Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas Cheer and Facing Fears... x

Yesterday we finally took down our Christmas tree.

Its branches were crisp and dry, its needles dropping to the floor as Dempsey and I pulled one after another of the decorations from its dead branches….

And while we were doing this Demps piped up and said, “I wonder what we’ll be doing next year when we decorate the tree Mummy?”

My wise little ten year old made me contemplate this…and I thought to myself: Yes, I wonder what we’ll be doing…how much my baby will grow and change both in centimeters and spirit through different life experiences she’ll be exposed to?

What I’ll be doing...if I'll change?

What people will enter and leave our lives?

In a few days time it'll be our daughter Savannah's Anniversary...her passing also makes me contemplate fears and change...she taught me a lot about being brave!

My brother in law Tone, and my sister's twins and Fraser, minus Alexander!

Like our Christmas tree, life changes, brings new and exciting stuff each day…and of course the boring mundane chores like washing and cleaning, both of which I might add I’m enjoying in our new home…a new house seems to make it all worth it!

It seems the kids have evolved too…grown fins and prune fingers and turned into mermaids! :)

They’re loving our pool, and I’m loving watching them through the glass…watching the innocent fun these girls seem to find in a game of “Marco Polo!”

Our Christmas day is always different with so many chairs missing family members that should be here….especially our daughter Savannah...but we're all grateful to celebrate together and enjoy the day....

This year it was my dad missing..…he was too sick to enjoy devouring our turkey and traditional steaming plum pudding laced with coins…even though I sent a plate to him…..the kids didn’t seem affected that Poppie wasn’t here which was great…

I contemplated what our table would be like without his comforting presence if his vacant chair was permanent. I missed my dad this year, really missed him more than I thought.

But he’s on the mend, only yesterday, finally being diagnosed with whooping cough…who would’ve thought??

But whooping cough is fixable…and curable, so I know he’ll be back around our family T in no time!   And that makes me a very happy camper!!

Christmas night, Peter pulled out all stops, opening Santa’s sack and enlightening the kids night with glow sticks, masks, crackers and candy!

I sat back and watched, smiling at how lucky I am to be able to witness these kids still enjoying the simple joy a piece of plastic with glowing jelly inside can bring!

Its Summer in Oz and we’ve had a few hot days…so as a family, we decided to hit the beach.

The only hang up I had about driving the twenty minutes to one of natures wonders, is that to get there you have to drive along the road that my sister Tarnia was killed on.  And I thought I’d be okay about that!

I haven’t been on this remote wooded road for years….and in a profound awkward way I discovered a basic black strip of concrete, that hundreds of people travel on every week, still does my head in!!

I know by now to pick my battles with the grief vampires!  How they can sometimes suck the life out of you…change your mood and take away your breath in a second.

And as silly as that may sound to some, I’ve decided to take the easy way out next time and just not go!

I think it’s easier than facing some of my demons of going over and over what my sister would’ve been doing while she was driving down that narrow pretty piece of road…what she was thinking…what her children went through, and of course having to face all those dark shadowed memories of the days after her death.

However, all that aside, it was finally worth it when we got there…after I’d managed to hold my breath for most of the drive down that road! 

We had fish and chips on a wonky wooden picnic bench…the endearing sight of a famous beach side grotty BBQ that you’d only see in Australia made me smile.......

…and of course the sight of the Aussie flag always makes me feel sentimental and reminds me I’m home and safe!

Then to stumble down a tiny track leading to the ocean…with the sound of the waves crashing in the foreground and hot sand stuck in my flip flops reminded me to be grateful….Teddy was grateful and as eager as Dempsey to get there too…his first time at the ocean!

Trying to get a good photo of my baby was also a challenge…not as bad as the drive, but still a test with Teddy trying to hog the lens......

…Demps and I are still giggling at this shot! :)

So after a day of sun, surf and anxiety :), it was worth get out of the house and spend a day in the fresh air, surrounded by Mother Natures medicine!

However, she didn’t manage to cure my uneasiness or fears of that road….even the ice cream I gorged on driving home didn’t fix my obsession of the ‘what if’s’ as I spent the whole trip home on the edge of my seat…focused on the side of the road....searching out the window for a white cross camouflaged in the bush land, that marked the spot where my sister took her last breath.

And you know what, we’re all different, and I wonder..maybe this year I'll grow more too and change and not let things feed my fears….but sometimes....that’s just the way it has to be...for now...and I’ve realized that’s ok too…………. x


  1. Your photos and descriptions really bring your world to life for your readers. I haven't heard an expression like "grief vampires" before, but it is so apt.
    Very thoughtful writing. Having lost our innocence through our tragic losses, it is difficult to control obsessing about the "what ifs". I miss the good old days of ignorance and naivete.

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    I miss those days too! Sometimes I sit and listen to others who don't walk in my shoes and wish for a few days I could be like them....

    Thank you for your comment and for stopping by. I've been checking out your site and I think you are doing a wonderful job of helping others get through their grief through your loss.

    Sending a big obsessive hug! :)
    diana x