21 May 2017

Thirteen

Elsies Peak Hike

 Happy days for my fiery fairy who is now a teenager.

Her spark still burns bright and I love watching her grow - some days she wrestles and other days she glides. Whichever way it goes -  all I see is great courage, determination and an attitude of note! [ that part can be challenging!]



Nature loving like her mama
that smile....rare lately but beautiful



sunshine, moongazing, ocean loving



just love

15 May 2017

Mothers Day

Another Mothers Day come and gone.

I still remember last year like it was yesterday. It was horrific.

This year I put so many "plans in place" to try and manage the horror.

I cannot spell it out for you. It would be a complete waste of time. All I can say is take a moment and get your head around kids trying to celebrate their mom for all she is while the other 3 kids mourn afresh the loss of their own mother.

No one knows how to act. No one knows what to say. 
 
I am stuck in the middle. 
 
We tried to navigate in all kinds of creative ways - bringing in extended family and a few more meaningless, grasping attempts.

I will never do Mothers day as a group event ever again. 
Nor will I attempt Fathers day. 
 
It's all a total broken mess.

Bizarrely I am comfortable in the broken mess. My discomfort and rage stems from when others try to 'fix the mess' as it causes them too much discomfort.

This mess is unfixable. And that is okay. 
 
I just need everyone to grow comfortable in this realisation.

Until then I will have to fight tooth and nail to just stay put and not run screaming for the hills; kids and dogs in tow.



Comments

24 April 2017

Kids and Church


Rach asked to go to church today.  I am not a church-goer. I did it for half my life and it never served me in any way least of all getting closer to God. I don't believe being in a church environment was beneficial for me nor for the people around me.

I do, however, believe that it has a place and should my kids wish to go I will be the first to facilitate this.

She went to the teen group and I sat in the service quietly. Ready to just relax and go with the flow. Naive I think. I have never felt relaxed in a church environment - no matter how trendy or hip the church.

Sadly today was (I felt) a very politically motivated sermon. Something about racial interaction; governance and Jesus thrown in for good measure.

I needed to leave the meeting. And I took my (other 2) kids out with me. Church and politics. Really?

The upside is Rach really enjoyed the time at her meeting - she would like to go again.

I will take her and find a meaningful way to spend the 90 minutes while I wait.

The Slide


Today was overwhelmingly difficult. Just getting up felt exhausting.
Last night held some revelations for me that were deeply hurtful. Deeply disconcerting. Late night talks and tears with my middlest had us both laid low in despair.

I spent the better part of the morning talking to a close friend and she helped me find perspective. Thank God for the voice of reason in a season of too much noise.

Add to this emotional burden the fact that an ongoing mysterious ankle injury is keeping me from running. I have rested for weeks, Seen a specialist. Rested some more. Ran 5k last week pain free but since then cannot run even 100m without pain.

I am in that funk. Where every little thing is just too big.

Draw the curtains. Take a bath. Find something mindless on tv.

Tomorrow is another day.

22 April 2017

Just a Moment Ago

It is extremely painful to stumble over photos like these.

My man and my Honey-dog in their favourite place.

I was right there - just a moment ago.

I miss them both terribly.




18 April 2017

April School Hols




 Hallelujah,

It is back to school day. I cannot even tell you (do I need to explain?) how good it feels to have a quiet uncluttered house.

 

Living with 8 other people (actually 10 cos my folks currently live in our flat) is not for the faint of heart. 

As most of you know - I LIKE quiet. And wide open spaces. And did I mention QUIET?



clearly a moment when i was not quite camera ready :-)
These holidays were a great success but by Saturday I had just had enough - I unravelled completely and went off like a stark-raving banshee. 

It was extremely unpleasant; I tried to reason with myself but alas, I was powerless against the tide.

The introvert came out like a demon demanding that everyone sod off and that everything needed to just STOP for a moment. 

I have to say that Kev is very good at creating space for me but even he came under wicked fire --- totally blamed him for my insane state. [that is a completely different post....remind me!]

Our lives are SO BUSY. I hate even saying that word -BUSY. It is like a swear word to me. 
 
I have spent the last many years decluttering my life and trying to find a simple way to live quietly.


Selfies everywhere we go...Vic Bay

Then a nuclear bomb exploded. And I survived. 

I now I have to start all over again with a couple of extra (very loved) moving parts.

It is all very confusing. And annoying at times. Like seriously? 

But we live to tell the tale of our ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances.




03 April 2017

The Rain Will Come


It's our first blended family holiday.

