Sunday, January 20, 2013

The gift a box full of darkness brings....

One thing my journey through grief has taught me is to see the beauty in the world.

After last week, after Savannah’s anniversary, I’ve learnt hitting rock bottom…going to that basement of agony enhances the ecstasy and the bliss that life is full of…if you look for it…take it in, breathe it, live it….and most of all…enjoy it.

I’ve learned that if you travel to that pit, there’s only one place to go…and that’s to climb aboard the elevator of life and hit the up button….back to your starting point where you rebuild and embrace the life you have…and notice the good bits.

And when you can do that….you find clarity.

After a day of feeling flat after Savvy’s anniversary I decided to get out of the house and take Dempsey, my sister’s twins and their friend to an enchanting spot I’d heard about called “The Blue Pools”…it even sounds magical right? :)

A forty minute drive through thick dense Australian bush leads you down a twisty, almost one lane (scary) road to a clearing where you can park and wander down a dusty track to this piece of paradise….wow!

Like a swimming hole you read about in a book…the clear cold water is surrounded by walls of natural rock…with the blue sky as the back drop…rustic pebbles line the bottom of the pools. It took my breathe away!

And it’s times like this I wonder if I’d see this beauty without having travelled through grief…whether I’d take it for granted, or just not be able to appreciate how lucky I am to be able to recognize the value of something so beautiful…and free! :)

Watching the girls wade out and shriek at how cold the water was made me laugh….and Teddy bark! :)

I stood with my feet in the cool water, and contemplated, as I always do, how during challenges you can’t fight the process. Whether it’s a small problem or a large one…a trickle, a gush….or, a down pour!

When facing hard stuff, it’s like you’re paddling upstream against a strong current…but if you let go…and go with the flow and don’t fight…you find the current washes you back down stream to safety… start again…and that’s a beautiful thing!

I’ve learned being happy with who I am and accepting how my life is has a huge affect on facing any hard days. I know my grief will always follow me around like my shadow…and some days it will be like a giant in my life, over shadowing every piece of my being....

But other times it’s small and stunted and doesn’t eclipse my day….it moves into the shade and its not overpowering.

It can’t take the limelight away from enjoying the tiniest of moments…like taking these three tweens for ice cream…sitting and listening to their simple stories about the goings on in their lives….and seeing Dempsey smile…or seeing her laugh….or feeling her hand in mine. Those moments will forever outshine the bad bits…even if it tags along….it will never outshine my spirit or my love for life…

How privileged I am. :) x

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another Anniversary Bubby.... x

To all my beautiful family and friends who remembered our Angel today…Thank You…your loving support, flowers, gentle words and thoughts are more than any mother and friend could ever hope for. x

Today is your day Bubby…..

I woke up early this morning as the sun sliced through our bedroom blinds, pouring a steady stream of light onto my doona.

It’s difficult to see the sun this morning.

Outside my window I could hear the soft hum of our pool filter kick in…the sheep across our lake bleating for their breakfast and Teddy scratching at the laundry door to be let out….life goes on….and that’s the hard bit.

I lay in bed and sobbed until I couldn’t breathe….my pillow soaked from my tears.

Today is the one day every year I hurts.

Thinking of what you went through Bubby…of your pain, at your tiny body struggling to die…these memories will always make me cry today and make me so so sorry as your mummy that I couldn’t help you.

I hate today and all it represents….all the awful memories it holds.

I thought yesterday…maybe this year I’d be okay...but there are no rules!

But I can’t forget.

This morning I am sad.

I feel very alone in my grief.

This morning I’m transported back in time…..I have no one here to give me a hug, I can’t call my mum or go and visit her for the comfort and words I know she’d have to make me feel better.

Today I’m having a pity party…and that’s ok too.

I’m disappointed that Daddy chose yesterday to leave for the USA…knowing he knows today is your day….and that maybe I need him….

Today I’ll go to Poppies for a hug….but Poppie isn’t comfortable with being compassionate about today…he thinks “you have to get on with it” and “not think about it all”…and that its easy…but Poppie knows deep down its not easy….because I’ve seen the pain in his eyes when he lost his daughter too.

This morning I am sad.

The only thing that’s going to put some sunshine in my day today is a little girl who’s in her room a few walls away…who’s happy and healthy and alive.

I know Dempsey will throw her arms around my neck and squeeze me tight….and that will help.

And today I’ll take her somewhere special and do something fun that you couldn’t do Bubby…cos that’s all mummy can do to relieve my guilt and sadness that you aren’t in your room, tucked up safely sleeping…and I’ll never understand why…it makes no sense.

As each year passes, you get further away…fragments of your time with us disappear…and the new memories don’t come…and I think that’s the hardest bit about missing you.

You’re never far from my thoughts…I miss you and miss who you’d be today. But I’m grateful people will remember your sweet ways and do something they love today in your honor.

Today I’ll try and remember you as you were…beautiful and sweet and shy…with golden curls and a love for books…and your big blue eyes…always smiling Bubby…and I hope you think of Mummy like that too, smiling, and always grateful you were mine.

And I know tomorrow will be a new day….as it will be wherever you are…..

I’ll always carry you in my heart Bubby…no matter where you are….. x

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