Flashback Friday

Frith with Darby in our temporary accommodation in Rockhampton before moving in to our new house. January 2015.

I sometimes wonder about posting these sorts of photos. I know it can be sad and painful, but we had so so so many wonderful times together. Not enough years, but so many moments, and I want to share those memories here. I want my kids to know how much he loved them. Truly. He was completely in love. With all of us. He felt so deeply and I want that to shine through when I share these memories.

We think of him every day. Some days it feels like every minute. Is that even possible? Is it possible for me not to think of him? He’s always there, somewhere, in some way. He truly is unforgettable and for that I am grateful.

Happy Birthday Quinny

I thought I’d better get into blogging about this before I do what I did last year and went months and months without the full debrief!

As Quinn’s birthday was looming, I took the steps to plan her birthday party. Last year was a huge affair with a jumping castle and loads of her friends, and ours, and it was a fantastic afternoon that continued on into the evening, as our gatherings always did.

This year was going to be a smaller affair, but it turned out bigger than I had planned. The weather didn’t cooperate with the coldest February day in years (on record?? Surely not) It was raining, windy and cold. And the party was at the local playground.

The good news is, we had the place to ourselves! The bad news was that the kids got soaked through within the first five minutes so were a little miserable on and off for the afternoon.

Quinn wanted a cake with ballerinas, Minnie Mouse, flowers and something else I can’t remember. I suggested a mermaid cupcake cake like this:

Bless her cotton socks she agreed, and was even excited about it! As was I! There was a slight transportation issue with the mermaid tail cupcakes…

But with extra icing and a metric tonne of sprinkles, no one was the wiser…

Ha ha. Nailed it! 🙂

The birthday girl was a little overwhelmed with all the fuss, and stayed close to her Mama. That was fine by me. I don’t often get lots of cuddles from my baby girl.

She was all smiles when it came to the cake.

Again, it’s not what we planned, but we were surrounded by some of the best people in our lives and for that I am grateful. Happy 5th Birthday to my Quinny. You have always been Dadda’s girl, and I know you miss him but his spirit lives in you. You are determined, caring, hilarious, and kind. You will always be our baby girl, even though you are growing up before my eyes. Your family love you so much and I know you will go on to do great things in your life. We will be there for you every step of the way.

Love, Mama  xxxxxxx

He’s everywhere, but he’s not here

This is how I felt when I went to the house in Rocky. I saw Frith sitting at his desk, studying or playing video games; I saw him in the kitchen making his tasty BBQ sauce, I saw him on the deck having a beer with his friends; I saw him in the Lego room building something awesome with the kids; I saw him in our bedroom sleeping soundly.

He was everywhere, but he wasn’t there.

I feel that way every day when I look at the kids. When I see him in them. I feel that way when I pick up our Contigo water bottles, when I take the kids in the Croozer bike trailer/pram, when I see photos of him everywhere.

He’s everywhere, but he’s not here.

And it’s how I felt when I spent over three hours in ED tonight. (I slipped down my friend’s stairs just after it had started raining and it was wet and I was wearing thongs and I was holding Darby and my forearm took the full force of the blow. And my butt. I’m fine by the way, and so is Darby.) I could see him in the Doctor who made the child next to me feel at ease; I could see him in the Doctor having a joke with the nurses; I could feel his calming presence in the room where a patient had to have her should put back into place after a dislocation. I could see him typing up notes and scrolling through test results in the middle of the chaos of Emergency.

When I got the good news that there was no fracture, I could hear him in my head saying “it’s really hard to break that bone, honey, so it’s probably just a bruise.” It’s what he would have said. I’d put money on it. I would have insisted that I get an x-ray, and can just see the look on his face when I told him he was right.

He’s everywhere, but he’s not here. And it’s a hard reality to face. And I thank God every single day that I don’t have to face that reality alone.

10 things on the 10th

Random edition.

1. I have internet. I may never surface again. I have a to-do list of about a hundred things, mostly fun stuff, and it’s nice to be back online. I have been on my laptop a lot the last two evenings and it’s bliss.

2. I’ve been unpacking and settling in. There’s still a lot in boxes but we have the essentials and we are doing okay.

3. I am grateful for many things in my life right now. The kids like school, the walk to and from school is gorgeous, and my kids get to see their grandparents a lot more, just to name a few things.

4. I have SO many emails and messages to catch up on. I know there’s no pressure to, but I want to.

5. I had lunch at the new precinct at Chermside shopping centre. Holy moly! I didn’t even know they were building that, let alone that it was complete! Crazy!

