Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pneumonia and Georgy

Pneumonia. I have it. But it's getting better.

What else has happened? Hmm, I worked full time for a month...but found it very very difficult with home responsibilities, and coming down from being in the play "Inheritance". Can I just say how much I loved being in Inheritance? First of all, I got to make some great friends, I got to do something I love (acting) and be a really challenging character. It was soooo funny backstage at this play - some plays, the actors just show up, do their stuff, and go. There's not much camaraderie and you don't feel you really crack the surface with the other actors. Not so with this play.

For a start, there was the chance to work again with Deb Hall and John Head, who both make me laugh and are awesome. I got to fight with both of them, and the faces that John would pull in one of our scenes made me lose it on many an occasion. There was even one performance when I sniggered slightly, then pulled myself up. JH also provided the idea for one of my killer lines - "awww...isn't that sweet? BREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" Each night, as I screeched this into poor Joyce's ear, I knew that backstage Mon and Leigh would be cracking up.

Fiona was an amazing director, providing crucial blocking, character ideas and inspiration....I found her direction so insightful and comforting, because you knew exactly where you stood. No second guessing.

I got the chance to work with Dale Jenke for the first time, playing his horrible (fish)wife, screeching at him and calling him a loser!! hehe. It was so fun, Dale is a real joker and saying "GOOOD TIMES" and "OH YEAH" after walking off stage became a habit for cast and crew alike. I loved the chance to work with Joyce and Anne, and the gorgeous Brian Gill....he is a very special man and will always be like a member of my family.

I loved my goils, too.....Kate and Sian, fighting over skirt lengths, yelling at them and generally being horrid. Loved giggling backstage after I'd told them to "GET IN THE CAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHRRRR!!". These two chicks are totally gorgeous and destined for great things. so much talent!

It was very exciting to work with a professional actor, and Isaac Drandich was such a sweetie - he even told me it was great to work with me!! I was so thrilled, it was a bit nerve wracking the first time he saw us perform, but I really think that it made us bring our A game, and that the production was the better for it.

Leah and Monique were always making me laugh - Mon and I were thrilled the day that we discovered that we shared a passion for the young ones! Now I pester her all the time with random texts about sillliness. Being immature is one of my greatest joys and I have people to share that with now! hehe. Leah and Amanda are the bestest backstage crew and I loved the chance to work with them again.

I love theatre because you become like a little family, the week before and during production are so full on that you form stong alliances and get to know and love each other. It makes living in shepparton sweet, because I feel like I now know "my people", the arty farty set!

Anyhooo - the job. It was pressure-ful and demanding and not altogether fair. But, I feel I handled it really well, apart from a teary outburst on my last day. I met a lovely girl, Jo......and have become facebook friends with Mel because of it. I really like Mel, and it was great to find out that I wasn't the only one!

I'm in the process of finding a coupla day a week job, and getting back to health. Have been so sick for about a month that I didn't do anything, see anyone or write, watch tv, anything. It was awful....but I think what I needed to just have some me time and review.

And now, the Georgy awards! Well, I'm going to be brutally honest and say that I wish I'd have won a Georgy last night - because I am vain, hehe...and because I would have liked a chance to get up there and thank my gorgeous family and new friends. 3 years ago I was severely depressed and couldn't see how I would ever truly live again. Today I live in glorious technicolour, with a fabulous husband, beautiful boy, I feel truly blessed. I agree that a nomination is cause for celebration in itself!! Last night I dressed up and felt beautiful and comfortable in my own skin. It's been a long time coming - my teens and twenties were full of angst, and now I feel happy to be me, and happy to be where I am. Contentment rules.

Love you all.
Deb xoxo

Monday, August 31, 2009

Long time between blogs.....and up before 6am!

Good morning all,

Well, it's extremely early and I only went to bed at 12.30...what the heck am I doing up at this insane hour? The answer is, changing a wet little boy's sheets and clothes, and stressing about my new job!! Eeeek!!

Let's put this into a bit of perspective - I have been doing the whole "let's hand it over to God" thing, and trying just to sleep and not think about what lays ahead, but let's face it, I have been not sleeping the night before important events since my first test in primary school. Always been just a leeeeeeeeeeedle bit of a worrier.

But I think in this instance that I might have due course. I was working a very reasonable two day a week job, but was getting worried that I'd get bored. I had been relieving another woman's position, and it was very busy, and I was enjoying the challenge. I started to miss being might say my pride was telling me that I needed some more validation in my job. I didn't really stop to think about the play being on in 2 weeks and that I'd be super busy with that. I wanted a new job and I wanted it noooooooooooooooow (the usual time I want most things....oh, and if not now, on MY TERMS, than you very much, God!!)

So...this job offer plopped into my lap. A friend from work put me forward for it, and I thought I pretty much had the job. Turned out, I had to interview for it, and the more they thought about it, the more I became convinced that I NEEDED THIS JOB!!!! So I did the best interview I possibly could, did my research and said all the right things, most of which were true. After that, it all happened pretty fast. I gave my notice, trained my replacement, had my farewell morning tea and thought about all the things I could buy with my pay....heheheh....good priorities!!

On the weekend, I had some training and started to have second thoughts. The good thing, is that they have built into the contract that I signed a get out clause for both of us, after one week we will both give feedback and see if we want to continue. I guess they realise that the job is pretty full on, as they've had a couple of women in the position who have had to leave because of the stress. my reservations are:
- the hours are long, and from what I can understand there is a lot of unpaid overtime, on weekends and after hours. I simply don't have this time up my sleeve - I want to be able to leave work at 5pm to pick up my boy and have quality time with him. I'm committed to 8.30 til 5pm but am concerned that there is a work ethic of working til the job's done. I simply cannot do this.
- there is a lot of abuse coming my way!! Dealing with very irate customers is part and parcel of this job. Typical reception/call centre procedure dictates you are allowed to disconnect callers if they repeatedly abuse you. I asked if after a few warnings, I'm allowed to disconnect if people are verbally abusive. I was told "you never hang up on a customer!". cripes.
- I have a sinking feeling that there is a drinking culture within this company. Something tells me this, although I have no proof.
- there is a lot of swearing and stuff that goes on. I don't mind a good swear now and again but not so much in the workplace.
- I am really quite concerned about how I am going to cope with the pressure. In the interview I said I coped well with pressure, and this is true for the most part....but I haven't had to cope with workplace pressure for a long time and I'm unsure as to how I"ll go.

So there you have it. I suppose I really have to front up this morning and see how I go. The bad news is that I already notified centrelink about the increased pay that I'll be getting in this job, so our childcare will skyrocket. If I do finish up at the end of the week, I am worried that I won't be able to get another job and will be forking out $200 for childcare with no way of paying for it. I am also a bit in favour of not continuing in the job, as production week (next week) is scarily busy and I really don't know how I'm going to handle the new job and the long hours of rehearsal.

