A dedication.


I’ve dedicated so many posts to my kids.

I’ve dedicated so many posts to myself.

I’ve dedicated so many posts to our lives, as a family.

But I’ve never dedicated a post to my husband. A post only to him.

So this one’s for you, my Z. 

Today you made a tough decision to take an indefinite break from Professional Football. What that means, I don’t know. Have you quit? Maybe. Maybe the word retire was just too scary. Maybe you can’t say goodbye. Maybe we can’t say goodbye.

Not properly, anyway. Yet.

You’ve been a footballer since I met you, when we were 19. That’s all I’ve known you do. I’ve watched you decline so many invitations to party because you have a game the next day. I’ve watched you stretch your legs for hours, obsess over your sleeping and eating, twiddle your thumbs all off-season, because you were just busting to play again.

I travelled with you to New Zealand, where you had your first taste of the A-League. I watched you decline a new contract to try your luck in Holland and I saw you shine in your first year – like you always do when you get given a chance. I saw you overjoyed when you got offered a new contract and I felt your European football buzz. We felt it together.

I saw you go through your first real low as a footballer that second year. We felt it together.

When we came back to Australia, we got married and moved to the Gold Coast. We had a baby and you loved football again. You were so happy. We were so happy.

I saw you win Coaches Player of the Year at Gold Coast United. I saw you win Club Champion at Adelaide United. You deserved them both.

I saw you go through periods of instability, like every footballer does.

I saw you make your fans proud, and I saw you win your critics over. Sometimes critics just stayed critics. And that’s okay, because that’s football.

And now you’ve decided you’ve had your time in the game. I won’t lie, I feel sad. Because even last year when the first half of the season was crap, you made up for it in the second half.

Because that’s what you do when you get your chance.

I love to watch you play. So much.

If only you saw me at home, 5 centimetres away from the television screen, eyes completely peeled. Looking for your long hair. Which you then shaved for cancer awareness. Because you are beautiful like that.

I will miss watching you play. So much.

But I know it’s not over for you completely in football. You can’t cut it off completely. It’s in your blood.

I’m so proud that you have made this decision, because I know it was the toughest decision you’ve ever made. But I know you crave a life after playing football – one that you can control.

And I know, like you did with football, you will give your heart – your everything – to your new chapter.

And I look so forward to sharing that new chapter with you. My love.


All comments read, appreciated and responded to. So thank you x
  • Marie McKain

    This is a beautiful piece Kat. It brought tears to my eyes. Although, I’m sure it’s brought more to yours! We love you Zen, and will miss seeing you on the tv. The boys will miss being able to point you out and yell “There’s Zennon!”…. Good luck for the next chapter xxx

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Aww, thanks honey. Will admit I cried all the way through writing it! Looking forward to the next stage, but still a little sad. Hope all is good with you guys xx

  • Louise Thwaite

    Got goosebumps reading this Kat. I watched Zen and my brother grow up and play together and knowing that they got to do what they loved doing, and were so good at from a early age. When they got to play together again at GCU, was another goosebumps moment because of that same reason. I can’t believe Zen is hanging up his boots, as I too always keep an eye out for him and Michael when watching A-League. I can’t imagine how strange it will be when Michael retires because Football is all I’ve ever associated with both boys. Good luck Zen in your next chapter, It’s been awesome to keep tabs on a childhood friend xoxo

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Thank you so much Louise for your message – you made me cry! (again) I don’t think I’ll cope if Michael retires any time soon -at least we still have him left! They are the cutest those boys together, like brothers xx

  • Ms_MotorbikeNut

    Our family is so sorry to hear this as I read it I shed a few tears, I keep urging my hubby @motorbikenut back to play football although he never played at a professional level like you. My hubby is going to be upset when he comes home and I tell him .

    All the best to you (plus ur family) as you start a new chapter with your family one away from football unless of course you turn into a coach!

    (((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Oh Ms Motorbike Nut, thank you for your lovely comment and well wished. Tell your hubby to get back playing! xx

  • kate

    What a truly lovely dedication for Zenon. I can’t imagine how many tears that you shed while writing it Kat, You can literally feel your raw emotion seeping through the words.
    We have met many friends and families throughout our footballing journey, but the Caravella’s are right up there with the very best of them. We wish you every success and happiness for the next chapter of your adventure. The bridges x

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Hi Kate, thank you for your sweet comment and words. It was definitely very hard to write it, but I needed to, I guess. Have to say we feel the same about you guys, and we will miss all of you. Come visit us up north xx

  • Pinky Poinker

    What a gorgeous young couple you are! Imagine what great things you both still have ahead of you. Things you haven’t even dreamed of. You really are stunning Kat!

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Oh Pinky thank you so much, we are definitely excited for the future (albeit a bit sad, of course)! And not sure about stunning but I’ll totally take that compliment and thank you xx

  • Lee-Anne Walker

    A beautiful dedication to Z (and lovely pic!) As Pinky says, you have wonderful, exciting things to look forward to – bring on the new chapter! xx

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Thank you, Lee-Anne. Was quite an emotional day, but in many ways, it’s just the beginning. Wasn’t always an easy ride, this football caper, but I wouldn’t trade it xx

  • Noelene

    Love reading your perspective on football it makes you think about all highs and lows families go through good luck and best wishes for the next part of both your lives .

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Thank you Noelene. Football is definitely about highs and lows – there is rarely a middle ground. Wouldn’t trade the experience, but ready for a new journey xx

  • Stella

    proud of you Zenon! good luck buddy

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Thanks Stella, passed your wishes on xx

  • Trina Wilesmith

    My husband played football in cairns with Zenon when they were young. We wish him all the best and have watched many Aleague games and cheered him on over the years!! We actually have a 3 year old son named Zenon who also loves to get out in the yard and kick a ball!! All the best from Trina and Jamie Wilesmith

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Hi Trina, just told Zen about your hubby and he remembers him well. He says a big hello! Thank you for your kind words and maybe we will even see your little Zenon out there one day :)

  • Kerrynboogaard.com

    Beautifully written Kat. What a journey that only some of us really understand. One of the best parts of being involved is the wonderful people you meet along the way AND you and zen are two of the best. I was looking forward to wine time in Newie in the near future, however we may have to wait for a cocktail in the Far North. We are so proud of you both in what you have achieved and excited for this new adventure xxx

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Thank you Kez – I know for sure you know how we are feeling. But the feeling is mutual my deal – we are so happy to have met you guys and can’t wait to keep in touch as the years go by xx

  • Carmen

    Such an honest dedication Kat. Extremely sad for you both. As you know, Dave & I have never been huge followers of the round ball so we’ve always appreciated Zenon for his greatness off the field.. he has so much more to give to this world than just a good kick xxx for me the saddest part is that you’re moving further away again (selfish I know). You’re a gorgeous family!

    • http://www.mammasvida.com.au/ Kat Caravella – Mamma’s Vida

      Thank you my friend. Ah yes, my Z is a pretty excellent guy when he isn’t kicking around a ball an I look forward to enjoying what’s next of him (plus he thinks the world of you guys too) xx

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