Thursday, 30 January 2014

Weekly brain dump

I woke up this morning with so much stuff running around my head.  Life in general has been pretty hectic since January started, so much going on and so much to organise as well.  And with the sad events of this last week I feel like I need to get some of the crap out of my head.  So I say this in fair warning to you all, this is going to be a random brain dump.  Feel free to join in with me.  Kinda like having a good ol' bitch session, minus the cattiness.  Let's call it a debrief.  And if it helps to make us feel a bit less bogged down in the brain we can make it a recurring thing!

I woke up this morning with perfectly messy second-day straightened bedhead.  You all know what I mean.  It's when your hair is doing on its own what you've attempted to make it do all week.  Anyway, I thought AWESOME! I won't have to put in too much effort today (I'm taking Gracie out to afternoon tea in the city with a girlfriend. How swanky!).  But no, I was wrong, because the minute I turn on any type of water source (kettle, tap, shower) my hair develops the frizz factor and my perfectly messy hair goes straight to crazy person who left the house without using a hairbrush hair.  Even a super sexy shower cap can't prevent that mess.  Oh well, looks like I'll be able to master my 'how to act cool while appearing totally cray-cray' today.  I'll just blame the baby?!


So the reason I had totally flawless hair yesterday (pfft!) is because it was D's funeral.  Sunny Hubby and I sat a few rows behind my girlfriend K who was surrounded by family.  It was the most beautifully devastating funeral I had ever attended.  D's life was full of love and that really showed in the outpouring of grief and love at her death.  Hubby and I were asked to read a small prayer for the family and carers of D.  I wasn't able to say a word, instead Hubby read it for me, holding my hand the entire time.  Gosh I love him!


So I'm struggling to find a daycare centre that can take Gracie when I want to go back to work.  It's my own fault really.  I'd been told I should have had her enrolled before she was even born and I thought that was a hilarious the time!  Now I'm going through the tedious task of revisiting all the centres who previously said they couldn't fit her in and begging them to have her.  The ideal centre would be the one on the hospital campus where I work, but I have been told that she is more than 100 down the waiting list of nursery-aged kids who needs a placement at that same time we do.  How can that be?  Did all the nurses suddenly start having babies at the same time?  My mind boggles.

I guess our other option, and one that is becoming more and more likely as the weeks pass by, is that we'll place her in family/home daycare.  I just don't know how I feel about that. I mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone who runs family daycare or sends their kids to one, I just don't know much about them.  Are they as well governed as larger centres?  How many children do they usually take at once?  I honestly have no clue.  Anyway, over the next couple of days when I've got Hubby at home we're going to go on a daycare tour of our local area, show up on their doorstops looking all nicely dressed and well-spoken and hope to hell they can help us out.  What are my chances?  Wait, don't answer that!

 So it's my birthday on Monday.  I'll be (sounds like...) shmenty-shmeight.  Not a big deal really.  Actually, I nearly forget it was even coming up.  Thank goodness Hubby keeps track of these things.  Must be programmed into his phone calendar somewhere with all the other 'my wife will kick me if I forget' dates.  So in lieu of my birthday nonchalance I have made no plans yet and the only thing I can think of that I want is plants.  Is that boring?  I've even got a mental list of the plants I want.   A Gardenia, Star Jasmine, purple Anemone Monarch and a miniature herb garden.  

Plus I might grab some bulbs for planting later in the year.  Dahlias, Blue Aconitum, Peonies and Renunculas.  Ooooh now I AM getting excited!!


Our poor, old, well worn-in red leather couch is finally kicking the bucket.  We inherited our couch from Hubby's sister when we first moved in together.  Its got big, deep cushions and it's long enough to lie down flat and have a good snooze in.  I hated it at first due to the colour, but it has grown on me over the years and I had come to love it.  Now that the leather is wearing and tearing, and it makes an unholy creak and crunch noise when you sit down on it I am starting to despise it again.  Sadly we're not rich enough to be able to replace it at the moment so Hubby has done some DIY repairs to the broken base and we're just going to live in couch-death denial until we can afford something shiny and new.  Eeeeewww!