Writing about this has really helped me, I have been laying in bed trying to rationalise my feelings, but setting them out in front of me has helped to clarify them. I think what I'll do is go to work and see how I go, then raise my concerns with my disability support worker - that's what she's there for!! I am sure they'll be supportive if I feel I can't cope, and will have some options. There is no shame in doing what's right for me. There is shame in staying in a situation because you're afraid of what people might think of you. So, yeah. Go me. I might even like the job!!!

Thanks for listening and I'll keep you all posted.

Deb :)
ps - the play is going fabulously and I'm relishing the juicy role of Maureen Delaney. She's such a baaaaaaaaaaad woman. I love our cast and I just laugh a lot of our rehearsals. I'm so looking forward to performing. See you at Inheritance!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Well, as most people reading my Facebook page would know, the family and I headed over to Perth about a week ago for Nanna (Mum's mum)'s 90th birthday! Me, Alex, my sister Angela, Mum and Dad, my sister Jen, her hubby Ben and their kids Annelise, Zach and Elijah.

Ang, Alex and I were most kindly accommodated by Mum's brother, Jeff and his lovely wife Jenny, daughter Hayley and dog Gemma. hehe. Mum and Dad stayed with Nan and Jen, Ben & co stayed at an apartment in Scarborough for four days, two nights with a family friend somewhere in the sticks, and the remaining three nights with Jeff & Jen.

Friday, we all arrived, Angela had taken a flight from Sydney a little earlier and was waiting for us. We collected the car and all piled in, and went and had dinner at Nan's with a massive Abbott family gathering......... Jeff, Jen, Hayley, as well as their other kids Tracey, Tracey's hubby Rob, Clint and his fiance Adele, and their five kids Kyeran, Ayden, Chloe, Chelsea and Shelby....Ange, Mum & Dad, Alex & I, Nan, of course, it was a full house! Cam, Jeff & Jen's son, was working late at Hugo Boss and didn't arrive til 9pm (or 11pm est!)......

Alex was doing pretty well but hadn't had a sleep all day or much of a rest and absolutely lost it around 8ish, so lovely Clint dropped us home to Jeff & Jen's and I got Alex to bed, then cracked out the tracky pants and made myself a cuppa. Ang and Hayley arrived home not long after and we chatted for a bit before all heading for bed. We slept pretty well, Alex woke a few times and was up at 5.30am (7.30 est) i dressed us, grabbed the stroller and went for a walk around the shops....only to discover that west australian shops, eg safeway and coles, don't open til 8!! Oh the humanity, as I was so used to Shepparton shopping kicking off at 7am and was thinking I could kill a few hours with a leisurely walk around. Oh well.

We grabbed a coffee for me and a mcmuffin for alex and found a park further up beach road, and had a good play, made a sandcastle and went on the swings. We headed back to the Warwick grove Centro (Ang and I were sure that it was a Westfield, even though mum assured us it wasn't. She was right. Damn it!! hehe)...and met up with Angela for a coffee and a browse through the now open a call from Mum and Dad and met them at the Gloria Jeans. Hilarity was had by most, with Ang and Dad giggling over Glomesh - dad had found a bag at nan's and was quite taken by it. I was a bit of a grumpy bum as I hadn't had quite enough sleep and tried to join in but was a bit vague. Alex and I walked back to Jeff and Jen's and Ang, Mum, Dad and Alex headed out to see Jen & Ben and co. I headed off to a meeting and grabbed some lunch at the Centro. Bought some flowers for Jeff & Jen to say thanks and met the crew back at Jeff & Jens. Ang went off for a sleep as she had the flu and Alex played outside for hours on a plastic bike, whose wheels made a delightful sound on the concrete bricks. After two hours I ordered him inside and we cleaned up for dinner..yummy Tacos made by Hayley, with the assistance of Ang and I.........and I can't even remember what we did on Saturday night. Ang? Anyone? I think we all tried to have an early one as Nan's birthday lunch was the next day.

Sunday dawned bright and clear and Alex slept til 8am, what a good boy! I was a bit sleep deprived and weepy, premenstrual as all heck. I was also a bit stressed out as there are a lot of knick knacks and breakables at Jeff and Jen's and I was determined that Alex and I were on our best behaviour, so I felt quite unable to leave him alone at all times, was watching him like a hawk and even taking him to the toilet with me! I didn't feel that I could impose on Ang as she was sick with the flu and I was trying to prove to everyone that I was accommodating and mature and didn't have a hint of control freakery or PND residue. As a result, when Ang and Dad and I went for a walk I snapped at Ang, then burst into tears, and a tirade about how difficult I was finding it and how I missed Richard and was afraid of not being able to do this. We all went to the park and I pulled it together for Nan's par-tay. Much fun was had, although I must admit that I hardly spoke to anyone as I was trying to look after Alex and make sure he didn't destroy the fancy restaurant. Wasn't particularly child friendly but the food was delicious and I gave up all thought of healthy eating and tucked in with gusto. Alex started to lose it and was showing signs of I got Ang to drop me home (stupidly I had told mum & ang that I didn't care if I drove or not, so they didn't add me to the hire car list. Again, with the trying too hard to not be control-freakery!!)...and had a little rest. I think Alex slept for a while, or maybe he just lay in bed and went "la la la"for an hour (yes, I think that's what happened)

The hordes then arrived at Jeff & Jen's and everyone played for hours, was lots of fun. I got my second wind and stopped being a grumpy bum. People started to leave and Alex headed off to bed early. Hayley, Ang, Jeff & Jen and I all sat down and watched some telly, eating some yummy mini pizzas that Jen made.

Monday, Ang, Hayley, Cam, Alex and I went to play mini golf and then to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory. It was lots of fun, although I can say that I wouldn't recommend mini golf to anyone under 4. It was a bit of an exercise in frustration, although there are lots of cute photos of Alex playing mini golf. I was a bit grumpy, but trying to be Zen about not getting to play and spending my time retrieving the ball for Alex and trying to ensure that he didn't destroy the golf course with his swinging golf club! The chocolate factory was a big hit though!! I saw the most revolting thing I saw all holiday, a revolting woman with a massive paw-full of the sample chocolate ramming handfuls of the stuff into her gaping maw. Quite disgusting, as they're sposed to be samples that you try, not grab entire paw-loads of and shovel into your gob as quick as possible. And besides, I only do that in the privacy of my own home. hee.

Monday lunch, we met up with Jen & ben and others at Nan's house for her unofficial birthday lunch......and large quantities of lunch and the delicious creamy sinful cake were consumed. mmmmmm... We then journeyed home to J&J's and the cousins (Jen, Ben, Ang, Hayley, Cam and I) all cleaned up for a night out, with the grown ups (Mum & Dad, Jeff & Jen), looking after the kidlets. We went tenpin bowling, with me insisting that everyone make up funny names on the bowling screen. I was "farty". heheh. We then went on for a lovely dinner at the local Italian, where pizza and pasta was consumed. The highlight of the night was after dinner, when Ang and Hayley won a large spongebob squarepants from the skilltester machine!! We buckled him into the kiddie seat and set on our way, singing Spongebob squarepants as we went!

