Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seeing the good stuff and the glass half full! x

You never forget where you were or what you were doing when someone you love dies……when life as you knew it changed and there is no going back to your ‘old’ life.

When my only sister Tarnia was killed, it was during the Olympic Games in Sydney.

    My sister Tarnia and me...

So for me, I always associate the Olympics with her death.

And even though watching the amazing driven athletes strive to reach their goals does interest me, its always tainted by my memories of what we were doing and where we were at…and how life turned from one of carefree days into weeks of endless sadness.   And questions of why, and watching my family suffer, at a time when most of the country was overcome with excitement, in awe of the athletic world.

So for me, the Olympics will always be tarnished…a bit like a bronze medal!

In the morning when I’m in the shower, I tune the radio in to ABC Australia and listen to the latest news from around our country.

This morning it was all about the closing ceremony for the London Olympics and how the Olympic flame has been extinguished.  The radio announcer talked about how it would be reignited again in 4 years in Brazil.

And as I washed the shampoo out of my hair, I contemplated, as I always do…”I wonder where I’ll be in 4 years when the next Olympics is on?”

It’s this habit I have, of procrastinating about the future and it makes me feel vulnerable…the wondering…and the realization that anything is possible…life, death, change…..

It’s a constant battle of striving to focus on each day instead of looking too far ahead.  And it takes work to center my thoughts on the present, but if I do, I find I appreciate the little things in the here and now….like…..Dempsey in her new school uniform! :)

Seeing my baby looking like such a little lady just fills me with pride and makes me pinch myself at how lucky I am to enjoy such special moments!

And to add to the ‘newness’ going on in our humble abode that fills my blue cup with sunshine is………TEDDY! The new addition to our family…who Dempsey named with seconds!! :)

Teddy looks like a toy. He’s just the cutest little puppy I’ve ever laid eyes on…with the sweetest nature…even if his bottom is leaking all over the house at the moment!!! :)

Even Peter is under his spell….although he doesn’t like to admit it!!! :)

There really is nothing like a puppy to bring out the best in us human beings. The smiles and laughter Teddy has brought into our house in the past week has been like therapy.

Dempsey is besotted with her new little mate. And my sister’s twins Emerald and Charlotte are loving him too.

It makes me smile to stand at our window and watch Demps and the twins run down our hill with Teddy in tow, laughing and enjoying themselves with not a care in the world.

I’m learning from these girls, my nieces Emerald and Charlotte…they are an inspiration.   Their happiness, positive attitude….their spirit that shines through with enthusiasm and vivacity is refreshing. Their resilience to what life has dealt them floors me sometimes.

They don’t have their mum around…they have no idea what a Mum is.

What it’s like to have had their mother molly coddle them, hug them, sit with them like I do Demps and talk about their day….they do have their Dad, who does an amazing job…but there’s no-one like a mother!

But they don’t seem affected…..they are walking talking evidence of how we can and do survive any tragedy or challenge we are faced with.

The example these 12 year olds set for me, demonstrates how the human spirit can persevere and carry on through life and be happy, no matter what our circumstances, or what we’ve suffered. I always get a lesson out of being utterly ‘happy’ with what I have when I’m around them.

Sunday night we went for our usual Sunday drinks with Tone. And as us adults were sitting enjoying a red wine…Emerald appeared and asked her Dad if she should start dinner?

Here was my gorgeous niece, who at 12, was prepared to cook spaghetti bol for the whole family!

And as I watched Emmy wander back inside the house, I thought of how proud Tarnia would be!  How absolutely amazing it is that these girls seem to have their mums love of cooking…I quietly smiled to myself and wished Tarnia was here to enjoy these little moments that I have the privilege of enjoying.

Yes, having them around our home and in Dempsey’s life is a gift.

The gift of appreciating and being strong and of seeing the ‘good stuff’ in life...that the glass can be half full if you work at it....even if you are dealt some ‘bad stuff.’

And I guess that’s one of the gifts that grief gives us over time…that knowledge…and knowledge is power in my book.  It helps me put one foot in front of the other if I’m having a bad day…and on the good days….makes me want to dance……… :)


  1. It must be so surreal to see these special cousins spending so much time together. What a blessing!!

  2. He is the cutest puppy! Your nieces are lucky to have such a loving aunt.

  3. Ach! A shared Scottish sofa I do declare- what a good year that was Dee, having you both there made the North Sea a little warmer for me. x tone.

  4. Lovely Candice!!!

    It is surreal to watch them, especially with Dempsey, they are so kind and encouraging to her!

    I feel truly lucky that they are my nieces. I hope your beautiful ones are doing good!

    thanks for stopping by,
    sending aussie love
    Diana x

  5. To Grahams Mum!

    Thank you for your kind words....I have had you in my thoughts with love and healing.

    Diana x

  6. AWW thank you Tone...it only seems like yesterday.

    I think that time was very special for Tarnia and me....we bonded over the cold weather and Tarnia's fabulous cooking and love of Primal Scream!!!

    Happy memories!


  7. What a beautiful post, Diana! Just like there is nobody like your mother, there is also nobody like your father, and that's who my boys are missing. Their father passed away in September 2010, so nothing about the Olympics ignites the memory of his death, but a million other things do.

    Your nieces' bravery is beautiful, as is your own.

  8. I thought this post was the perfect combination of looking back and looking up! I don't usually pop in to comment but I just felt compelled to tell you that I will be praying for you and your sweet family. Your optimism is encouraging...dance, sister, dance.

  9. Dear Samantha,

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your husband...the father of your boys. You are right, there is nothing like losing a partner or parent. And for your boys I imagine their loss is also your hurt in having to watch them discover things and embark on different days without their daddy...it's not easy.

    I also think of so many little moments with my sisters 4 children that Tarnia has missed, as they have too.

    Thank you for leaving your lovely comment and for stopping by. I look forward to reading your journey and to check out your book. I'm sure you are helping so many others with your strength.

    with love

    Diana x

  10. Dear Erin,

    Thank you for taking the time to write your comment, it made me smile! :) I often dance, and have been known to step up on a few tables now and then...it makes me feel alive!

    I love to hear from my readers so thanks so much.

    Everyone has a story Erin, so I'll pop over and check out your blog.

    Sending love
    Diana x

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