Campbell.

Comment by Juanita

God Juanita, you need to set your sights higher.

But thank you, you lovely mad fool.

Comment by Rob

Happy birthday from Paris! You look way younger than your (otherwise lovely) son, madam.

Comment by Adrian

Many happy returns, Mrs C.

Comment by Chris

80 wonderful years, happy birthday from Arkansas, Mrs C!

Comment by Bryan Jones

Happy birthday Mrs Campbell. I hope you have a very memorable day on Saturday.

Comment by Bazza

I am overwhelmed by everybody’s warmth and kindness – thank you very very much for the good wishes, the compliments (do I deserve them?) and the fact that you have spared the time to say nice things to me. I will have a wonderful birthday with my beloved Robert and dearest Jill and I hope that the time will go slowly because I want to savour every minute of their visit. Love to you all
Fiorella xxx

Comment by Fiorella


Comment by northern

I was moved reading your very touching tribute to me for my 80th birthday and I shed a… tear or two for the beautiful way you expressed your thoughts. Thank you my son for being so thoughtful and affectionate. Tomorrow I will be able to say more to you in person.
For the moment lots of love to you and Jill.
Mum xxx

Comment by Fiorella

he brings me to tears as well mrs c.

youre a grade a lady. have a grade a birthday, you deserve it more than any bastard on here. even me. just.

Comment by andy@cynic

Aw, this post makes me want to give everyone a big hug, with an extra squeezy birthday one for Mrs Campbell – Happy Birthday!

Lovely words for an evidently lovely lady. I feel all warm and glowy now. I might need to go and kick a pigeon up the bum or something to restore balance and order to my day.

Anyway, Rob, have a lovely trip and, Mrs Campbell, I hope you have a brilliant 80th birthday.

Comment by curlydena

Very best birthday wishes to Mrs. Campbell. Hope you all enjoy your time together.

Comment by Naoko

“All she has ever wanted for me is my happiness”, The simplest & the most indisputable truth about Mother. Priceless!

*Janma Dina Shubakankashalu* Mrs Campbell
Have a Gorgeous & Heartwarming 80th Birthday

*Birthday wishes in Telugu, South Indian language,India

Comment by Jyothsna

[…] They told me to go live my life when they could have asked me to stay at home with them. […]

Pingback by Listen For The Quiet Ones … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Leave a Reply