Tuesday, all the kids and most of the adults had their hair cut / coloured by the talented miss Hayley. Alex cried all the way through his haircut, but Zach, Annelise and Elijah enjoyed theirs. I was still stressing a bit, I love being around my neice and nephews but I find it a bit full on, being only used to looking after one. A misunderstanding led me to lose the plot and say "I'm taking alex for a walk!!".. I headed off in tears and was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. I started to realise that I was feeling impotent and out of control, as I had no transport and kept having to rely on others to do what I wanted to do. I was also trying way too hard to be "nice"and "perfect", and getting a bit worried about Wednesday, when everyone was going to have a day to themselves, and Alex and I were going to be stuck at home. I hate being stuck at home. I'm a get out there and do stuff kinda gal. So, I decided I'd hire a crappy car for a coupla days. This proved a little difficult as I don't have a credit card (only Richard does, and with good reason too!).....but I found one and Alex and I took a taxi to pick up our Adventure Car (as Alex and I called it) We came home and I apologised to Haylz and Ang for being a moody cow, and explained that I'd felt trapped...but now had my freedom. Yay! Hayley did my hair and Alex actually had a sleep. Double Yay!! Ang also had a sleep to kill the flu bugs.

Tuesday night we had a girls night in and had yummy indian and watched Marley and Me. I cried again, and Ang didn't cry at all! I accused her of being inhuman. hehehe. A joke, I swear!

Wednesday dawned and Ang headed to the westfield for pamering, Muz & Wad went to the cemetary to visit Grandma, and Alex and I went to Toddler Town, out in Morley.....and stayed there for three hours. It was fantastic and we had the best time. Wish there was something like that here in Shep

We then went out to Hilary's for an icecream and to look at the beach and boats. While we were out there, mum rang and said she'd booked us into the Harbourside apartments there as she felt that I'd enjoy myself more with some space ....gee, am I that obvious?? hehe. I would have probably coped with Ben and Jen and kids and Alex and i staying at J&J's but might have struggled, so this was soooooo thoughtful and lovely of mum and dad. We called in to see Mum and Dad at Nan's and Alex fell asleep in the car, and didn't even wake up when I transferred him to the bed. I ran over to J&J's, packed a case for Alex and I and journeyed over to Hilarys.

I accidentally locked myself out, with Alex on the inside, while I was trying to bring all the bags in. He was getting quite upset and it took ages for me to find the right number to ring for after hours (probably about two minutes!)....the lady was wonderful, and flew down the stairs to open the door so I could be reunited with a tearful boy. It was such a beautiful apartment.....and it was so nice having some space, although i felt a little lonely. careful what you wish for. I quickly recovered with the pay tv and some chocolate. Yes, all idea of healthy eating on holiday was definitely abandoned.

Thursday, Ang, Mum and Dad had offered to take Alex, Zach, Annelise and Elijah to the zoo so that the adults could have a child free day. We jumped at the chance and dropped kids off at 10am. I was all set to get a pedicure but as I drove off, decided to buy some flowers and go visit grandma's grave. As I drove around Subiaco, Nedlands and Claremont, it took a little while to find a shop to buy flowers in, and by the time I found Grandma's grave, it was midday. Jen and Ben rang and we arranged to meet up in Subiaco. I went to Dalkieth - Grandma and Grandpa lived there most of their lives and I'd spent many happy summers there.

I had dressed up for the day, luckily, as Dalkieth is rather hoity toity these days. Felt comfortable sauntering into the coffee shop and ordering a large decaf skinny cap. I think cappuchinos are supposedly passe these days, but I'm going retro. So there! Met up with Jen and Ben and Cam and had a yummy lunch in Suby........a little browsing, then a scenic drive along the coast, and to Cold Rock at Hilarys for more icecream for the whole gang.

I had to take my little crappy Pulsar back to the shop by 4.30, so Cam met me there and we all drove home. Alex was very tired after his long day at the zoo, as were Mum, Dad, Ang, Zach, Annelise and Elijah. Everyone came over to Jeff and Jen's for a roast but Alex was set for a tiredness tantrum and I asked mum to take me home.....taking a delicious plate of roast back to the apartment with me. Alex was asleep within 20 mins and I sat up reading til 11pm.

Friday morning Alex and I had some choc chip pancakes on the Wharf as a last hurrah, then walked around and got some provisions for the plane ride home. Mum picked us up and we checked in to our flight and spent some time at the airport. Dad is terrified of being late for a plane, and doesn't travel well, so we arrived two full hours before we were due to board the plane....two and a half before we were due to fly out. Never mind. A misunderstanding and a spilt coffee got the morning off to a bad start, as Alex was being very cranky (not unlike his mummy)...and the emotion of the trip wasn't lost on any of us. I apologised for being cranky (a recurring theme to the holiday) and we jetted off to Melbourne. All in all, a fairly successful holiday and I think I did pretty well without my hubby, although I had lots of support from family......all in all, I think I tried to be responsible, adult and aware of the effect my actions had on others....and I believe I was successful a fair bit of the time. yay, progress!

That's all folks.....back to reality and about seven or so days til Richard returns. Mum, Dad, Alex and I all managed to pick up some degree of bug on the plane, and I spent Friday and last night in Shep by myself, felt ok Friday night but yesterday was suffering from a yucky tummy bug. Today Alex and I had to come over to Finley for Roree's party, and as I was still suffering, lovely Mum took Alex to the party. Tonight we're camping at mum and dads, where I write these words to you.....waiting for damn Facebook to upload mum's photos.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

March and April 2009

Wow,'s been about six weeks since I've last blogged...I keep thinking that I should, but it's so much easier just to do random quizzes on facebook and comment on other peoples statuses, then refresh the page to see if they've responded to my witty comments...hehhe. I do so have a life!!

Well, I went to Portarlington with Richard and his work in late March, that was fun...I was stressing heaps about it because it was going to be a bit of a boozy weekend away..... Went to a few meetings beforehand and went away armed with a lot of numbers and the meetings list. Actually managed to attend one whilst I was away, most of the boys were go-carting and the women had taken a bus to Geelong, so I hopped along ....then went and spent some quality time shopping and enjoying Sumo Salad! I wish they had a branch here. Richard and I really reconnected on the weekend away and I'm glad that I didn't let my fear stand in the way of going. Here is a pic:

Then, the weekend after that I headed off to sunny Canberra and had a lovely short visit with Laura and Luke, catching up with Megan, Deb and others, and the lovely Margs. Stocked up on some books at Canty's (wish I could go there every weekend) and went to the Fyshwick markets...has to be done. Lots of remeniscing and "oh yeah, remember the time that I got drunk on that corner".......but also "remember how sad and lonely I felt".....and then "wow, I'm a really different person to the one who left here 5 years ago. I mean, really really different. Less afraid and more patient and stuff". (on a good day anyway)

I came home on an absolute high. And you know what they say about highs...what goes up, must come down. And down I came, spectacularly, just in time for Easter at my parents!!