We are driving down  towards a beautiful sheltered part of the coast - a beach I know well.
I have been there a few times before.

The sun is shining strongly; there is a welcoming blanket of warmth in the air.
Out of nowhere a soft rain begins to fall upon the windscreen of the car.

My chest tightens. My breathing becomes shallower and I immediately turn my face toward my window. The tears are upon me.

This is forever going to be my life.

Bright sunshiny days full of hope and happiness and warmth.

But  the rain will come.

02 April 2017

Letters in an Alphabet

I just need to write.
I cannot think about what I write, who my audience may be or what my title should be.
I have been silenced by grief these last months. Silenced by overwhelming change. Silenced by expectation. Silenced by fear. Silenced by my own loud accusations.
I wanted to chart my journey. 
The journey from utter despair, devastation and trauma back to living, breathing me. I wanted to be able to look back and understand how a normal human being can recover from such horror and learn to live again. I wanted to write it all down but I look back and understand it can not be put into words. Not everything can be broken down to letters in an alphabet and a profound quote.
I look in the mirror and see myself again. Not the same self. A different self. I look back and wonder how the fuck I made it this far. I almost congratulate myself but then the guilt will begin its’ pervasive seep through my soul.
I look again and see the wretch I am and wonder how I can face myself each day. How I can simply cast aside all that was and move so swiftly into all that is.
And as I stare more deeply at my reflection I see what it has cost me.
And I walk away to face another day.

12 January 2017

The Line in The Sand




It has come to the end.

The FiveTribe blog.

I cannot write here any longer.
I cannot write anything that does not reflect back on the tragedy of our lives.

I have come to this space so many times in the last few months to try and continue our journey, in writing, on this blog.

I. Just. Cannot.

Five-Tribe was then. And now I have to move on and figure out the now. I need to find a new space that does not home so many memories; both so very good and so very painful.

I did not expect it to be so difficult to say goodbye To A Blog.
Just another facet of loss which is so much bigger than the obvious.

Thank you to so many of you for reading, supporting and engaging with me over the years.





11 January 2017

#2017

I don't quite know how I got here.

Time simply carries you whether you are a willing passenger or not.

The kids went back to school today. After five weeks of holidays. 
It was a very challenging time and I broke down pretty regularly. 

I find this all very, very difficult.  But then again I tend to find everything difficult, which is such a pain in the ass. I used to cruise through life with momentary lapses of introspection but now I almost feel like I live there. It's revoltingly exhausting. 

My morning found me dropping the kids at school...Levi now in Gr 5 and Rach in Gr 10. Faith and I, smug in our solitude, went off to the gym to start the day on the front foot.

Much of my morning was spent catching up with Mom on the patio, a little weeding and a little waxing ..... then a meeting with my first client who wants a complete branding overhaul. A significant amount of work to be done but I am in need of a new challenge and this looks like a great job to cut my teeth on.

I have registered for online (live!) web classes that start on 6 Feb to upgrade my current social media skill set - somewhat daunting but necessary.

The afternoon was spent doing the school run, covering books, dinner shopping and finally taking a very sick kitten to the vet....biliary!!! Rather shocking but am truly grateful that Faith noticed that little Luna LoveGood was just not herself.

Home to make supper for the very hungry, tired people in the house and finally, yet another trip back to the gym with 4 of the older kids for a short, sharp run and strength workout.

A very full first day of routine. Am ready for my bed and an episode of Homeland...and possibly even Weeds if I can stay awake that long.


11 November 2016

True Grit

Today was Levi's first award ceremony as a SVPS pupil. I hate 'prize-giving' and have written many blogging rants on this subject but I was very pleased to see that this school has a unique perspective in the way they reward/encourage students.

Their curriculum and ethos flow strongly around the theme of developing GRIT in children with emphasis on the power of failing-forward, the positive power of struggle and the understanding of process versus outcome.

I sat in my seat listening to the principal and, at times, had to restrain myself from leaving my seat and high-fiving him.

I watched Levi on the stage as he sat with all his peers. He lights up when he is at school and I can only be grateful that the new path I felt best for him turned out so well. He walked away with an EQ award - I am not surprised - this boy has shown outstanding courage this year.

I am so proud of him.

Articles regarding GRIT and how important it is :

http://news.stanford.edu/2015/04/29/dweck-kids-potential-042915/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2015/03/09/grit-the-key-ingredient-to-your-kids-success/


07 November 2016

Music Musings




Music.

