Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Rainbow Connection...For my sister Tarnia x

                                          PUSH PLAY WHILE YOU READ....

Sisters are pretty special.

I only have one.

Today is the anniversary of her death.

Today, I sat outside in the sunshine for five minutes and watched these magnificent pelicans on our lake, in awe…………

And I find on my sister's special day, I always reflect on life…on it’s beauty and cruelty…at the things that its capable of.

I also entertain the idea of her still being here….

                    Nice hairdos! :)

Of how everything would be different if she was!

How she’d be sharing a chilled glass of wine with me, clinking our crystal goblets…how we’d reminisce about growing up in a country town.

How we’d be sharing our kids achievements and I’d be asking her advice on my challenges. And how’d we never, ever, ever, argue again! :) (I do like to romanticize things….)

But the reality is, that’s never going to be….and sometimes wishing for impossible dreams can be detrimental to the soul.

So instead of pining for things to be different and allowing that yearning to change my mood to melancholy, I ‘try’ to look at the bits that are possible…like hugging her kids and being a support to her husband Tone….these things aren’t pipe dreams or pots at the end of a rainbow….they are real and achievable dreams. And that's what I try to focus on….I have to…..

Like the reflection and light in my life...they say, a rainbow is a result of the reflection and refraction of light by water droplets…..

A few days ago, from our half finished driveway, I relished in the privilege of watching our overcast grey sky transform itself into a magical band of brilliant colors.

It’s like Mother Nature rolled out it’s red carpet for me…to remind me that the pot of gold is right at my door already…it’s in the beauty and allure of gifts that I see and get to experience everyday…if I take the time….

That the cloudy skies of life don’t always last and that people and things help jog my consciousness of that!

Last week, my sister’s daughter Charlotte also reminded me not dismiss the messages and rewards in the everyday somewhat dull stuff…like dropping her off at her Band practice on a Tuesday afternoon.

You see every week, Charlotte goes to her rehearsal at the tiny Band Hall here….and you are probably thinking, “What’s the significance??”

Well, this insignificant building is where we held the Wake for Tarnia after her funeral…where baby Charlotte of six months slept soundly in a bunny rug next to her sister….as all of us contemplated and reflected on how we’d go on after the tragedy of losing my sister…
And as I threw the car in reverse and watched my sister’s daughter, smiling and waving enthusiastically....happily hurrying into her band practice, the irony struck me....

                   Savannah, Emerald and Charlotte 2 weeks before my sisters accident

The power of the human spirit to overcome also seeped deep into my mind….

We do survive, and we do find rainbows, even if they aren’t plastered across the sky in all their glory…they’re in the small stuff…in the human condition of fortitude and resilience and courage…and they are miracles.

Tonight, I had dinner with Tone, my sister’s husband…all four of her children…who Tone took to the cemetery today to visit their mother. They left jasmine and I’m sure a few tears….and I reflected on that too…

The girls are here with me tonight…having a sleep over….making Dempsey laugh, and sneaking into the lounge to sit on the side of my sofa and give me a I’m typing this....

I told them tonight as I tucked them into bed and squeezed them tight that their Mummy would be so proud of they are a reflection and refraction of her…. :)

And to add to my day today….of reflecting about the joys and heartaches…my precious one Dempsey tells me she’s singing in the school choir tomorrow…for the first time…the song…”The Rainbow Connection.” :-)

“There’s lovers…and dreamers…and me……..”

Tarnia, Mum and Fraser.... x

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Words from my Mum from the other side??? x

I can’t believe how long its been since I last wrote…wow..time has moved forward quickly…as it does these days. And I don’t have a reason for not writing, other than being home = being busy with ‘stuff’…life stuff...and it feels great!

Time with my family, precious time…and of course I feel like I’ve reverted back to motherhood with our new puppy Teddy, who almost takes up as much time as a baby.