Had an ok weekend, was great to see family, Richard's brother Tim has got engaged to a lovely girl called's awesome. Tim is great and Squish is wonderful, it's so awesome when you see two people so in larve preparing for their lifetime together. Ahhhh. Sister Jen and hubby Ben threw a party for Elijah's first birthday party and I got to see a lot of peeps I hadn't seen for a while. Also caught up with Katy and Roree and Sara and Allison, which was great for me and for Alex. Had some quality talks with mum, she is such a soldier. Always thinking of someone else and always there for me. I had a moment last night when I realised that I must have caused her to shed some tears over the years. I thought of Alex doing some of the things I'd done and reduced myself to tears!

We had a busy schedule of social events and I ended up having a big fight with *someone* and spending a lot of time crying. Oh well, says she, proof positive that I haven't changed that much....and can still go back to that scared little person if I let my guard down or get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. A shame, cause I was thinking I was superman before that!

Spose that's the point though - it's not all good or all bad, it's somewhere in between. Just because I get tired or make a mistake doesn't mean that I've failed. So, since then I've been deciding to do what I am passionate about and get involved with others. For me, depression lies in staying home all the time and only thinking about myself.

So....I have redoubled my efforts in finding a job, have applied for 3 with scary long selection criterias....and kept in regular touch with temping agencies.....with an excellent result! Had a phone call today and I'm going to do two days of temping with an accounting firm here in shep, taking the minutes and typing them up for one of their meetings. Oooher! I was excited but felt a sense of "holy crap, can I do this?"......The one thing that my recovery has taught me is to be humble and gracious (as I said, not all the time), and whereas before I would have walked in the door thinking I was hot sh*t and they were lucky to have me deigning to work with I'm a little less full o myself. I'm sure it will be fine though...I have done minute taking and writing before and I haven't ever had any complaints. None that I listened to, anyway, hehe.

I have also dropped out of uni.....for the third time in my life. hehe. There's a funny story to do with uni. Whenever I find myself unsure about what to do in life, I always think "I'm gonna study!".....and I always, always, always wish that I was working instead of studying. I hate it. I just don't get it and I don't want to do it. I started with this study skills unit and it was really hard and we had to summarise a text on really dense, heavy subjects. It brought back sitting in a lecture hall at ANU in 1994, panicking, and thinking "I DON'T WANNA DO THIS!!!".......I may be a thinker, but I'm not academic or analytic enough for uni....perhaps not disciplined enough either. Plus, you have to do so much of it by yourself - I much prefer being around people and talking and all that jazz.....ruminating at home by myself isn't much fun for me. I wanna get out there and live, live people!!! hehe. So I feel at peace with it and have told myself to remember this feeling the next time I think "I want to study"...recognise if I am really interested in what I'm thinking of studying, or am I just using it as a plug for a hole elsewhere in my life?

I have had two mega-awesome outings with Alex. On Sunday, my friends Kellie and Glen organised a boat cruise along the Murray river at Echuca. It lasted 2 hours and I was a little worried about how Alex would cope (Richard was racing at Wilby Park so couldn't mind him), and though he cried a little, he was mostly really happy and I felt that we both managed it well.

Just to test my endurance, Alex and I also travelled to Melbourne today, drove to Seymour and caught the train to Melbourne (for the grand price of $10.20 return), met up with the lovely Laura and her lovely sis Katherine......bought some shoes, ate some was great. Managed Alex's moods well, even managed to hold a conversation with Laurs while Alex was leaping all over me in one of his hyper modes. Not sure what Laurs thought of it all..... She is looking lovely, they say pregnant ladies bloom, but this hot mama takes the cake. I'm so excited for her and Luke. I hope their baby has ginger ringlets. I love ginger hair on kiddies.

Today also will go down in history as "the day I stopped eating icecream when I was full, even though it wasn't all finished". Yes, historians will talk about this day for years to come, and students may even write essays on it. Ha!! Feels like my relationship with food is getting better and I'm realising that overeating is symptom of unhappiness and eating til over-ful a bad habit. I also want to model good food habits for Alex. Read a great book by AJ Rochester and she has a whole chapter on the impact of your weight battle on the kiddies. It has really hit me how often I take the easy option and compromise Alex's health. Really want to kick a goal in this area, don't want my boy to struggle with his weight the way his mummy does.

So....for now, that is all. I hope to update you a little sooner than my last post. Hope you are all well, I feel tired but very blessed and very happy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

People...who need people.....are the luckiest peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeople..

I'm having a Barbara Streisland moment....

This past week and a bit, I have:
-enrolled in a Bachelor of Communication at the Open Uni and started my first 800 word essay
- had a 3 person panel job interview for a job I really really wanted
- reprised my role as "Vera" in the STAG Production of "Brassed Off"
- attended a number of 12 step meetings
- felt blessed
- enjoyed the company of friends and my lovely husband and gorgeous boy Alex
- had a yucky throat infection
- discovered that due to a misunderstanding with Centrelink, apparently I've been overpaid and owe them money. Grr!
- obsessed over Robyn's "With Every Heartbeat", after seeing her perform live on BBC1's live concert on ABC2...and also realising that this song is part of Body Jam 39...

Ok, enough with the dot points (or dash points, I should say). Man, I am really realising how much more confidence I have in is a fantastic thing. I am love love loving living in Shepparton, even though I miss my extended family.....I feel like I'm slowly making my own family here.

I went for a job interview and while I was there, my friend Marianne looked after Alex...I went in there and thought that even though they may not give me the position, that I want to be honest about what has happened in my life over the past little while, and talked about my Post Natal Depression and how I feel that it's given me empathy towards those who are suffering, and my battle with alcohol and how that has given me the ability to understand people who struggle.

I came back to the ladies bible study that Marianne hosts on Thursday, picked up my little boy, went and sat at the table and when it was prayer time, I said to them that I was so filled with JOY! I was so overjoyed that I was able to attend an interview and do my best, whatever the outcome. I just really felt that I had left my future in God's hands.

That doesn't mean that I didn't take it out of his hands the next day, stressing about what I was going to do, worrying about the new crappy forms that centrelink wants us to fill in fortnightly......etc etc. But I'm happy to say that at this stage of the week, I feel like the ball's back in his court again. Phew! It feels good to leave it know that he is in control, not me. So many fantastic things have happened this year that I couldn't have imagined and I just have to trust him and hang on!!

Lots of love to you all, especially my new Brassed Off family. Love love love!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

So, so cranky.....make it stop!

Hi all,

So I'm working really hard on my recovery from depression, trying to get the housework done, help people out and do the things I need to do......I am trying to eat well, get exercise and look after my gorgeous son.

But this week has been a never ending cascade of crankery from me. Maybe I've been trying too hard? I have had savage pms and been very annoyed with people who request things from me.....I have rung up people to request things and been annoyed when they don't listen.....I have offered people lifts and then got annoyed when they commented on the state of my car (Clean for once!!)......I have totally lost it with Alex's tantrums.

