Archive for April, 2011


Dear Darl, it’s April 28, 2011

423 days…

It wasn’t until I was laying awake in the wee small hours that I heard scratching sounds in the walls and suddenly though “that’s another job Greg used to do – check for termites”.

Crap.

So I organised an inspection for today.

The bad news is that we have them.

The good news is that  they aren’t really causing a problem and the one susceptible wall will be treated next week.

P H E W

I miss you in every way, every day.

XA

Day 420-422…

ANZAC day was spent quietly at home.

I have a slightly different take on the day to most …

… I choose to remember the wives left behind.

… the mothers and fathers.

…and the children.

For every soldier killed in war, the flow-on effect destroyed many more lives.

~~~~~~~~~~

Tuesday 26/4 was a holiday as Easter Monday and ANZAC day fell on the same day this year.

We spent the day huddled inside out of the rain and wind watching Harry Potter.  Again.

That and I booked a phone reading with a psychic my friend recommended.

In July.

Because that was the earliest phone appointment I could get.

If I wanted to see her in person, I’d have to wait until next year.

~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday 27/4 was the first day of school for Term 2.

…for the kids as I am apparently not starting back until next week.

I think.

I hate this job uncertainty, and yet I’d rather work at this school than be more certain of ongoing work at another school…

Anyhooo … the kids enjoyed going back to school to see their friends while I went to see the financial planner.

Again.

I need to see a solicitor about the farm … just to formalise *MY* expectations even though GC is unwilling to sign anything or to plan farm succession.

Genius.

Really must do this soon…

~~~~~~~~~~

While I was in the city, I took some photos of ANZAC square for my 365 project (this week’s theme is remembrance) when a man came and asked if I could help him.

It seemed he needed asthma medication, however he didn’t have his wallet and needed $10.

I offered to take him to the nearest chemist and buy him some.

Apparently he “didn’t want to trouble [me]”.  If I were to just give him the money, he could get it himself.

So I told him that I was a widow bringing up young kids on my own and did he really want to take my money?…. (and I didn’t add “take it for booze/ drugs for yourself”).

My offer was to buy him ventolin from the chemist across the street or nothing.

He shrugged and walked away.

Bastard.

I didn’t need this today.

Not when I’m nervous about my ongoing work.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

day 418-419…

A gorgeous day.

We lunched at my friend Michelle’s place.

Michelle is the aid I work with – she is teh awesomez.

and her hubby D is building the deck.

So I was Very pleased to visit their house and see D’s handiwork – he is an amazing builder: their house is a brilliant re-model of a post-war timber house.

The kids played with their kids while Michelle and I caught up having not seen each other for over a week.

But then I went to leave and the world started to spin and I thought I’d either fall down or throw up or both.

I made it to the lounge chair and sat down … and was OK within minutes.

So I got up again to leave and made it to the car and felt hot and dizzy and nauseous again … and Michelle decided that i shouldn’t drive home so she drove my car and D and their kids followed us back to our house (actually, D beat us because I couldn’t think of the quickest way to get there and he’s done the run between houses for a few days now).

…I thanked them and apologised again and again until Michelle told me she’d slap me if I said “sorry” again.

I crawled upstairs, turned the tv on for the kids and went to bed …. only to be woken up within 20 minutes by the folk partying (hard – at 4:30 pm) at the back.

You remember those parties that their daughter would have while her parents were away?

Well …. her parents were away.

I pulled myself together long enough to get the kids bathed and fed and into bed and then had to prize my eyes open whilst waiting for clearance for The Bunny.

Finally got to bed and realised that the party had turned into some sort of non-stop drinking-song football hooligan choir with 5 non-stop hours of  delights such as “chug, chug, chugchugchug” and “drink, drink, drink it down” and I believe something that went along the lines of “fuck, fuck, what the fuck”.

Every word shouted by 20-something blokes with surprisingly loud voices.

At 11pm, I gave up and crawled into H’s bed at the other end of the house.

After a while I realised that the noise had abated … or been muffled somehow (praise Santa) and finally at midnight I crawled into our bed and slept.  Any other night and I would have been OK, but  the fainty dizzy spell thing had made me feel Very tired and a little bit vomitous and all I wanted to do was sleep.

Anyhoo…

I was tired and grumpy Sunday morning and let the kids eat whatever they found on the floor for breakfast … not quite so evil as it sounds as the floor had a fairly good covering of eggs (in wrappers and the floor had been mopped the previous morning).