It has always held much magic for me but never quite as intensely as the last 18months.

This weekend found me lying in the sun at a beautiful vineyard, surrounded by friends, listening to Watershed.



As I lay there I took notice of how happy I was. I took notice of the way my skin felt. I listened to my heartbeat. I touched the grass and I inhaled the scent of the man next to me. I was overwhelmed with gratitude but, in that same moment, a tinge of sadness seeped through my pores.




Sadness is not something I try to run from anymore. I find she often arrives at the most unexpected times and I have learnt to sit with her in comfortable silence. Sadness amplifies joy. She has shown me that with her I can taste life in colours I have never seen.

I let the music wash over me and smiled as the lyrics told me a story I already knew.


Tell her about today
Tel her about my stay
Tell her we better off this way
Tell her I meant to stay
I'll be back someday
But maybe not today

Tell her, tell her I'm going away
Tell her the wind will blow, on the day I go
And no-one else should know
Tell her I'll see her there, with the wind in her hair
And our angels in her hands
Tell her, tell her I'll be waiting there

[...................................................]

Tell her, her heart is mine
I keep it with me all the time
Right beside mine.



I am no longer tortured by the duality of my life.

I love my life. I love what was. And I love what is.

And I look forward to what will be.



16 August 2016

Tumblr

It has been almost 2 months since my last post. I do not have anything to say that I want to keep for posterity.

I decided to open a Tumblr account. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I had had the same idea four years ago.

I only posted twice.

************************

"Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible and then suddenly you are doing the impossible. " St Francis of Assissi.






*************************

My initial reaction was "wow".

I have since reverted to my current zone right now that goes more like "whatever".


21 June 2016

Mel

I am not going to lie.

This has been a hellish month.      And an incredible month.

That is my life. Parallel paths of heaven and hell.

The trials have been navigating all three of the kids birthdays as well as Fathers Day this month.
It has taken much of me to be okay and celebrate and hold space for my kids. But it is done.

Today I did two things just for me.

#  I signed up with a personal trainer. I need to get physically strong again. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing this gaunt, old person staring back at me. I want to be able to eat, pick up muscle and feel like my old self again. Boobs would be a bonus too.

# I have enrolled with Duke University to do a writing diploma through Coursera. This is purely for me. I have thought about going back to work and it may happen but for right now I just want to try and take care of myself in a way that brings me joy, gives me courage and delights my soul. I cannot contribute, in any capacity, until I find myself full again. Simple as that really.

I am also facing new and exciting challenges as Kev and I start the journey of blending our families. In 9 days time, we will be living under one roof. Starting a completely new chapter in our lives.


Partners and parents to six incredible little humans beings. Insane.

I will have to cook for 8 people.  This scares the shit out of me. Life has a wicked sense of humour.

I regularly sit back, in awe of my own story, how such horror and beauty have come upon me in the last 9 months. The simple act of reconciling so many paradoxical feelings is a continuous mind-fuck. The epic part of this relationship is that I have someone who can completely relate to every weird thought that rolls around my overactive brain!

This is our road. Kevin and I are committed to each other and this new life.
We face real challenges but I know me. And I know him.
We have a fire and passion for life. (and each other)
We will make this next chapter incredible.

Separately we are tough as nails but together we are even better.

Together we are unstoppable.





20 June 2016

Levi

Today was difficult. Really difficult. I struggled to make the day what it needed to be but he was gracious. He texted me now, at 9pm, to thank me for a wonderful birthday.

The boy is being kind. It sucked. But somehow the necessary boxes were ticked and he is okay.


Levi misses his dad like crazy. LIKE CRAZY.


I see it daily, I see it in little things that no-one else will notice.  I see it in his eyes every afternoon when he arrives home. I am not enough and it is revolting.

That being said, Levi is relentless in his pursuit of happiness and fulfilment. He knows that all Russ wanted for him was everything he could dream and imagine. He understands that pain and sorrow will find him regularly but that it is up to him to find healthy ways to purge and move forward.

He does this with music, sport and new friendships. He does this by taking a walk in the estate or finding a new song to learn or by practising tackle drills. Sometimes he quietly just sits in his room and cries. Brutal but necessary.

He has taken responsibility for his own counselling. He emailed the school counsellor  and asked to make an appointment. I only found out about this after the fact - I am incredibly proud of him - he navigates and sets up his own appointments,


 as and when he feels them necessary.

Though the waters are still rough I am completely at peace about his journey. He is remarkable.

I just wish it were for different reasons.