My way of dealing with it has been to write about it, talk to friends about it and to go to 12 step meetings. But somehow, underneath each layer of crank, is more crank. I mean, I now feel as if all I want to do is go to bed and lie there until the cranky goes away.

This morning I was taking Alex to music classes, I had rung up on Wednesday to check when they were on and the guy wasn't listening to my question.......I got a bit cranky and today when I went in apologised. Anyhoo...turns out that because he hadn't listened to me, he'd given me the wrong information and the classes didn't start for another two weeks. I was really trying not to lose my temper, when Alex grabbed a bubble blower from a "Book of the Week" dispenser thingy (you know those book sale things they sometimes have in offices?)...and he absolutely lost it when I tried to explain to him calmly that he couldnt' have it and to put it back. I tried to tell him about the music classes and distract him, but he just threw himself to the ground and tantrumed all the more.

I was getting so over the situation and even though the lady said we could sit in on the large class this week, the thought of looking after my cranky boy who is so clingy and shy at the moment that he clings to my leg and almost makes me fall over, won't co-operate or do anything I want him to, even with coaxing and cajoling.......I can't carry the nappy bag properly because he wants to be carried everywhere, he cries and carries on if I try to make him drives me insane. So I ended up saying "I'm sorry, he's just had a tantrum and I don't believe that should be rewarded", getting in the car and driving home.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr so over this mothering thing today. Give me five seconds where I can just do what I want! Which is, nothing! I need a holiday!

Monday, February 16, 2009


Hey yaaaaaaaaaaa....

I've had a bad food week this week, so decided to go see Toenail ferguson this morning and weigh in, get the bad news and get back on track. Only...there wasn't any! I had lost another 1.2kg....taking my weight loss to 4.9kg in 4 weeks, woooooooooooo! So I'm confused, this week I was a little naughty, I lost weight. Last week I was well behaved and stayed the same. Care to let me in on the deal, body? I must behave well this week or otherwise I shall definitely reap the rewards of my sloth.

I'm in a good place today......feeling good and getting lots done. Right now, though, I'm going to go have a rest for at least 2 hours. Dinner is made and I am tired.

Peace out, homies! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bogged blog

Hi all,

Well I have been doing Tony Ferguson for just over three weeks and I've lost 3.7 kilos so far. I started doing the Progress version, instead of the really hardcore version, cause I needed more carbs for energy, running after a 2 year old and being in the play.

Week 2, I thought I would have to go off it so just watched what I ate, and still lost a kilo. This week just gone, I was very disciplined and packed nutritious salads and stirfries for my dinners whilst at rehearsal and doing the show -

Also, while doing the show, it was in the high thirties or low forties each day, the aircon wasn't quite working, we were under stage lights, and wearing jackets and winter clothing. I thought, for sure I'm going to lose weight this week. My weigh in was yesterday and not a sausage. Nil, zip, nada. I was very discouraged and dealt with it by eating a mini quiche and a donut. I also went to Body Jam, but I don't think they quite cancel each other out.

Today I awoke with the best of intentions, had my shake and veges for breakfast, then went to bible study. I'm allowed a large freddo frog 4 times a week to nip cravings in the bud, so helped myself to a chocolate chip muffin (small). It was so small that I thought I should probably have another one to make up to a whole large freddo. The third one slipped down without a thought. I then had a slice of bread with some mince at Marianne's, some salad, two more mini quiches when I came home, a pita pizza for dinner and a small fruit bun.

I am now groaning with carbs and feel quite ill. Similar to what happens when an alcoholic drinks, I can't be trusted with refined is two many and a hundred isn't enough. Although I do feel like my "binge" wasn't as bad as it could have been. And I walked about 30mins to Marianne's......somehow I don't think they cancel each other out. I did run around in the garden for about 15 mins with Alex to try to digest my food. BLugh, not a good idea, although fun. He has the cutest little dimple and reminds me so much of my gorgeous hubby sometimes.

Tomorrow sees me take Alex to music class and have a coffee with my lovely friend Chris. I'm also going to brave a night home by myself, as Richard is off on a boy's weekend with his work. They're camping in the great outdoors and doing some waterskiing and other boy stuff that really doesn't concern me. Hehe.

So, tomorrow will see me adhering strictly (although not too strictly) to Tony F. I can keep losing weight if 5/7 days are good 'uns!

I am so bloated now. ugh!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

At the end

I've had a wonderful, wonderful week. This time a week ago, the cast and crew of "Brassed Off" were moving the set to the Westside Performing Arts centre. I was getting a little nervous, starting to think about how it was going to go. Now it's all behind me and I feel contemplative, not sad, as I thought I might.

There have been some fantastic developments through the course of this show. My friend Kellie suggested that I try out for it, and I wasn't sure, as I wanted to drop some of the weight that I'd gained since having bad Post Natal Depression. I felt fat, daggy and uninteresting. I auditioned, but certainly didn't think that I'd get a part. When I got a part, I felt like I was dragging the cast down. The past few months has been a journey of self discovery and general discovery!

I've been grappling with my recovery from severe depression and went through so much doubt about my abilities as an actress and my basic abilities as a person! When my grandma died on the 5th of January, I felt like I had taken a step back, so much sadness came back and I found it really overwhelming. I was afraid that I couldn't pull it together, that I would let the rest of the cast down and be a disappointment.

Things finally came to a head two weeks before the play went on, one Tuesday rehearsal. I was really struggling with my character and my relationship with my stage husband. I was struggling to find a connection and to feel comfortable being intimate with someone who wasn't Richard. I wanted my character, Vera, to be authentic and genuine, but had a lot of my own "stuff" getting in the way. I waited to ask Donna, the director, about where I was going wrong with Vera. What followed was a wonderful, intimate chat that gave me some direction on Vera and affirmed that I could do this, that I was capable. I hope Donna realises how pivotal this conversation was in helping me to move forward.

I wrote down some of the characteristics that we identified:
- integrity
- solid, grounded
- clear
- has opposites and inconsistencies but these are valid to her character / shades of grey

Every time I stepped on stage as Vera, I thought "Strong" and was able to step up. I am so proud of myself. I feel like even though Vera was a character who I pretended to be, that she rubbed off on me. I feel like having the courage to be her has made me realise that I can be strong myself. It sounds wanky but I believe the character came along for a reason. I also feel like the trouble I was having with relating to my stage husband is all part of the journey I am on with myself, with my recovery. For many years I used alcohol to relate to men, as from an early age I can remember being terrified of them. I'm a very very shy person naturally, but with a bawdy sense of humour and sometimes, a quick comeback. These two are polar opposites, but valid to my character. They can both exist in me and I can be true to myself.

The progress I made, the friendship bonds I've formed with others in the play were all done completely without alcohol, and that's a big step for me. Sometimes during the play, I would feel completely void of emotion, and I would worry about that......but I eventually realised that I have to stop expecting to feel a certain way. Health and happiness lies in accepting my emotions at that point, being in the moment and not thinking "I should be feeling this or that". A lot of my life feels new and different to me, because I haven't done certain things before without alcohol. I am so proud of myself. I feel like I am really becoming who I'm meant to be.