Then I dragged myself behind the kids who were eager to go us all to church where I maintained my non-participation role whilst allowing the kids to experience the religious service.   Which was surprisingly good, from the children’s story to the sermon (if only I believed any of it).

But the irony of the choir singing “death hath lost its sting” really got me though.  It’s complete bollocks.

Death stings.

A lot.

On the up side, I don’t’ cry in church anymore – nothing seems to touch the sides.  I can love all the beautiful  people there and let the message wash over me without analysing it or getting upset.  Progress!

~~~~~~~

So, we did it….

…  we got through another awful holiday without you.

I was cranky and mad and sad, but I didn’t permanently disfigure anyone or yell obscenities in the street so I count that as a win.

Hopefully, there isn’t a rugby team drinking in the backyard tonight and I will wake up in a better mood tomorrow.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

417 days….

A day spent cleaning and reorganising.  I am happiest when the house is both clean AND tidy.

I think it comes from the feeling of having control over my environment.

Either way, there’s heaps more reorganising and purging to go.

I keep getting stuck in our closet.

Not literally…

I get stuck looking through your old socks and torn shirts that I still can’t get rid of.

That sense that you’ll need them when you come back.

… because that’s what a small part of my brain says as soon as I go to throw those things away.

“He’ll need them when he comes back.”

Do I keep the ugly rock sculpture because it was yours or do I see it for the hideous thing it is and chuck it?

It just takes up space at the top of the cupboard.

A few more things have gone though…. and every bit of the house that I reorganise helps me feel better.

I need to remember that your memory permeates every room, every nook and cranny….

…every minute of every day…

… so tossing out an old belt is not going to change that.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

Dear Darl, it’s April 21, 2011

416 days….

Hooray – the deck has been started.

D was back this morning with a bloke called Andrew, his son and an excavator guy ….. all the footings are dug and the piers are in.

Unfortunately, with tomorrow being Good Friday, no more work will be done until NEXT Thursday …. but still, I’m excited.

In the middle of the excitement, we all went to the dentist.

The kids loved it.

I cowered in fear until it was my turn …

…and yes, my wisdom tooth does have to come out … but aside from hat … all good.

H may have an issue with his lower jaw but I’m not convinced there’s anything to worry about yet.

and I prepare, for the first time ever, to Completely Ignore the Christian Easter traditions and embrace it solely as a public holiday.

with chocolate.

I may take the kids to church on Easter Sunday, but I will be there as a non-praying, non-singing, non-participating person.

The same way I endure musicals so that they have the opportunity to decide whether or not they like it instead of me just refusing to take them at all.

Very freeing to think I don’t have to mentally participate.

I may eventually go back to religion, but for right now, I am so white-hot-livid with God that I refuse to take part in anything that glorifies him.’

he took you away, and for that, I hate him.

But I love you.

XA

Dear Darl, it’s April 20, 2011

415 days…

SUNSHINE!

I feel so much better on sunny days.  I was really sad again last night and cried myself to sleep (again).

But when I woke up and saw the sunshine this morning, I just felt … lighter.

D came and started the footings for the deck today – so far I have 7 very expensive holes in the back yard and some more very expensive orange painted X’s on the ground ….

The post-hole-digger comes tomorrow and hopefully it’s all plain sailing from here 🙂

In other news, Mum, Dad and I took the kids fishing this morning…. finally, their Christmas presents (fishing rods) got Christened.

H caught about 10 diver whiting (most too small to keep) and pulled in two at once at one stage.  I think he may also have caught a couple of toad fish … but it was still fun.

Not to be outdone (or she would be in a terrible sulk) K caught the biggest “fish” …. a blue-spotted stingray.  It was slightly harder to remove from the line and flick back into the water, but we managed it.

Both of them were thrilled to have caught anything at all.

After that, I went to the chiropractor as the headache from yesterday was worse today and I finally realised that pulling up all those pavers had finally caught up with me … no more super-bendy joints and my neck and upper back had stiffened up completely, giving me the headache.

Martin (the chiro) was amazed at how twisted I was …. one leg was an inch shorter than the other and 4 ribs were badly “stuck” (technical term).

I feel SO much better tonight, and the headache is now just a dull feeling that will probably be gone by tomorrow.

… hmmm … tomorrow…

we all have appointments at the dentist.

the kids are excited (oddballs) but I’m scared.

I hate the dentist, despite having pretty good teeth (please PLEASE do not let that comment totally kick my backside tomorrow).

I blame the the first of my 3 fillings I got when I was 12 … no anaesthetic at all and it Bloody Well Hurt.

Come with us and hold my hand.

Don’t let them find any great problem with my chompers.

please.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

414 days…

A bit more of the same today.

I am stress cleaning… as much as I hate cleaning.

Emptying cupboards, purging, reorganising.

It feels quite good to have these things done, organised, clean ….  but while I am doing this, one of the kids will invariably coat the floor in melted chocolate or sprinkle weet-bix flakes from one end of the house to the other.

Still, it could be worse…

… they could be sprinkling Coco Pops from one end of the house to the other.

