I remember as a little girl I loved getting presents, I mean who doesn’t?!  Even today if we are honest with ourselves, we love getting a beautifully wrapped gift to open.  Everyone opens presents different, some may just rip it open off excited to see what is under the colourful paper and bows, but some just methodically take the parcel apart trying not to rip the paper so that it can be used again.  As a child I think I was a definite paper ripper!  But as I got older, I did like taking my time, relishing what was in the parcel. 

As most of you who follow my blog would know on Friday the 6th, I celebrated my 60th birthday.  I still can’t quite get my head around that number because I’m not sure what 60 is supposed to feel like.  I personally feel like I just celebrated my 20th birthday for the 3rd time and I am just wiser, or at least I hope I am!

I have been with my Para Cycling teammates for the past 7 weeks as we prepare for Tokyo, and I was treated to a wonderful birthday with them. I also received hundreds (literally) of messages from around Australia and the world, flowers, phone calls and a beautiful card from my mother.  But I must say the best gift that I have ever received in my entire life was sent to me, not wrapped in brightly coloured paper and bows but electronically and publicly by my beautiful younger sister Cynthia.  It was a poem that she tells me was easy to write.  It is the most beautiful thing I have ever received, and it brought me to tears.  It also took me about 4 reads to realise how much of our life she has captured in one short poem.

It has been hard, the last year and a half, as the world knows.  Dealing with this pandemic has split families around the world and mine is no different.  Missing them hurts to the absolute core of my being and this one poem brought that all home to me.  But I am so grateful that through technology we can keep in touch.  I want to share my gift with all of you.  Thank you, Cynthia, for making my day and thank you for being the best little sister anyone could and for sending me the best gift ever!  I love you.



I look up to you and you take my hand,

Across to school we go as planned.

Safe and loved, I know you’re there,

Braver and stronger ‘cause I know we’re a pair.


So much to see, so much to do

Riding, jumpsies, gymnastics, swings, the neighbourhood crew.

The fort, the dishes, the cottage, ‘playing’ store,

Barbies, Cardiff pool, the parties (wow) and so much more.


A teacher, a guide, through challenges and strife,

Beautifully bossy, pure confidence in life.

A partner, a friend, in the silliness too.

Respecting our differences all the way through.


Life has unravelled in a mysterious way,

But knowing it’s right on course is how we play.

Zoom, facetime, calls, what time do we start?

Losing connection, no worries, always connected by heart.


Heaven and Hell, we’ve been through both gates,

We were born and bred to be soul mates.

The euphoria of possibility that might be brought,

Bound and cemented in positive thought.


60 years focused, you’re a force from within

I look up to you and I see your wise grin.

Safe and loved, I know you’re there.

Braver and stronger cause I know we’re a pair.


About the author : CarolC


  1. Lynnette Stacker 08/08/2021 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Just beautiful ❤

    • CarolC 09/08/2021 at 7:23 am - Reply

      Thanks Lyn!

  2. Cynthia Banks 08/08/2021 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    My turn to cry. xxoo

    • CarolC 09/08/2021 at 7:22 am - Reply

      Just getting you back!

  3. Vijay Malhotra 08/08/2021 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Excellent poem full of emotions. Wish you Happy Birthday Carol & great success in Tokyo Olympics.

    • CarolC 09/08/2021 at 7:22 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Vijay.

  4. Ross Webb 08/08/2021 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Yes, that is a wonderful birthday gift Carol. All the best for results in Tokyo

    • CarolC 09/08/2021 at 7:21 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Ross.

  5. Marjorie Jenkins 08/08/2021 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful poem & tribute to a much loved sister!

    • CarolC 09/08/2021 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Just like you and your sisters, we have learned from the best!

  6. Phyllis Banks 08/08/2021 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Oh, my goodness I am sitting here crying. To know my two daughters are so connected warms my soul.
    How can I be so lucky?

    • CarolC 09/08/2021 at 7:20 am - Reply

      We have learned our family values from the Monkman sisters! Your guidance has shown us what is important in life.

  7. Peg Hendry 09/08/2021 at 5:00 am - Reply

    Hi Carol: May I wish you a Very Belated Congratulations and Happy 60th Birthday? I remember you celebrated your 40th birthday in a hospital. But WOW! You certainly have risen above much since that time. Cindy’s
    birthday poem to you is such a beautiful statement of the memories you two have shared through the
    years and the deep feelings of sisterly love. Thank you so much for sharing your birthday poem. I wish you many more happy years, Carol, and more times together that may be shared with Cindy.
    Again, Keep Safe, Well, and Best Wishes in Tokyo.

    • CarolC 09/08/2021 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Peg.

  8. Mark Reed 11/08/2021 at 11:51 am - Reply

    I love the photo you have used as well, it shows a true affinity between you

    • CarolC 11/08/2021 at 2:04 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, it is one of my favourites!!

  9. Jennifer Bacon 11/08/2021 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    What a truly beautiful bond you both have. Wonderful.

    • CarolC 19/09/2021 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks Jennifer, we do have a very strong bond and one that can never be broken!

  10. Fred &colleen 14/08/2021 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    Belated birthday wishes for your 60th. Time goes fast when you are having fun.
    It’s hard to believe I’ve known you for fifty years. A lot has happened in our lives.
    We both wish you well in Japan, if I read the info right on website you will be racing at Fuji speedway, that will be a challenge unless they have changed it a lot since 2009. We will be watching nothing else to do in lockdown. Coll & fred

    • CarolC 19/09/2021 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Colleen and Fred!

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