I can remember doing plays in the drinking years and loving being lost in a character, and the stress and confusion that happened for me when I had to let the character go...the dissolution of the stage family and how I didn't feel happy by myself afterwards. Constantly striving to be with people, to be accepted and approved of. I know that after a play I can tend to be a bit of an approval junkie, where too much approval isn't enough. I really struggled with the last play I did in Finley, I wanted people to keep telling me that I was ok, what I did was acceptable and valid.

This time around, it really hit me. I wondered why the things that people said about my performance didn't make me feel any different....and it hit me like a bolt of lightning, the truth that I've heard so often in my life. Nothing I do makes me feel any more acceptable until I accept myself. If I don't approve of me, others' approval won't plug up a hole in my psyche. I have to be whole by myself, for myself. Others cannot complete me. My relationships can't be healthy if I rely on others to finish me. I have to be whole and valid on my own. And I think I'm really getting there.

There are a couple of people from the play who I am sure I will catch up with after. I like the idea of having platonic male friends, and would like to make that a goal for 2009. I am excited about what this year is going to bring. I am going to go walking with my friend Marianne and get fit....I am going to study at least one subject this year....I am going to have coffees with new friends.......I am going to attend more 12 step meetings......I am going to help other people.....I am going to do things that nourish me and use my talents in projects that I enjoy...I am going to value my family and my husband and son and spend quality time with them.

I am several worlds away from the scared and unhappy person I was 6 years ago. Imagine what's ahead in the next 6 years! Love you all.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Ok, so I stole this from Kirsty....but it's a good idea!

1. Go to the section of your computer where you store all of your photos.
2. Select the 6th folder.
3. Select the 6th photo.
4. Post and explain about that picture.
5. tag 6 other people.....
Heheh....this is a picture of my lovely Mother-in-Law, Gladys, and her friend Muriel...on a trip over to America in May/June last year. They had an awesome time and spent lots of hours at Disneyland.....Glad is going to hate this cause she hates her photo being taken and/or shown! hehe.

I don't know how to tag people on my blog, so I'm just gonna challenge everyone who reads to do the same.
ooh and ps - Brassed Off starts in 4 sleeps!!!!!!!! Aieeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The play, the play...and children.

Hello all,

Well can I just say how excited I am about the play starting in 6 days time? Yikes! Last night we had the first rehearsal in the West side centre.....ooh I was nervous. I only forgot one part of my lines, but the thought of forgetting any of it in front of a paying audience makes me quail with fright!

Lots of people I know are coming to see it, and that's exciting too!

On another note, I have been looking at some of our home movies of Alex when he was really little. I wish I could say that I look at them and they bring back good memories. The sad fact is that I hear his crying and it doesn't make me feel anxious....but it makes me remember being terribly anxious and afraid. It makes me sad for me, and sad for Richard and Alex, because I really wanted to be a good wife and mother, fulfilled and happy, but I fell into an enormous pit of depression and stopped living.....I only existed. And what a fraught and tortured existence it was. I know that it's unhealthy to look back and think "if only"...but I do wish that I had more positive memories of that first year. I look back and see the pain in my eyes, I see the worry in Richard's eyes. I see that Alex is a beautiful baby, and that I wanted to be the best mum I could be, but that it was so hard and that I lost myself. I don't ever want to feel like that again. EVER!

And it's not just for me.....the strain and the pain that the lost months of my life put on those around me sometimes makes me want to sit down and weep. I was suicidal for so long, the only thing stopping me from doing anything about it was the thought of my family and my son and what a terrible thing it would be for them to deal with. I had nothing for me. I had ceased to be me. All that existed was pain and desolation and fear. The absence of hope, the absence of light, nothing to hope for, nothing to live for.

Now that I've been back to "me" ....probably since September/October last year.....I had entertained the thought of having another child. Richard and I both wanted more than one when we first discussed it, and so many lovely, thoughtful people have told me "an only child is a lonely child!" (sarcasm alert).....I want Alex to have a sibling......I like the idea of another child.....but I think that the reality of going through what I went through before is just too much for me.

My psych is optimistic. I have BPD, which is why my post natal depression was so horrific...and BPD is one of those rare, cureable mental illnesses. He says not to discount the idea of having another child, properly handled. But I just don't know if I can take that leap of faith. Having a child is not like starting a job, picking a colour for your is not reversible....and as a mother, you are pivotal to that child's life. I have never known anything like it in my life. It is a force that is primal, scares me to death. I don't know that I have another recovery in me. People say....."you'll know the warning signs, you'll have strategies in place, people will help out"......and I think, it's all very well knowing the warning signs and getting people to help...but somewhere in the first months of Alex's life, my Post Natal Depression took on a life of its own and nothing anybody did helped fix anything. I descended into hell and I didn't come out for about 2 years. I don't know that I can take the risk of going back there. Even knowing that it would end wouldn't make the utter hellishness of it any easier. It's not just being tired, it's not just being sad. It's having all the life sucked out of you. It's having no joy, nothing to look forward to, no peace, no rest. Insomnia, anxiety, fear, obsession, insanity, suicidal thoughts. No concentration span, never being able to sit and relax, being a prisoner in your own head. Longing to escape but not being able to justify ending it all. Trying to, and failing. Hating yourself, hating God, hating happy people. Feeling sick when you see a pregnant woman. Wanting people you love to forget you ever existed so you can stop existing. How can I ever risk going back there? I don't think I have enough faith to do it.

Maybe things will change....but I really don't think so. I have come so far that I am now hopeful about life and my future, but not far enough to forget what feeling like I had no life and no future felt like. I think I still grieve the losses of that time. Poor, poor Richard, my poor mother and father......the people I loved hurt as much as I did because I was so lost. I love Alex more and more each day, but I have a defensiveness over my parenting that stems back to that time. I'm afraid that my illness will have somehow damaged him. I'm sure my guilt will subside as I work through my "stuff" and become stronger and more confident in my parenting. This is happening every day. I can now spend a whole day at home with Alex without freaking out or counting the hours til Richard comes home....unheard of in those early months!

Who knows what the future holds? I guess it's in the hands of God. All I can do is take it one day at a time. (There's a good bumper sticker about that. "I try to take each day at a time, but lately, several days have attacked me at once"!)

Thanks for listening, whoever you are! Deb xo

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blah blah blah blah!

Here's a cute pic of our family from Christmas to start things off in a good way!
It's Friday morning and I want to do something....but am feeling very lazy! I want to go for a walk with Alex, want to catch up with friends, need to do grocery shopping....but gosh darn I'm feeling lazy! Yesterday we stayed home all day and I watched some Sex and the City episodes. Alex likes them because there is a baby in it at the moment, little Brady. Alex is so adorable but so naughty at times. He is just loving kicking me at the moment and I am not putting up with him. He has had a few smacks on the bot.

