Jane Breen; explorer, dreamer, mother & best friend …
“The more a daughter knows the details of her mother’s life, the stronger the daughter.” – Anita Diamant
9 years ago we experienced a nightmare. The world shifted and imploded all around us. The devastating effects rippled on throughout the years but from such torment, a new way of life and connection began to grow.
This is the story of my mum. Jane Breen to most, Momma Breen to many and best friend to me.
I have always been close to my mum. I remember when I was 17 and 18, I would always tell her where I was going out, who I was with and what I was doing. I never wanted her to worry and I wanted her to trust me. What I didn’t realise was this was somewhat odd and for many of my other girlfriends, they didn’t do the same with their mums. My mum became our sounding board for all those teenage girl dramas and life struggles. It was just the normal.
Fast forward 10 years and our bond is stronger than it has ever been. From that devastation in 2008 when Aidon took his life, my mum and I grew. We grew individually and along the way became closer than many.
Sometimes I forget that she had a story before all that happened and it has only been the last few years where I have actively been asking her to share those stories of her life in detail; growing up, traveling the world, becoming a mother etc.
Those experiences have shaped her into the woman she is today and that woman is my pillar of strength. Her wisdom and unwavering support have seen me through my darkest times; so it is only fair I sit and delve into why she is the way she is because among those stories are some incredible life lessons.
My momma is known to adopt many other ‘kids’ as she terms it. She has imersed herself into my world and is drawn and connected to so many of the people I have chosen to share this journey with. They look at her as another support and so many times I am told how much they appreciate her in their lives.
I wanted to share with you a bit about my mum. Not just the amazing woman who you see me post about on Facebook every few days, but the dreamer, the dancer, the performer and the mother.
I am the way I am today because I know everything about my mum and she knows everything about me. There are no secrets, just stories.
(LB) Hello mother, thank you for doing this haha
Question 1: What’s you’re favourite memory of us (any age)
(JB) Favourite memory of you was when you first learnt to walk. You used to troodle up the back of the garden with your dog, Cleo, to go and have a poo. One hand on the tree and one hand on Leo’s neck while you pushed… I’m sure I can find a photo
(LB) She is lucky I let this one in. I think she is trying to embarrass me, I don’t remember this happening haha *thank god there is no photo.
Question 2: What is your favourite childhood memory?
(JB) To be honest my own favourite child hood memory is a hard one. I actually don’t have many memories, good or bad until I was 8 yrs old. I think though the one constant in my life was my nan as she was always there for us.
(LB) Tell me about her;
(JB) My nan came to live with us when we moved into elms lane. My mum and dad divorced when I was 8 yrs old, hence prob why I have no younger memories. I just blocked out everything. Mum had to work full time to provide for us 4 kids, I think dad helped out but not in any great way as he wasn’t financial either. Nan became, especially for David and I, our primary care giver. She was at home in the mornings and always home when we got home from school. She cooked our tea every night. Here is where I get my love of liver. Nan used to make it with bacon, onions and greens and thick gravy.
(LB) ewww that stuff grosses me out.
Question 3: What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
(JB) Advice to my younger self would be don’t let anyone manipulate you.
Question 4: You danced all over the world, tell us one story you absolutely love from that time
(JB) I worked with many girls in different groups over a period of 6/7 yrs. The bond you formed with them was huge. We all watched each other’s backs. To be honest more than once we found ourselves in ‘sticky situations’ however we as a group were rock solid. My favourite memories are prob not for publication, but I have had so many happy thoughts looking through those old photos of my time in Japan and Dubai. I will say, falling in love with Baldo, Italian rigger in Dubai and then Jay, American fighter pilot in Seoul Korea was a highlight haha
(LB) Mother! haha you were quite the babe back in the day so it’s understandable they fell for you!
Question 5: What is one of the biggest lessons you learnt from that period of your life?
(JB) Biggest lesson I learnt back then was I was a quick learner and could get myself out of any unwanted situation. I also enjoyed the moments for what they were. Living in the moment. To be honest life was simpler back then. Looking back I realise how free we were in all aspects of life. There was very little judgement etc…
(JB) Nope never wanted to be a mother. Married your father and had no thought of babies, however as history shows you came along, best thing that ever happened to me
(LB) Fabulous answer
Question 7: What is the hardest part of motherhood?
(JB) The hardest part of motherhood is watching your child struggle with whatever life has thrown at them. When they are young and teething, breaking bones, first loves, emotional distress even as adults, seeing your child struggle is hard. You feel so hopeless that you can’t soothe your child’s hurt or distress. In my opinion it’s not until you have children of your own that you then become ‘selfless’
(LB) I feel like this is a little dig haha one day mother, one day. Maybe.
Question 8: The grief of losing a child is unimaginable: what words of wisdom would you give to other parents going through that nightmare?
(JB) I honestly don’t think there are any words of wisdom to pass on to a grieving parent. We all deal with such a loss so differently. However for me, since losing Aidon, I live by the mantra ‘one day at a time’ and including him in my daily thoughts, spoken words keeps him very close
Question 9: What is your favourite memory of Aidon?
(JB) There really is no 1 favourite memory of any of you three, there are many. This may sound weird but if I have to pick one it’s the memory of lying on the bed with Aidon, talking about his emotional distress. We shed tears together but the love that surrounded us was special because we were both so raw, honest and open with each other.
(JB) Wow, has my outlook on life changed since Aidon passed… YES, not straight away it took a certain someone, to lead me out of the darkness and finally breathe again. Again, it’s ‘one day at a time’ but there is hope now. Our spirituality has also been a huge factor in guiding me/us through hard times, not only after Aidons passing. I’m now finding some inner peace and for that I am thankful.
Question 11: What is one thing you want to do in the next 5 years?
(JB) In next five years I just want to be content, no ups or downs either emotionally or physically. I want to live with you, although that probably may stretch the relationship, so instead I would like to be able to visit you when possible and watch you and CNQR work and be apart of the journey you are on. With Kev and Margie and CNQR collective, behind the scenes I mean.
(JB) Lol, you and me have been perfecting our bond over many lifetimes. I’m positive in one of them you were my mother but today I think that we have learnt from each other, we are honest with each other, we do not judge each other, we are proud of each other and our love is unconditional. This was the easiest question to answer.
(LB) Amen to that. Thank you!