Well, I think that's all I feel I should dump on you for now.  My head certainly feels lighter on my shoulders already.  And heck, look at the time, I've gotta go get ready for our fancy afternoon tea.

What's on your mind this week?  Let me know, maybe we can help lighten your load! 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The hardest goodbye

I couldn't imagine how I'd feel if someone put a countdown on my remaining days in this life.  A very dear friend of mind is sadly losing her fight with secondary bowel cancer. D is one of the strongest women I've ever known, overcoming breast cancer several years ago. It was only during her yearly routine remission checkup last year that they found secondary masses in several hotspots around her body. D took this in her stride, bargaining with her treating team about the methods of treatment that would give her best quality of life, rather than prolong her days to a painful end. But now, despite everyone's best efforts and all the prayers in the world, D can not fight any harder or longer. 

D has over the years been very much like a mother to me. As a kid we moved from the city to the country and I met a girl in school. K and I became fast friends sharing many hobbies and relating over our parents messy relationships. We spent most afternoons at either softball, touch footy or swimming together, and weekends hanging out at her place petting their German shepherd puppy. We've been friends now for 17 years. I can't tell you how many hours of my pre-teen and teenage years were spent in D's lounge. I was never not welcomed with open arms. 

K and I have supported each other through so much during those 17 years; high school, year 12 exams, boyfriends, university, getting married and having babies. It is now my turn to support her through what will be her greatest challenge her, her mother's death. This isn't something either of us ever thought we'd have to do until we were much older and so were our parents. Tragically K and D don't have the luxury of waiting. And as I sit in the chair beside D's hospital bed watching K fuss over her, attend her every need my heart breaks. 

I feel so sad for the memories they'll never make together.  I feel so sad about the conversations that I'm sure have taken place in these last few months. Final farewells, the regaling of days past, the warm, firm embraces and the sharing of tears and fears. How does a mother say goodbye to her daughter?  How does one prepare for such an important and life-affirming conversation?  What parting words of wisdom can you use to bring comfort to the years she'll spend without you? 

My daughter is 12 weeks old and I tell her at least 20 times a day that I love her, that I am grateful for her, that I have big dreams for her life. From the day she was born I felt a completeness to my life; to my soul. I could not imagine the sheer pain it must cause knowing I'd have to say goodbye to her. My daughter is 12 weeks old and already I imagine her wedding day and holding her children in my arms. My heart aches knowing that D dreamed these things for herself and K as well. 

What can anyone say to either of them to offer solace?  What can I possibly offer K in the days, weeks and years to come that will comfort her in this darkest of times in her life? My heart is breaking for them both and yet I know what I'm feeling is only a minute fraction of the pain they are sharing. 

I will hold my daughter closer, whisper I love you's more frequently and say many prayers for D and K. And I will offer all that I have; my love, my support, my shoulder, my home because that is all I can do. 


Friday, 3 January 2014

My family reunion - Part two

Yesterday was the big day. The day I met up with family I hadn't seen in over 10 years. And there's really only one way to describe it: lovely. It was absolutely lovely. 

To be honest there were some awkward introductory hugs at first, as I met my cousins again. But the awkwardness fell away as we sat down to eat and chat and catchup on the events of the last decade.  I learned that my cousin P wants to be a paramedic and is awaiting her acceptance into university. This will make her the eighth member of our extended family to head into the healthcare industry. I learned that my cousins C and M both moved back to Australia after their brother A did, because they couldn't stand being so far away from him in London. And that all three of them now work for competing IT companies. But most importantly I learned that each and every one of them was interested in getting to know me and my little family better, that there were no hard feelings for the years gone by and they too had been excited to reconnect. 

By the end of lunch I felt completely at ease and accepted back into the clan. My aunt was nursing Gracie as Hubby and I chatted away. And when it was time for us all to part ways they all lined up to give us big hugs and kisses. We took a few snapshots to reminisce over later and said our farewells, promising to not leave it so long before we all spent time together again. 

Like I said, it was lovely.