I half feel like loading up the car and coming over to Finley.....but I can't get in touch with mum and dad so I'm not sure if they're there or not. I really need to get back in a routine but am a bit blah....My gym membership ran out yesterday and I should rejoin somewhere, but I don't know where.....Maybe I'll just get a 10 visit pass and see how I go. I haven't been eating the best lately but have decided to give myself a break and just try to develop better eating habits. I think I have lost a little bit of weight but can't be sure. I am drinking Coke Zero and soon I'm going to be fully caffinated and ready to roooooooooollllllllllll!

Hope everyone has a fantabulous day.....I am off to get my butt into gear!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What happened next.

Grandma passed away on Monday 5th January, and a whole lot of stuff has happened since then. My week last week was as follows:

Monday: Drive to Finley to meet with Mum, Jen, Ang and Funeral Director. Go through photos and decide what things we wanted for her to my fam and lovely Richard arrived around 2 to look after Alex so I could talk to everyone. I stayed behind for a little bit when Richard left and Dad gave me a massive hug, and said "I was afraid you had gone, I really wanted to see you". It made me cry. I love my dad....he is so sad.

Tuesday: I woke up with a start at 5am and went for a walk. I was so sad and kept crying when I thought about Grandma, all the fun times we'd had together and all the things that she'd seen me through. Alex was in daycare so I decided that I would let myself wallow in sadness for a coupla days. I went and hired series 4 of Sex and the City from Video Ezy and spent a lazy afternoon watching Carrie & Co and trying not to eat junk(see below).

Wednesday: I went and did a workout with Laura, a personal trainer who I have booked 3 sessions with to try and help me get the most out of my workouts. She put me through my paces and it was good, got the endorphins out and I was energised to try and get through this week without pigging out too much. Met the lovey Ross and Judy (and Jono) Taylor for lunch. I just love this couple, they are so real and never fake it, they talk about life and their opinions and I love it! Angela popped down to get the shed keys that Richard had accidentally taken with him and we had a frozen yoghurt together and shopped for the funeral.

Thursday: I decided I would go to Finley to be around the fam, but couldnt' quite get it together to leave the house. My gorgeous friend Marianne dropped by with all sorts of lovely treats for lunch and smiles to cheer me up. She is a star. We have been going for walks together and become each other's cheerleaders. Everyone needs a friendship like that. I was planning on going and visiting mum and dad but Alex had a long nap and I fell asleep....woke up when Richard came home at 5.30pm. Decided not to go to Finley and stayed up til 1.30am watching SATC. Fabulous stuff.

Friday: I rang mum and decided I would try to come to Finley that morning. Again, I couldn't seem to get it together to leave the house. I got a bag packed, had a conversation with Richard about how it wasn't that sensible to go to Finley for the day on Friday if we were spending the weekend there. Said that I wanted to anyway. Stuffed around at home. Felt tired and gross. Decided to make Alex have a sleep and try to rest. Surfed the net and looked at Facebook way too much. Felt sad. Reread the poem Jen wrote. Cried. Had pizza (thin crust) and Salad for dinner. Even little changes count! Packed Alex and my bags and left room in my bag for Richard's stuff. Checked the bags to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

Saturday: Woke up earlyish (7) for the trip to Finley. Arrived at mum and dad's house to greet rellies. Cried a little. Went to Grandma's funeral and read poem...thought I wouldn't be able to continue but kept on going. Morning tea in church hall, chatted to people but mainly just felt like being by myself, or with my close family, eating lollies and reading trashy magazines. Didn't eat any lollies. Went to Tocumwal Pavillion Bakery for after funeral lunch. Came back to mum and dad's and tried to make Alex have a sleep. He wouldn't. About 4 Richard took Alex over to his sister Catherine's place so she could look after him while we had a "farewell Grandma" dinner at the Chinese restaurant. Sooooo busy and full of people. I had that unreal feeling that life was going on and I didn't really want it to..... Wondered what Grandma would think of her day. Picked up Alex and went out to the Hay farm. Slept horribly (I always do when I'm stressed or anxious).

Sunday: Had breakfast with Glad, went back into town. We were all going to go to church but I couldnt' face people. Just wanted to be alone. Richard took Alex to church and rest of family went to Rutherglen to have a parker's pie. I wanted to go but couldn't get back to Shepparton in time..........felt trapped and helpless but tired and quiet at the same time. Pottered around mum and dad's house and watched more SATC on their Austar. I love that show for trauma counselling. Gives one a sense of perspective. Drove back to Shep with Richard and Alex. Dragged my sorry arse to rehearsals with dead, red eyes. Got through rehearsals and came home, slept soundly for the first time since Grandma has died.

Yesterday was mostly good, I decided that I would rejoin the world, cause it's only doing me damage not being in it! I was still a bit teary......when Saeeda, our family day-carer's elderly Pakistani mother in law said "what is wrong with alex? he always have scab on face, mummy not look after him!!" and laughed, I burst into tears. He has had a few bumps lately and on Saturday night got covered in mosquito bites, some of which he scratched. I already felt like a neglectful, lazy mother. Saeeda apologised for her and said "She is old, she doesn't understand what she is saying". The MIL then apologised too. I felt horribly embarassed. Went home to a swim and my lovely hubby. Facebooked til the early hours, finding some old friends.

Still feel a little down but I know I'm going to make it. I have a bag full of some of Grandma's clothes and scarves and I keep going and smelling them because they smell of her. I miss her.

Here is the poem that we read at her funeral:

Grandma means gardens
Roses and geraniums
Fairy banquets at the bottom of the garden
The gentle curve of a red painted path

Grandma means a myriad of little purses
Necklaces and such
Three variations on a theme
For three little girls

Grandma means creaking floorboards
Frosted glass doors
Big furry chairs
And a silver Christmas tree

Grandma means books!
Too many to read
But not for Grandma
The endless pursuit of an unread book

Grandma means conversation
Tuesday phone calls
Shared troubles, comfort
Given nightly in prayer


Grandma means hedgehog slice
Warm pasties with tomato sauce
And gooseberry jam bubbling in a pot
Warm kitchen aromas

Grandma means walks
Down a cobbled street
To Dalkieth shops
And Marzipan mice

Grandma means roast dinners
Home-made potato salad
Ice cream cake with pale pink roses
A line to be cleared

Grandma means dancing
with her walking cane
In a room with many ornaments
Amidst laughter-filled protestations

Grandma means baby soft hands
With a feather-like touch
Crocheting rose filled rugs
Flowery cards with spidery writing

Grandma means Gate Gamma
As our wriggly children are balanced
On her legs
For hugs and photos

Grandma means early morning stories
Tucked into bed, four across
With a pale green quilted spread
To keep us warm

Grandma means watching cricket
On a big old television
A cool respite
From hot summer days

Grandma means holidays in Perth
Piled on mattresses all in the one room
Special treats, cream on toast
Stacks of funnies to share

Grandma means box of treasures
Bruising the walls in MahJong
Visits to various libraries
Kirribilli cappuccinos

