Monday, May 26, 2008

Life is what happens when your busy making other plans.

That's totally how I'm feeling right now. Seriously, who would schedule a time like this in their lives? Who would decide that you were going to experience so much pain? I tell people that my grandfather is in hospital, probably dying, and I get the whole "oh, how old is he? well, he's had a good life" ... and I swear, if one more person tells me that I'll choke them till they are a pretty shade of purple. It's a much nicer colour than blue! Yes, I'm aware he is old! Yes, his body has suffered through more than any one person should be able to survive. But he is my Pa. He was there when I didn't have a dad around. Even though he isn't outwardly affectionate, I've always known that I've been totally unconditionally loved by him. I've always known that I've made him proud. And I can't even get my head around a world without Reg ... but at the same time, I can't bear to see him suffering the way he is. So how do I feel? On and off ok. Mostly the most conflicted and miserable I've been in a long time. Even when we were going through everything with Kieran last year, I felt like that in that there was something I could do ... but now, I'm helpless. And seeing Pa laying in hospital, too tired to even tell a joke, makes me feel even more helpless.
It's been 2 weeks. I've been down to see him 3 times. Last time was the best and worst. On Wednesday, he was telling me jokes, fighting with me, and going off at me for not attending the rally for the teacher's strike. All TOTALLY my Pa - he tells the worst jokes I've ever heard, he's a staunch unionist, and he loves to argue. The next day, he could hardly keep his eyes opened, and was struggling to breath, let alone talk. And when I lay down at night, I have those two men in my head ... both of them him, but neither of them quite right. It's breaking my heart.
The other broken hearts around here belong to my kids, and all for slightly different reasons. Tayla and Pa are best mates. To try and prepare a 5 year old for the fact that the biggest man in her life outside her daddy might not be here for long - that's just too hard. But it's too cruel to not even let her know that he's really sick, and she's not silly - she saw it in his eyes when we took them down last weekend to see him. Kieran, well he's just a mess, and I don't blame him! He gave Pa his necklace, and that brought Pa to tears - noone in our family can remember that happening very much (well, not since Kieran offered him a lung if he needed it when his lungs collapsed last year!) And Kelsey is just being Kelsey - holding it in, being strong for everyone. I guess maybe I'm more worried about her than anyone.
So where to from here? He survived surgery the other day, which was more than we expected. He's still in ICU, and making ever so tiny improvements, but mostly he is just hanging on. It could be days, it could be weeks or months. I don't know how much more I can take. And I read that, and I feel so guilty, because this shouldn't be about me - he's going through so much more! So I'm praying when I can, but I don't know what to pray for. Lost. So totally lost, and I don't know what do feel or think about it anymore.

It hasn't all been so grim ... the weekend provided us with a few moments of joy. Kieran had a cadets duty, for the opening of Blacktown Festival, and there was a military display thing at Nurragingy Reserve, so we took the kids down. It was a lot of fun, and even though tanks and jeeps aren't really my thing, it was great to get the kids out of the house, watch them ooh and aah over the parachutists and ponys, and run around in excitement over the waterfall and the icecream truck.
Sunday was the beautiful Bella-Rai's naming day, and my sister and her partner did a fantastic job ... I was using their camera, so as soon as I get the pictures I'll share some. Kieran is Bella's godfather, and Kelsey and Tayla are her "Guardian Angels" - they love that idea, and it was such a sweet gesture. They all got lovely cross necklaces, and Tayla in particular took her role very seriously - she was considering before she said "yes" when asked if she would be the guardian angel and take on that responsibility during the service. Too cute!

