Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Steered by love and memories...our inner compass. x

Everyone has a compass, a mechanism inside us that steers us and guides us through life…that leads us to where we think we should be…or where we want to be.

We all have the ability to change each others inner compass, or moods, from one of sadness into one of happiness…or to evoke feelings or transport us back in time through buried memories.

We have the power to make people laugh…and sometimes cry…to be encouraging….or to stub out a dream. It’s all about choice and choosing how we want to set our inner compass to determine what direction we want our lives to go in.

I had an emotional week last week.

Different days brought assorted emotions…happy, sad, awake, alive, grateful, truths and turmoil…but above all love and a clear sense that we are all connected and have the power to influence each others existence.

On Tuesday, my sister Tarnia’s first born, Alexander was here in the States from Australia. And I was so very grateful he chose to spend the last leg of his world tour with his Aunty D.

Alexander and me Friday night! :)

His plane was delayed a couple of hours…so it was almost midnight when he appeared on the escalators at the airport….tired but smiling…and with the biggest, squeeziest hug I’ve had in a while. :)

As tall as me now, with a mop of dark chocolate hair, like my sister…and with her eyes……

The emotions of pride and love was overwhelming....maybe not for him, a twenty year old, with a towering worn back pack and his earphones hanging down his shirt.   But for me, seeing him is always like a slice of my sister…and all the emotions that come with her not being here. Also, how absolutely proud she’d be of him…if she was here!   I love him like he’s mine.

My beautiful mum with Emerald and sisters twins

Then on Friday, it was my beautiful Mum’s birthday…her special day stirs up emotions of longing…of how much I miss her.   But it also reminds me to celebrate life and love and to enjoy every single day…like she did.   She’d be disappointed if it were any other way!

I think, a lot of how I live my life now is because of the confidence she instilled in me as a child and her wisdom about accepting, that sometimes life isn’t fair…but how we must make the most of every day, as life and how we choose to live it, like a compass, determines our path in finding direction to who we want to become or where we want be.

My special friend Hannah, who shared a memorable champagne lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel with my mum Beverley, sent me this message on Friday;

“Remembering your Mum, the lovely Beverly, on her birthday. Thank you for sharing her with me. Especially the lessons she taught you. I look in the mirror and smile and am trying to put some lipstick on before I leave the house! I love you, a big hug to you as I know you would want to hear her voice today...perhaps you are hearing her through others. Love you more my darling Diana.”

Friday night at our regular Happy Hour, we always toast someone, so we clinked our glasses in Mum’s honor, me with a smile at how thrilled mum would be we were enjoying every moment we're gifted with...

And when everyone left, Alexander and I sat out under the stars by candlelight and had an intimate chat, too intimate to even write about here...about his Mum, my sister…and life before and after her accident. And I know if Tarnia was listening she’d be pleased that we’d had that private time together, bonding over red wine and old memories.

On Sunday, I took Alexander on a tour of Los Angeles….searching for Venice Beach. Our cars compass…our GPS with the Aussie accent, ended us almost up in Dodger Stadium…which added to the laughs of the day!

At Venice Beach, we ratted through T-shirt shops and mingled with the madness. Alexander so amused by all the different characters you see only on the board walk of Venice Beach.

Dempsey took a dip in the ocean while we sat on the warm sand and chatted about life.  And I’ve discovered my beautiful nephew is far wiser than his years and taught this old Aunt a few things about life from generation Y’s point of view! :)

Sunday night, I waved goodbye to him in the Super Shuttle til it turned the corner in my street…blowing kisses…grateful for the time I got to spend with my sisters oldest son.   But I wasn’t sad, cos I’ll be seeing him again in a few weeks when I return to Australia…my compass set on getting back over the pond.

I’m scared about leaving the USA and not knowing what’s in the next episode of my life…like sands through the hour glass…but it’s also exciting…the not knowing…and that’s the beauty of life….every day offers up something new..if we allow it to.

My inner compass no doubt will lead me where I need to be, and I have to trust the Universe is unraveling just the way it’s meant to.