Grandma means travel tales
Exploring the world
With her loved ones
Enjoying postcards, photos and gifts from afar

Grandma means
So many things
But most of all

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Goodbye, Grandma

Hi everyone,

Well, on New Year's eve morning, my Grandma (Hazel Maud Cook) had a stroke. She'd been going downhill since October, when she had a fall in her retirement hostel. She was 93 and had lived a long life, and was really ready to go a year or two ago.
Grandma was my dad's mother and had a very wry sense of humour. She was very regal and dignified, and old age seemed to be packed full of indignities. It has really taught me a lesson about how society values it's aged population. These people have been through all that we have, but because they are frail and slowing down, we sometimes think that they're irrelevant. Nothing could be further from the truth.
After my Grandpa, Ken Cook, died from complications to Alzheimers in 1998, I decided that I would ring Grandma once a week to check in on her and inform her of my exciting single life. I became her Tuesday girl, and we scheduled our week around our calls.....only ever missing one or two Tuesdays because there was an event on at the retirement village. As she was living in Perth, I could call her later and she'd still be up. I gave her the edited highlights of my somewhat chaotic life, and loved her take on my life and the sense of perspective that talking to her gave me.
I am full of admiration for her. She grew up in the era where, once you got married, running the home was one of the only occupations available to you. Grandpa worked at the Bank of Wales (now Westpac) and looked after all the finances. When he fell ill with Alzheimers, she had to take over the running of the household, the finances, bills etc. It was a daunting task to take on in her early seventies, when she'd always relied on Grandpa. I am sure she had many lonely nights and days, a lot of fears and troubles, but I didn't ever see her as a victim. She was a strong woman who had strong opinions and who wasn't afraid to call a spade a spade. I loved that about her. When I told her about a man I was dating, who had a bald head, she was supportive....but when the relationship fizzled out, she said "Poor old xxxx, with his bald head. He wouldn't have looked any good in the family photos". hehe.
She hadn't had an easy road, she had an older brother called Frank Alexander (we did name Alex in part after him), who went off to the second world war and was killed. Her parents died and she had to deal with Grandpa's long, long illness. She was faithful, visiting him every day and telling him stories of their past. She always read him the 23rd psalm...the lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. She tried to find the humour in the situation and was always encouraging me to follow my dreams. She prayed every night for me to find a nice man who would look after me....I'm so glad those prayers were answered and she got to see me happy with Richard.
When I was very unwell with Post Natal Depression, in 2006 and 2007, she was a comforter and supporter. She would say to me "Deborah, darling, nothing lasts forever - good, bad or indifferent". How right she was.
I went over to Finley yesterday to sort out things for the funeral with mum and my sisters Jen and Angela. Jen had written a beautiful, touching poem for grandma and we've changed some of the stanzas to incorporate memories from Angela and I, and we're going to read it at her funeral on Saturday. I won't post the poem on here yet, but will post some of my memories.
The last time I saw Grandma before her stroke, Jen and Angela and I had just had morning tea together without the kids...we'd managed to foist them off onto our husbands...and we were chattering away like schoolgirls. Grandma sat back in her chair and smiled, her eyes following our silly exchanges like a tennis spectator. She wore an amused smile that told of extreme fondness for us all and happiness that she was with us.
The last time I saw Grandma alive, was a couple of hours after she'd had her stroke. One side of her body was paralysed but her eyes were still very much alive and alert. She was still there until the very end. I stroked her soft cheek and held her age-worn hand and told her how special she was to me, and how much I loved her. She tried to smile and mouthed "I love you" to me. I said to her "you have given us a legacy, Grandma...we all love books and that's because of you". I had a wonderful relationship with her and shared many special moments with her, but I still wish I could go back and have one more conversation with her. I know, that in months to come, I will think "I must tell Grandma that", and be sad that I can't. She made an adventure out of life, never complained about her lot, and inspired me to be well. She will live on in my heart and I will always miss her.
Goodbye, Grandma.
My memories of Grandma - an email to Jen, Angela and Mum & Dad:
The red driveway to Circie Circle....your beautiful roses and geraniums lovingly cared for. The park near your house, where we spent many happy hours during our school holidays. The walk to Dalkieth shops, you with your bag on wheels, taking us for a walk and a little treat. Reading with you in bed in the morning, practically pushing gramps out with 3 squirming youngsters all trying to get close to Grandma.
Your treasure box and how you always called me "treasure" . Hearing you tell the story about the time that I was afraid you were going to put me in your treasures box. The kettle is a -lowing.
The frosted glass doors closed and the airconditioner on, the cricket playing and another adventure filled school holiday
The spacious backyard with the red steps, the beautiful trees and flowers and plants, leaving presents out for the fairies that lived in the bottom of your garden.
Your sense of humour, the way you could find the fun in a situation. You listened so earnestly to us telling you our hopes and dreams and hurts. You made us feel like we were special. Your chicken liver pate and creamy potato salad. Your special pasties. Coming to stay in your unit and going for walks to the library. Losing myself in a book in your loungeroom. Telling you that any leftovers were a "line to be cleared". Making the trek across the village to the salt water pool. Counting every blessing and naming you as one of those.
Swimming in our above ground pool in Wamboin, with you watching us to make sure that nothing went wrong. Hurrah for Hazel.
Knowing that if everything went wrong, you were still in our corner. Playing long games of MahJong and you breaking up the inevitable fights between sisters!
Coming to stay and you had saved us all the kids pages from the West Australian
Being your Tuesday girl... sharing the edited ups and downs of the single life with you every Tuesday and loving the sense of perspective you gave my crazy life. Knowing that no matter how bad things were, that you would always have a positive thing to say..."nothing lasts forever, good, bad or indifferent"...and if a social function went wrong, well, it "was an outing". Your joy at my marriage to Richard. Telling me that you'd prayed for me every night to find a wonderful man who would take care of me. So many lovely cards and cheques, sent in your flowery writing. Little trinkets, jewellery and bits and pieces....little pieces of your life that you shared with us. Thoughtful cards and postcards. Your fighting spirit when you moved to Sydney....keeping your mind busy with a good book and a quiz. Doing exercise and one-upmanshiping the other ladies with your 10 great grandchildren.
Your important friendship and tales from the days when Dad and David were little. Never judging me and always telling me how you felt. If I'd had a fight with Richard, telling me "there were times when I could have cheerfully pushed Ken in front of a bus". Your support and love when I suffered from Post Natal Depression. Not letting me out of your prayers for a moment....always being in my cheer squad.
That you have seen me recover and be well and happy is one of the joys in my life. Pan Pero. The Pirate's whistle.
Gran....Grandma. Regal and dignified.....a woman who lived a lot of life. A wise, generous soul....a woman who I will miss and always be glad I have known. A woman I could spend hours talking to about life, love and the universe. Someone who was there for me when the chips were down and someone who I love with all my heart. I can't wait to see you in heaven one day. I am so glad you got to meet my son. I miss you already.