~~~~~~

We went to the library this morning and then fluffed around for the rest of the day.

…and D came about the deck to explain he couldn’t start until the rain clears.  I like D. I am looking forward to having that deck.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

By tonight, the stabby headache I’ve had for the past 2 days has become a dull thud at the back of my head… and I became Bad Shouty Mummy.

Because I am tired and my head hurts and there’s nobody else to step in.

… and I sit here, feeling sorry for myself and wondering where the hell you are.

I hate that you aren’t here.  That I can’t turn around and hug you.  Yell at you.  Ask you to make dinner … do the dishes .. something … anything.  To let me have a night off.

But mostly that you aren’t here for me to hug.  To run my hand over your scars.  To look into those blue eyes and see your soul.

…and just like that I’m right back at raging WHY you died.

WHY?

It still makes no sense.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

413 days…

Rain.

Miserable.

I hate the rain so much.

I know you loved it, but in the absence of anything more tangible, I blame rain for your death.

…and since you died, we have had the most miserable wet weather for EVERY SINGLE school holiday.

I should be relaxing, but I am not.

I was on a high yesterday, and today I feel heavy, weighed down.

and its all because of the rain.

I hate rain.

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

Dear Darl, it’s April 16-17, 2011

411 and 412 days….

The first weekend of the Easter School Holidays has been spent in the backyard.

Saturday was spent pulling up the pavers outside the backdoor as work is meant to be starting on the deck very soon.  It took me most of Saturday and another 2 hours this morning, but all the pavers are up and stacked against the back fence.

Then Mum brought over their pressure cleaner and together, we moved the big table and cleaned off the concrete.

I have discovered muscles that I never knew existed.  My forearms ached from handling the bricks, my shoulders ache from all the pushing and pulling of the hand trolley back and forth across the yard and my thighs and butt ache from all the squatting down and prising up pavers.

Oh … and I also found time to clean out the Tupperware cupboard, go grocery shopping and do a few loads of laundry.

I am so proud of what I’ve got done this weekend, despite the inside of the house once again resembling a tip again within a few days of being cleaned.

This “Clayton’s Normal” feels … OK.
I hate it that you are not here, but I think you must be proud of the things that I am doing that I *never* would have attempted if you were here (because you would have done them – those pavers would have been all up and stacked within half a day if you were doing it).

I miss you.

I love you.

XA

PS – you would have laughed at the cuteness this morning – H was getting dressed to go grocery shopping and he called K in to his room to survey the outfit as he “would really value [her] opinion”.

410 days….

I dropped the kids at J’s house this morning – thank goodness she offered to care for them today as I really didn’t want them going to another funeral (they’ve been to enough of those already in their young lives).

Then Mum, Dad and I drove up the highway (cringe) to Mum’s home town and started with the committal service at the crematorium and then the funeral at the church in town.

As per usual, I hated the committal.  I don’t do well with a coffin in the room.

Just like I didn’t do well at your funeral service staring at that small wooden box which held the most precious thing in my world.

Today, I focussed on the coffin and wondered if Nan was comfortable in there.  I mean, there doesn’t look like there’s enough room for her legs to be straight … and nobody wants an eternity of leg cramp.

Yes … these are the thoughts that occupy my mind while others are praying.

I nearly cried … but didn’t.

By the time we got to the church in town, I was OK.  I carried out the Bible reading as requested by Nan and then shared some memories on behalf of myself and brother P.

and I did good.

Maybe I could speak at Nan’s service because, after your death, nothing much can phase me now.

….or maybe it’s because her death was timely and as far as death goes … not a bad one at all.

I don’t know – but  there were no tears this time.  Not that I wasn’t sad.

and do you know what else?

I got my butterfly.

I got the rainbow the day she died….

…. and today, as I gazed up at the stained-glass window behind the pulpit, the shadow of a butterfly played across the glass.

Nobody else saw it because they were all praying.

I’ll pay that one.

I miss you.

I love you.

Send more rainbows and butterflies please.

XA

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