Needless to say, he’s meant to be Dempsey’s pup but somehow manages to follow me around the house and find my warm lap at the end of the day next to the fire….and truth be told, I’m loving that too….. :)

Peter is back in the USA for a few weeks, and while he’s gone I made a promise to myself to sort through our wardrobes that are stuffed full of plastic bags of my Mum’s old‘stuff’.

And I’ve been putting off this process because I know it’s like opening Pandora’s box…a box brimming with assorted emotions that bring out an ache that she’s no longer here.   But I’ve been feeling pretty brave lately, so I sat on the carpet and started to explore what exactly Mum had kept in some of those bags.

                       The plastic envelope I found in mum's purse..

The first thing I pulled out was a plastic pocket that Mum had tucked inside her purse.

I gently pulled out the dog eared contents, gazing at each one, feasting on what my mother cherished enough to carry around with her everyday.

The first thing I studied was a photo of me at my first day of pre-school.

The photo is creased and the edges are torn, but I couldn’t help but smile that Mum had carried this snap shot with her everyday, from eon’s ago.

I looked carefully at the photo of me, at my tiny five year old self, at my innocence and smiley spirit captured in this old pic and thought about what life has dealt out to me…and also how our destiny is so undecided and how none of us know what’s in store for us tomorrow…who would’ve thought this happy little girl would lose her first child….and also learn so much about life through the process of doing so?

Mum also kept this little card with a saying about women on it called ‘Je Suis,’

I remember sitting on our caramel shag pile carpet when I was little, gluing it to cardboard for my Mum, then sticking layer upon layer of durex tape on the top to preserve it for Mum as it reminded me of her…..I’d done this way back in 1981.

Who knew the words that I so carefully cut out of a magazine would be so fitting for my life now….

Mum had also carried this prayer inside the plastic sleeve, given to her by a girlfriend Carmel.

There’s no date on the back so I don’t know why Mum carried this with her….but for me, reading this prayer spoke in Mum's voice and seemed like it was meant to be for me….now.  It does make me wonder….

For some reason, Mum included the above poem called "Just for a time." by Maya Angelou with her treasures….I considered why....and who it might’ve been for?

It seems to be written about a lost love, however, yet again, I could see the significance in particular to my life now of how,.....‘Just for a time’

But I’ll never know why she kept this so close to her heart…she’s no longer here to ask…and its times like these that I wish she was……..

     My beautiful Dad..........

The last thing I found, ragged and yellowed, was this photo of my special Dad….wow, how handsome he was!

I know from the date on the back, it was taken the first year they started dating.

I hugged the picture of dad and thanked my mum for this little parcel left for someone to find…someone like me, her daughter, who will treasure all its contents.

                      Dad and me :)

Which brings me to my dear Dad….in Australia, Father’s Day is in September.

I invited Dad and his wife Brenda, Tone and my nephew and nieces over for a traditional roast lamb lunch.

Sitting around our table, I realized this is what life is all about…being around family and love and people who make you feel good. That you can give back in ways that don’t involve money….just time and an afternoon of togetherness.

After lunch we congregated around our new pool as Tone brushed the walls, the kids talked excitedly about the Summer that isn’t too far away….while yelling at Poppie to be careful not to fall in!!! :)

At the end of the day, Dad pulled out a present for me….a key ring with my name on it.

My Dad is pretty humble, very low key, and doesn’t get very emotional.

He put this key ring in my hand and said, "You don't have to use it but that the words describe you perfectly I thought."  

I like the 'shines best at night' bit....mornings aren't my forte! :)

Dad didn’t need to say anymore….I was so very touched that he’d bought this for me, my eyes teared up and my voice cracked as I thanked him and told him how much I love him and how lucky I am to have him.

So today is my sister’s second son Fraser’s 17th birthday…Fraser Kenneth, he has Dad’s name! :)

I’m off to take him out to lunch and wrap my love around him for my sister who isn’t here.  I love him to bits….

And my Mum’s plastic pouch….I’ve tucked it away in my wallet…I think I’ll start one of my own that maybe, just maybe, Dempsey can find one day that will be appropriate for her life and bring her comfort as finding my Mum’s priceless treasure did for me……

Cheers x