Goodbye 2011

English: Candle wick burning. Français : Gros ...

Image via Wikipedia

Goodbye 2011

Goodbye gripping sadness

Goodbye anger

Goodbye fear

Goodbye bad habits

Goodbye worry

Goodbye self-doubt

Goodbye hurt

Goodbye pain

Goodbye tiredness

Goodbye nastiness

Goodbye negativity and negative people

Goodbye self-loathing

Goodbye depression

Goodbye financial stress

Goodbye guilt

Goodbye caring what others think

Goodbye uncertainty

Goodbye bad luck

Goodbye deep grief

Goodbye 2011

Advertisements

Things I don’t miss about Christmas

I feel short-changed.

For years, we would debate about whose family home we would spend Christmas in.
…. my parent’s home with their clean, relatively modern furniture, good food, great company and pleasant atmosphere
… or with his large, loud, argumentative family at the farm.

Now I loved my dearly departed parents-in-law, but they lived in one of the filthiest homes I have ever entered.

And I say that with love.

They lived on a cattle farm in Queensland. Hot, humid Queensland. The house was packed to the rafters with “stuff” (think Hoarders but organised into piles of stuff and without actual rubbish).
There were no fly screens on the windows, so the heat-and-humidity-loving flies, dung beetles, spiders, large moths, frogs, mice and *snakes* also enjoyed sharing their home with them. Dust and fly-spots covered everything. And the very first time I ate a meal there, I was sitting under the fluoro light at the tiny kitchen table and a dung beetle fell onto my plate.

One Christmas, when I mentioned that a pervasive odour was making me feel ill, they lovingly and laughingly blamed this on the fact that I was pregnant and feeling morning sickness.
Until they found the dead cat under the water tank.

This on top of the looong trip to get there in the summer heat. The trip would normally take 3 hours … but at Christmas, it was often more like 4 or 5 hours due to the traffic on the single highway heading north from the city. …this was done with babies and small children who needed regular feeding and changing. Or the memorable trip home one night that included no less than 5 stops by the side of a busy highway so my toilet-training daughter could pee.

…and then of course, there were his siblings who like nothing better than a good, loud argument at each and every gathering.

So you may get why I spent the lead up to Christmas every year trying to persuade my ever-loving husband that, as we were a family now, Christmas should be spent at OUR house and the travelling north could wait until New Years. After all, they were on farm time and never really cared what day it was anyway so celebrating a week later was not a ridiculous concept.

…and I finally won that one in 2009.

We got exactly one single Christmas as a family in our home. One single Christmas where the kids weren’t given something like a trampoline from Santa, then told that we were leaving an hour later so they wouldn’t get to use it for a few days.

One single cool, peaceful, quiet, clean, comfortable family Christmas at our home with our kids.

…and this year, I’d like nothing more than to pack up my darling husband, kids, a week’s worth of food, clean towels, bedding and presents and spend 6 hours on the highway in order to have a corned meat sandwich in 40 degree heat in a dusty, fly-ridden, snake-infested house with a bunch of crazy, argumentative in-laws.

Just so long as we ALL got to be there….
Another repost from my posting at Widow’s Voice

That look…

You know the one.

The one that your spouse gives you and you feel that strong connection like a bolt to your heart.

I miss getting that look.

That very first shy grin when we met … and instantly, we both felt that zing of one soul recognising another.

The glowing face that was a result of just looking at me. Greg would just beam at me in greeting. Every Single Morning and Evening.

The glance and smile to share that private joke perfectly, without a word being spoken.

The look that said “I know what you are thinking”. We always knew what the other person was thinking. Even down to which obscure Python quote was perfect for the moment.

The look of the Only Other Person who is as proud of the kids as you are. The Only Other person who can rejoice at the first successful potty mission, and the only other person who could possibly be as proud of their achievements on their report cards (cough – working at … and topping… an entire year above level at maths and reading age levels double their actual ages – cough).

The looking for each other. Seeking where the other was at a party (Australian parties are often affairs where the men collectively inhabit the bbq area, beer in hand while the women are chatting in the kitchen, or dancing on the patio, wine in hand.) We’d always glance over at each other and telepathically sense whether the other was having fun or whether it was time to leave.

The eyebrow wiggle that said … well… you can guess the rest of that sentence….

The point is I miss that look that made me feel loved and safe and accepted and known.

The look that let me know I was home.
Another repost of this week’s effort at Widow’s Voice….

Wake me up when December ends

It’s December 1, 2011.

I bought a new car today.

My very first new car ever.

The very first car I have bought all by myself.

Something bright and shiny and new to replace the old and falling apart, frustrating and faded.

I should feel happy.

But I don’t.

I am gripped by the worst grief I have felt in months.

“A new car – you are so lucky” she said.

“I am not lucky” I wanted to shout. “The only reason I have to buy this is because Greg is dead. If he were alive, he would have fixed the old car.”

“…and all that bright, shiny money I paid for the new car wouldn’t have been available because it would have still been sitting in his superannuation account.”

This conversation never took place though.

The second half of it … my half of it… took place in the shower as I washed off the dirt of the day like so much armour surrounding my heart.

…and I broke.

By the time I dragged myself from under the hot water, big, fat, salty tears were plopping onto the bath mat at my feet.

I gripped the door frame for support as drop after drop fell from my eyelashes to puddle onto the floor.

My whole body was heaving with silent sobs as I crawled into our (my) cold bed, and as I lay down the tears ran in a steady rivulet down my face to soak the pillow behind my head.

…and I wonder if I am feeling this way because today marks 21 months since Greg’s head and chest were destroyed so badly by the bulbar of a truck, that I never saw him again.

… or am I feeling this way because I am having to face my second Christmas alone.
….my second Christmas as a sole parent.
…trying to put some sparkle into the children’s lives to make a semblance of a happy childhood.
…trying to fake a joy that I don’t feel and trying to summon a belief in God and goodness that has long since gone.

I don’t know.

Right now, all I want to do is to sleep through this horrible season and wake up when there is some light back in my world.

Just wake me up when December ends….

 

(Reposted from my post on Widow’s Voice)

I am strong

I am strong.
I am incredibly strong.
I never knew how strong Before.

I wonder how I survived those first few minutes of knowing, those first few hours of screaming, that first night, week, month, year.

But I did.

…and so I know I am made of strong stuff.

I know it’s true because I am still here, raising two children, finding joy where I can get it
…. and I am not dead.

But sometimes I think I am so strong that people don’t see past the incredible feats of strength and endurance I am constantly displaying.

…and they forget that it takes every ounce of my strength to keep moving forward.

…and they let me carry too much of their load.

…and I do it because I am strong.

But I worry that I can only carry so much.

So I am going to pick and choose those extra things I must carry.

I’m not going to take on everyone’s minor problems.

Because I need every ounce of my strength for us.

(This is a repost of my post on Widow’s Voice this week)