Tag Archives: Mother


Through a reblog by my friend Robert Okaji, I read this moving piece from prairiepomes


The joy of the Lord is my strength. – Nehemiah 8:10

So there’s Nehemiah, ringside at the Ultimate Fighting Championships. Or is that him at the Rumble in the Jungle, as the ‘Ali, Bomaye!’ chant starts up? Is that him swaggering behind Bruce Lee? What is the appearance of this strength? What is the joy of the Lord?

I didn’t see my Mom as a joyful person. She was definitely not the one to be happy-clappy, singing out the ‘joy of the Lord,’ that is for sure. She was often grim and weary, actually, burdened by many responsibilities, beset by challenges, bowed down by grief and betrayal; her strength lay in her firm resolve.

There was a day when I accompanied her to our new home, 19.8 acres, fenced, with a yard site and barns. It would become the family home base. On that day, though, it was not yet…

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Mother’s Creations – Poem

Handmade by Freda Kauc – acrylic and wool bag. (sold).


JK.Leahy  – Poem, Memoir

A wrinkled dusky pink sheet cradles a flowered meri blouse, a laplap and a bible – a word or two in the bible is for me, she echoes…

Room scented with sea, woods, coconut oil, eucalyptus and basil

A lotto ticket to set me up for life (her farewell and a surprise gift)

“If I won,” she always said, “I would let you decide what to do with the money”

We had laughed and discussed the possibilities

On the bed, an italic old-style farewell, handwritten in a very neat prose, mixing pidgin and dialect –

“Pawi – my child, I will miss being here…”

My mother was in a plane and gone

Twelve months threaded colourful bilums, gardens, and stories,

bringing me back to the first ten years of my life.

An assortment of brown hue – sculptured gum branches stacked for winter’s fires

Through the window, her many familiar artwork marked my surroundings, reminding me of her even bossy ways

-purple and green kaukau leaves sitting neatly on mounds

“You have sweet potatoes for winter”, her voice reminds me.

The large elephant leaves of pumpkin spreads and sprout golden flowers – a promise for more food.

But, I miss her telling me her stories.

Freda Kauc mobile phone bags.

See below some of my mother’s creations. All her bilums featured here were sold before she left Brisbane for Papua New Guinea. If anyone is interested to purchase my mother’s bags – please write to: joycelinleahy@gmail.com

Freda Kauc bilum – handbag.
Freda Kauc handbag and mobile phone bag.


Happy Mother’s Day to Mothers of the World

I wish you all mothers of the world a wonderful day and Happy Mother’s Day! In Australia we celebrated that special day today. I was especially lucky to have my mother Freda with us in Brisbane. And she and I also would like to remember an amazing woman and mother,  my grandmother who gave us both life. I hope to post a story this week about one of  Freda’s adventures, but for today, I want to share one of my own proud and special moments as a mother with my sons, Chris (left) and Nathan. It was the day, a long time ago when we all dressed up to celebrate the independence of Papua New Guinea and we wore our Morobean dress. We also danced on that day.

JL, Nat and Chris

Life Has Left Me

Life Has Left Me  © JKLeahy 2015

In The Fog
Paddling In The Fog by Tim Curtis


A proud, strong and phenomenal woman

The time awaits me for what I am to become

Across the dark lake the fog has hung

To shield my journey I obeyed to take

Like many a journeys I have taken

I push the boat into the lake

Paddle cuts thick in life’s oblique

Each stride reaching for the end

I break the fog as it consumes me

Heart not willing to let go, I know I must

Upon reaching the other side, body shivers in cold

Darkness encloses, waters still

Life pushes back against the will

The shadow arrives and becomes me

My life has come to decease for now

In a fleeting glance I see my daughters and son

The grand children and friends

My heart swells in love and happiness

What a legacy I have constructed

Living on, the beauty of life and its greatness

Unto him I will see – the final release lifts me

I drift to the heavens, where my final resting place


Written in loving memory of Mum Kathy by Joycelin K Leahy. (copyright)

Sunday March 29th 2015.

For a woman who was beautiful in and out. My friend Belinda’s mother Kathy Moeder who died peacefully after illness. We buried her today in Brisbane after a wonderful funeral where there was sadness and pain, but many stories of Kathy’s life with happiness, humour and celebration. Kathy Moeder believed in love, family, rights and safety of others. She was a Peace and Women’s advocate and a dedicated Christian. She was truly loved.


A Filipina mother’s story of birth and survival in a cave during Typhoon Haiyan


Author: Thin Lei Win

MARABUT, Philippines, Nov 6 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Elizabeth Caramol was nine months pregnant with her ninth child last November when Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm on record to hit land, swept away her family’s rickety home on a coconut farm in the Philippines.

Haiyan damaged practically everything in its path as it hit land on Nov. 8, packing winds of up to 315 km an hour (195 miles an hour) and unleashing seven-metre (23-foot) storm surges. It killed, or left missing, some 7,000 people and forced up to 4 million from their homes in the central Philippines.

Caramol and her family took refuge in one of the many caves along the beautiful, winding coastline in Marabut municipality in Samar province. She feared for her life but safely sheltered, delivered a healthy boy and named him Cavein – pronounced “Kevin”.

A year later, Caramol, now 36, spoke to Thomson Reuters Foundation from her home, a newly rebuilt wooden house on stilts, about how her family is slow rebuilding their lives.

“A day before the storm, we evacuated to a cave about 200 metres from our home. It was a big cave with two levels. About 60 families took refuge there, but we stayed there until Dec. 4. We were the last to leave because we didn’t have anywhere else to stay.

“We went to the cave because we were told a strong storm was coming and there could be sea level rise from the water. Here, the water was halfway up the coconut trees and even came inside the cave.

“Many people moved up to the second floor when the water started coming in, but I had to stay on the first floor. I was due to give birth on Nov. 8, and I was starting to experience labour pains. They hurt so much I could not move.

“I thought I was going to die. I told Napoleon, my husband, to take all the kids to the second floor and leave me there. The water rose to around one foot and then it went down the next day.

“I didn’t want the baby to come out because the conditions in the cave were not good. We brought rice, water, salt and matches, but we ran out of water and matches pretty quickly. There was no other means to get water. We just had a container to collect water that dropped from the trees. There were no toilets either.

“I had labour pains for five days. When I finally gave birth on Nov. 12, I was so excited but I also had fear in my heart because of the hygiene conditions and the infections that could set in.

“Our home was washed away so we had nothing for the baby, not even clothes. We cut some blankets into pieces of cloth to wrap the baby. We named him Cavein Cuevas Caramol, because he was born in a cave.

“For five days, we ate nothing but rice and salt. I just breastfed the baby, like how I raised my other kids. I was worried that he is not going to be healthy but he is.

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation – Thu, 6 Nov 2014 07:49 GMT