6. I have been very kindly given a few massage vouchers and have started cashing them in. Thank you so so much.

7. Our house in Rocky is finished and ready to be rented. I hope it happens sooner rather than later.

8. I’m drinking a bit too much a bit too often. Not to excess per se, just need a few more regular alcohol free days and weekends.

9. Even though I haven’t been able to make it to the mum fit classes down here, I do have a plan to start some PT sessions and continue with my walks to and from school.

10. Mum and Dad’s house is amazing. The view is stunning, the breeze is incredible, the space is lovely, the company is perfect, the feel is homely. I can’t quite say I feel like I’m “at home” but I’m as close as I possibly can be in my current circumstances. And that is definitely something to be thankful for.

Flashback Friday

I wrote this post 4 years ago to the day and stumbled upon it while looking for inspiration for this week’s Flashback Friday. I read those words and remember that feeling I had at that time. The feeling is different now. The focus is different. But it’s interesting that I wrote that post way back then (we had just moved to Mount Isa) in light of my current circumstances.

This photo was taken around that time. We were in our dickie little courtyard out the back of our tiny townhouse and the kids were sharing some frozen blueberries. Quinny had just turned one, Chance was three, and I was soon to be preggo with Darby. It’s amazing how, in hindsight, things back then seem so simple.

Flashback Friday

First week of school/kindy last year

First week of Grade 2 and Prep 2018

There wasn’t a whole lot of willingness to pose for photos this year, but the kids had a great first week. The school is 1.5km away and we have walking and scooting each morning. A really nice start to the day!

Unreal

In the past I’ve read about people who have found themselves in my position. Mothers who have lost their husband/partner, whether it be suddenly, unexpectedly, after a long illness; it’s irrelevant. They have been left to raise the kids on their own* and manage life without their beloved.

My heart has ached for these women; I have been brought to tears thinking about how their babies would no longer have their Dadda around; and I have struggled to understand in any way how they must be feeling after losing the love of their life.

Now that I have found myself in that very circumstance, all I can tell you is that it feels nothing like I could have imagined. It’s unreal. And not in the denial sense of the word. Not in a way that I can’t accept it. Just in the way that I never could have imagined. It’s a whole new world for us and it feels so incredibly strange.

My heart still aches for my kids and my guts still feel ill a lot of the time. I feel so sad that my kids won’t have Frith around to teach them the million things he should have. I’m devastated that our “til death do us part” was only 10 years of marriage. I cry for the unfairness that we won’t get to go on the crazy adventures we planned. I feel for  the interns and medical students and colleagues who respected Frith so deeply, and all that knowledge that won’t be taught by someone who was a born teacher. I feel sick at the thought of his parents losing a son; his siblings losing a brother, his friends losing a fantastic mate, and the world losing a damn splendid and unique human being.

I’ve had so many offers of help over the last 23 days, and it’s hard to think of things that people can “do” for me. But I’ve just thought of something. So here it is: Do something unique. Do something in a different way to everyone else. Do something outrageous. Do something unexpected. Do something kind. Teach someone something. Look up a crazy fact to bring up at your next dinner party. Download a full 20 minute episode of Adam Ruins Everything and tell me which one you watched (we’ve seen most of them). Then tell someone else about it. Buy something off Gumtree or at a garage sale or op shop instead of buying it new.

I’m not going to tell you cliches like “live every day like it’s your last” or ” you just never know when your life might change so appreciate every moment.” It’s unrealistic to live that way. But do something every week or month or year that’s just a bit different; see the world with Frith-coloured-lenses and try something new. He never did anything because “everybody else does it that way.” In fact he avoided doing what everyone else did. So branch out from the norm and let me know how you go.

One last thing. Listen to “Wake Me Up” by Avicii (sorry no link), listen to the words and think of Frith. He may not have been here for a long time but my goodness it was a good time.

Who needs an expensive baby carrier when a chesty Bonds will do? Just a suggestion 🙂

*I know I’m not even close to being “on my own” but in this context I mean as the sole parent.

38 today

This is not exactly how I planned to celebrate my birthday this year. Not even close. But with these four rascals vying for a spot on my lap, and being surrounded by my cousins and family, it wasn’t bad at all. Thank you everyone. This was the first of many firsts without Frith. And it was made easier with your love and support.

I’m heading to Rocky first thing tomorrow morning until Saturday evening. I feel that reality is about to hit. I can’t prepare myself for it other than getting my village ready up there to catch me when I fall. And what a village it is. Thank God I have them. See you soon guys. It’s going to be rough xxx