I have pursued many career paths over the years, including running my own business, a teacher, working as a graphic artist and marketer, am a qualified interior designer and my latest role is that of editor for two local publications.
My greatest challenge and love has been raising my five children.
I have a wealth of experience in public speaking, writing, dramatic performance and direction, event management, project management and community work. I am a trained speaker, and I have hosted many fundraising events and headed committees over the years. All these experiences have led me to this role as a Civil Celebrant. I have a love for people and service which combine beautifully with my desire to ‘spread the joy’, serving the community by ‘Celebrating Life’ in all its aspects.
The following is a piece that my daughter wrote and published about me when she was a journalist and producer with the ABC.
I share this story with anyone who cares to read it as it gives you an idea of the spirit of the women who could potentially ‘marry you’
by Miranda Grant
When I got my first period, my mum told everyone. She told the other mothers at the bus stop. She rang my grandmas. She told my brothers. I was mortified.
The only person I actually asked her to tell was my dad.
I was eager for Dad to know in case there was some sort of bleeding emergency while staying at his place on the weekends. As the only girl of four brothers and two step brothers, I’m sure you can understand how vulnerable I felt, suddenly and irrevocably rendered ‘not one of the boys’.
This fate of birth also means that my mum has played a very precious role in my life.
I read somewhere that children sometimes sympathise with the more destructive or abusive parent. The parent who has always been there, who has always loved them, is not necessarily the one the child adores. My mum, I feel, has missed out on some of my affection, perhaps simply because she’s been so unwavering.
I don’t want to over-dramatise my Dad’s behaviour because, truth be told, he has always been there for me and my brothers. He is a philosophically eccentric, boisterously loveable, reliably resourceful man and I love him to death.
But leaving my mum with five children under 10 was a decisively violent act.
At first, mum lost too much weight. When dad picked us up on Thursday afternoons, she would kiss us each three times on the forehead, terribly anxious Dad would take us swimming in storm water, canoeing in open sea waters and feed us take away pizza – all things we did indeed do.
On Sunday mornings, Dad would return us to her, exhausted and dirty, along with piles of laundry. Mum would spend the day washing, helping us with homework and cooking macaroni cheese, preparing us for the week of school ahead.
Mum remarried not long after I got my first period. I remember watching her do her makeup half an hour before the ceremony in our front garden was to begin. She’d spent the morning dressing us and cooking, getting the special event ready.
When she walked out onto the lawn, on the arm of my oldest brother, she was radiant. She had been through so much, and here she was, a blossoming bride.
With the benefit of hindsight, it would seem that weddings have always suited her.
I’ve seen my mum juggle small businesses, rock as P&C president, lobby against the deregulation of the milk industry, grow professionally in the marketing department of various tile companies, extend herself through Toastmasters and experiment with fashion while still continuing to do our laundry on Sundays.
In 2010 Mum became a registered marriage celebrant. I reckon the job was made for her. As you know, she’s always loved celebrating key milestones in life. “Love, joy and sharing” is her business by-line. It may as well be the mantra for how she has run our family.
People say Mum and I are identical twins. While we do look similar and we’re both comfortable speaking in public, that’s pretty much where the comparison ends. Where I am fire, mum is honey. She has taught me to be more patient with my moralising, more open with my introversion, more vulnerable in my anger and more trusting in my spirituality.
Now that I am married and edging towards motherhood myself, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have my mother Mary as my mum.
Update, Miranda is now a mother of 3 boys, Gulliver Hondo, Rafferty Oisin and Danaha Kingsley (we love interesting names and each of her name choices tell a story). She is currently The Head of Multimedia for The UN Environment based in Nairobi.