September 5th, 2020To the Woodend community, with love…
My Mama, Dada and I moved to Woodend last year. We’d had a really challenging few years in Melbourne and my Mama and Dada decided to act on their dream and move to Woodend. We came up here and fell in love with this very special town straight away. I think it is actually a magical, fairytale place.
My Dada has some health stuff, which I won’t bore you with. But it meant I never went to childcare and only started four-year-old kindergarten this year. Then this pesky virus appeared and Dada’s hospital said that we actually couldn’t go anywhere, which is how it’s been for us since March. I couldn’t go to kinder anymore! That made me really sad because kinder in the Macedon Ranges was the best thing ever, especially all the wonderful friends I was making.
Mama and Dada had only just started making friends too. But each of those people, though we didn’t know them so well, reached out to us anyway at this strange time, doing everything they could to help. One of those people was Mel. Mel’s boss is God. My family isn’t religious, but Mel said she didn’t mind at all, we are now Woodenders and that’s all that matters.
Mel did lots for us, bringing food with a sunshine smile on the side. One day she asked Mama if there was anything else she could do. Mama explained I would soon be five, maybe Mel could help bring some happiness to my birthday in isolation?
So Mel reached out to Woodend. And Woodend reached out to me for my birthday in the most amazing way! So many people I have never even met donated the most beautiful, awesome gifts. Mel and her Ray (of Sunshine) brought them to our front verandah and we couldn’t speak. Mama cried and Dada smiled and shook his head. I have so much to play with now, to read, create, enjoy – I could stay home with my Mama and Dada a whole year and still be playing with my presents.
Even though I couldn’t go anywhere, I had the best birthday ever. And it is all because of you.
You have given me the best story about kindness my family could ever tell and will share always.
Mama says that if you leap, the net will appear. You have all made this true. She also says it takes a village to raise a child, and to keep a loving family just that.
Thank you so much, Woodend. We are so lovingly proud to be a member of your community. Please know that your kindness has made such a huge difference to this little family’s life, and outlook.
And when you see a little person with his Mama and Dada on the Five Mile Creek track with huge happiness in his eyes and smile, please know that’s me, and that joy comes from you. You put it there, in the three of us. We hope that sharing with you the story of kindness you wrote for us gives some of that joy back to you too.
Love always, Aubrey (and his Mama and Dada) x
- Mel is Reverend Melissa Clark from the Woodend Anglican Parish
**Aubrey’s parents are Caitlin and Michael – both of whom had wanted to move to Woodend before they even met, and are now living their dream together (albeit locked down for now). The family is so appreciative of the Woodend community for not only making young Aubrey’s birthday so special, but for its ongoing support as they remain in isolation due to health issues. They really wanted the chance to share this beautifully positive story “written” for them by the people of Woodend.