Hmmm ... that' s about all I can write now. I have a shocking headache, and should probably go to bed, but I think I just needed a bit of an emotional purge tonight! Thanks for persevering, if you made it this far. And go and give the special people in your life big hugs, or ring them and tell them you love them. Life is too short to assume that you'll have time to do it later.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A monday share ...
Love it. Love it, love it, love it. Thanks Kerryn for sharing this with me! Love it.
That's it for today, really - just another reminder to myself to check this out regularly. Did you hear that Tamara? Go off and check that out again! And a reminder (read the hangover post!) that you are NOT 21 anymore ... you aren't even 16 ... and square poles are designed to hold up patios. That's it. Nuff said.

Oh yeah - Miss Holly has a blog! Thanks to her lovely mummy, Miss Shelee, she's joined the world wide web. Welcome, gorgeous!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Mother's Day Reflection

I just posted this over at ScrapTherapy - it started off as a "Happy Mother's Day" post, but I had a very close friend firmly in my mind as I was writing it, and it got deep and meaningful. I thought I'd post it here too.

To all the mothers of children, present and absent.
To all those who nurture children who they didn't birth, but they love all the same.
To all those who are aunties, sisters, friends and neighbours, who offer a maternal ear, or shoulder, or hand when needed.
To all those who long to hold a baby but have not been blessed.
To all those who have not given birth, and have no desire to.
To all those who nurture their fur-babies.
Who love unconditionally.
Who make the world a better place through their presence.

My life has been nurtured and enriched by so many women.
I have been touched by a biological mother.
By a mother of a close friend, who saved my life on more than one occasion.
By a woman whose womb had never produced an offspring but nonetheless impacted on the world around her deeply - both as a teacher, and a lifelong friend.
By a grandmother, and more aunts that I can number.
By a sister who, by choice, wasn't able to have children in the conventional way, but has this year realised her dream of motherhood, and celebrates her first mother's day this year.
And by friends, both mothers and not, who make the world a better place through their compassion.
Their humour.
Their ability to make rainbows out of the darkest storms.
Their persistence and perserverance.
And their deep and abiding love.

Thankyou to all those women in my life.
And thankyou to those women in yours.
Have a wonderful day today, you beautiful women, no matter what your circumstances and experiences.
You hold a truly honoured place in this world, and I am honoured to be counted amongst you.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What a week!

Man, I've only been back at work for 4 days, but I'm already in need of a holiday. It's program review week at work ... so what does that mean? Well, basically a lot of trees have given their lives this week, my friends. Piles of paper, all attempting to justify our pedagogical decisions. We've been collecting books, organising outcomes markbooks, and documenting every breath we have taken this term. Fun, huh? I'm sure there was something else I was supposed to be doing in my chosen career... ah yes, teaching! Maybe I'll get to that when we get through all the paperwork.

A quick text update - thanks for all the comments and advice on my 1984 dilemma. I've ended up changing my text choices for this term, and am doing a close study on Othello instead (LOVE Iago, what a legend!!) so I can give myself a bit more time to prepare a more interesting (and less snooze-inducing) comparative study program for next term. I'm feeling much better about it, so that's good. Hopefully my yr11 class enjoy Iago as much as me. One of the girls in my class told me about a Bollywood film version of Othello - anyone know any good places in Australia to pick up Indian films? I'd love to get a hold of it - as long as it's subtitled in English!

Scrapping wise, I'm looking forward to a big weekend! ScrapTherapy have their first retreat on this weekend, and I'm not going (boo hoo), but I get to stay home and run the cybercrop which is running this weekend with Julie (woo hoo!!) There is going to be a Blind Scrapping challenge tomorrow night, too, run by Scrapping4Kaytie ... I can't wait, I'm loving blind scrapping. Too much fun!

The other super exciting thing (well for me anyway) is that my kit for my first OTP class at Scrap Therapy has gone on sale - it's going to be great. The class is on May 17th, and you'll get to make a gorgeous mini album using a Kaiser crown album, and some beautiful Daisy Bucket papers. Check out the info in the forum HERE, and take a look at my cool kit - it's really good value!

Ok, I have an Othello program to finish writing by tomorrow, so I'd better go and get cracking.
Take care!