Francesca de Valence

Learning Skills Later In Life

Posted by Francesca de Valence on Friday, May 15, 2020



Last week, I shared a story on my personal Facebook page around a birthday present I had recently received. It was liked and commented on by hundreds of people. Many people not only shared the post, but retold the story in their own world, like a tale that gets passed on from one person to another.


I wanted to share it with you to connect and offer an opportunity to inspire and empower you in some way. I’ll let you decide for yourself if it does that. But I would love to share.

8 weeks ago, I was in Melbourne. It was just before the borders shut down. Before I flew home, I was handed a shopping bag by my grandmother. Inside was a blue and white crocheted blanket. The instruction was to give this to my mother. It was a gift for her. My grandmother had spent weeks, maybe longer, making a blanket for her daughter.

I delivered it to my mum a week later and sat with the rug on my lap, sharing with her how incredible I felt that this gift was. I ran my fingers over it, feeling it, imaging her mum doing the same. Her mum had woven this with love for her daughter. Did she realise how special it was?

My mum offered it up to me without hesitation. There was no way that I could take it. It was precious and just for her. But we joked about leaving it in her will for me.

Last week, it was my birthday. Now, you might be amused to know that I’ve got a ‘thing’ with presents. I generally don’t like them. Birthday, Christmas, any presents. To me, in my own unique way, it feels like a burden to receive some tangible ‘thing’ in my world that I don’t want and have to keep to please the other person. As a kid I had even asked my mum to return gifts, much to her chagrin. So it is with some trepidation that I open presents.

In saying that, I love to spend quality time with people and also love food as a gift (maybe cause it doesn’t last forever) so I was delighted to be invited to mum’s for my birthday lunch last weekend. I knew it would be awesome. Mum is a fantastic cook.

But there were also presents. And there was a big brown paper wrapped present for me on the table. I was already nervous. What if I didn’t like it? I don’t want to offend her.

I sat on her couch and opened the big brown paper wrapped present. Inside was a blue and white crocheted blanket.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see the one my grandmother made for mum on her white couch. So this, this was another blanket.
At that moment, I realised that my mother had made this blanket for me.

Not only that, she had never crocheted in her life before. She had been taking lessons from a friend over the past 6 weeks and had spent every bit of her time in between working on the frontline to make this for me.

In the moment that I realised that my mum had made this for me, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love that I’ve never experienced before from my mum, possibly anyone. I sobbed. I felt truly special and loved.

My mother spent 6 weeks making this for me. She cared so much to make sure that it was made by her and not just bought for me. She stretched herself to show her love for me. This gift touched my heart so much.

For me, this is the kind of gift that I love. Something someone created just for me.

Right now, we are all economically affected in some way. Work is less, unstable, non-existent. We are all spending money in different ways. But birthdays and anniversaries are still coming and going as usual.

Take a moment and think about someone you love who has a birthday coming up. Wouldn’t they love to receive and experience something that you created just for them? A meal, a blue and white blanket, a poem, a song?

And if you think that you can’t do something like that on your own, then what if you got someone to support you along the way?

Mum created my blue and white blanket with some guidance from a friend - who was her teacher in this instance. She was encouraged and kept on track to keep going and if things went wrong, she had someone to ask questions to.

What a beautiful time right now to connect with a friend in your community and lean on them to learn new things.

Now, I definitely can’t help you with making blankets, but I can help you with writing songs.

I invite you to join me if you would love to learn how to write songs or you want to get back into it. I would be honoured to guide you in whatever capacity I can.

Check out how I can help you.

All the love,
Francesca

xo

P.S. For those following my entrepreneurial journey, you might be interested to read this really cool feature from the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. Pretty fancy stuff!

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