                    Demps with Rose's grandchildren at the park
Today, I met Rose for the last time…for now. :)

It’s like someone has cloned my mum…and it was hard to say goodbye.  Me, blubbering like a baby as Rose gifted me with her time…three books, a card and some bright happy sunflowers to fill my blue cup with sunshine.  I told her how much I’ll miss her and "How we all have the ability to touch someone’s life."….like she has me.

                     Rose's gifts...the letter is for the plane trip she said! :)

It’s time to close this chapter here and like the crisp pages of a new book, welcome what I’ll discover and what new experiences are out there for us in the land down under.

But until next week…we have a little girl who’s about to turn ten…a mile stone for her and also for her Mama, who ten years ago was dealing with so many bittersweet days with Dempsey’s birth and wondering at the same time if Demps would ever know her sister Savannah…but you do survive those hard bits..the grief...and relish more in the joyful moments because of those times.

Think of us tomorrow…we have a bunch of tweens and ten puppies visiting for my precious one’s tenth birthday…I know exactly where my compass will be pointed tomorrow…at the top of the happy meter! :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Being Fearless...

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

Before I flipped our calendar over to July yesterday, I read the quote at the top. Mark Twain’s wise words seemed appropriate for this time of year.

You see, the last day of June is always a difficult one for me.

It’s Savannah’s birthday, our daughter who died.

Savannah on her 3rd birthday...with Fraser my nephew...

This year she would’ve become a teenager….how I’d give anything to see who she is now, whether she’d still be shy like she was, whether her hair would be curly like mine…or straight?   What advice she’d be giving Dempsey and what fears she would’ve had at the important age of thirteen?

But I’ll never know that stuff…and I accept that now.

I learn from the gifts that she did give me through her living and her dying…and through her courage and the fearless way she faced her disease, which was merciless.

Yes, my daughter taught me a lot about courage and being brave and I thought a lot about that too on her special day.  

And I’ve decided I want to be fearless…I want to ‘live life’ in spite of my fears and what’s happened to our family. To take chances and be surprised at where they take me….

On Savannah’s birthday I had my usual tears, but I also had a lot of love and support and moments from friends and from Dempsey who reminds me daily – not to fear anything!

We decided to go to the beach early.  To go somewhere that’s busy and buzzing with life.

And it was there, watching Dempsey run and jump into the waves…fearless of anything that she might encounter in the water….I sat back and observed her, filling my blue cup with love and sunshine…and turning my sadness into joy for her undaunted take on life and her passion for being alive.

On Savannah’s birthday, we did our traditional balloon buying, however, this year we couldn’t fit thirteen balloons in the trunk of the car.

So Demps chose one big silver balloon and three colorful ones which she drew animals on for her sister….I’m not sure about her taste in colors though! :)

I wrote a message to Savannah from Mummy and Daddy and Demps eagerly set them free….up to heaven to her sister....

And if you are a believer, believe…because later that night, wandering up our stairs, I noticed something sitting in my path…a feather…on our stairs!

Even Peter was flabbergasted as to how it got there?? I know what I like to believe…. :)

Demps told me it was a message from Savannah to say she’d gotten our balloons and loved her drawings…. She also said;

“You know she’s not here with us Mummy, don’t you?”

And I told her yes, I know she’s not physically here…but she lives in our hearts, she always will….

One of my fears on her special day is that people will forget her…forget that she ever lived…but I needn’t have worried.

Our special friends in Australia, who are dealing with a lot at the moment, remembered and sent this beautiful bunch of flowers for her, they've never missed her birthday!  It meant so much to me…I couldn’t even begin to try and write in words the comfort their flowers brought…their perfume is overwhelming and sweet…like she was…

My neighbor Renee brought a special candle that is battery operated, and even twinkles like a real candle…It was comforting!

I got emails and texts and my friend Mary text to say she was having a margarita in Savannah’s honor…at lunchtime mind you…because I’d asked that people do something they enjoy for her because she can’t.

So even though my fears of my tears and not knowing how I’d be on her special day didn’t materialize….being scared but facing the day as best I could is being fearless I’ve realized.

And being fearless drives us to ‘live life’ it dares us to do anything we put our minds to.....

I only have to use Dempsey’s gorgeous girlfriends to get a lesson on being fearless….to dive right in..despite our fears and to live and love and enjoy…whatever our demons…or our dreams may be…..

Happy 13th Birthday Bubby…We miss you...always. x