Being a mother to four and grandmother to seven has brought Barbara Schmidt immeasurable joy. She knows every moment with her children and grandchildren is precious.
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For Barbara Schmidt being a mum and grandma has been a huge blessing full of times to treasure.
While she did reception work and was a nurse for 17 years, motherhood has been her most cherished role.
Marriage to a pastor – Kevin Schmidt – in 1958 meant multiple moves around Australia for Barbara (nee Liebich). Their four children were born during service in three different parishes between 1959 and 1971.
As adults, Barbara and Kevin’s children Julie, Phil, David and Tim have also been scattered in different states, following their own vocations and families.
Despite these separations, Barbara has placed a high priority on being with her children and grandchildren.
‘We just feel very blessed at having had that opportunity to spend time with them’, she says of school pickups, sleepovers, bicycle rides and babysitting with seven grandchildren now aged between 29 and six. ‘Just having that love and that connection with each one is precious.’
The most challenging time as a mother for Barbara was when her children were sick. Each of the four had serious or life-threatening conditions.
As young children Philip and Julie contracted acute nephritis, while David had a suspected bowel blockage which was to have required surgery. However, during an X-ray, the situation changed. ‘He said, “Mummy, it’s stopped, the pain’s gone”’, Barbara says. ‘The doctors thought David was in serious danger … It was a miracle.’
Then when Tim was 16, he suffered an aneurysm and brain haemorrhage. He was in a coma for two days. Despite this, Barbara says she had an ‘inner peace’ her son would recover.
‘I knew he wasn’t going to die’, she says. ‘I knew he was going to have a long, hard road back, but it was just an amazing peace I felt.’ After a lengthy rehabilitation, Tim was able to complete his schooling and go on to tertiary study.
For Barbara, such trials reinforced her family focus and her faith. ‘I just believed God was there in each situation’, she says. ‘One of the most important things to have as a mother is that faith and trust in God.’
What advice would she give to first-time mums? ‘To treasure that time with them. They’re little lives that have been given to us to love and train and care for.’
Barbara and Kevin Schmidt are members at Our Saviour Lutheran Church Aberfoyle Park, in suburban Adelaide.
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