|trivial tales from someone who's always in it|
Friday, March 31, 2006
Couldn't Let a Whole Month Go By ...... without a post.
Firstly, thank you so much for your good wishes. I appreciate your kindness and your thoughts. Truly.
Well, superheroes, I've been back in Australia nearly three weeks and you wouldn't believe the number of draft posts I've composed -- and discarded.
Part of me wants to write some sort of tribute to Jane ... how she was my brother Steve's partner for fifteen years and how there were only twelve days from the first signs of her illness (liver cancer) to her death. She was forty-eight. Forty-fucking-eight. What the hell's the deal with that?
I could write entire chapters about Jane's courage and dignity, right to the end. I could tell you what I saw pass between her and Steve and how humbling it was to witness the order of love they had for each other. I could talk about the all-night vigils in the hospital. I could describe how terrified I was at the prospect of being present in the actual moment a person's life ends and how differently I feel about it now and why ...
But a lot of it isn't my story to tell. I'll be forever grateful that I was there and could help with the practical side of things but I guess there are some experiences that, by their very nature, dictate when and where and how they're passed on.
Jane's illness wasn't the only reason I went home. Both my mother and sister also spent time in hospital while I was there. So for a month I drove various people to various places and sat for hours in hospitals and bought groceries and cooked meals and mowed lawns and did housework and liaised with the funeral director and wrote death notices and hung out for long periods with Steve and helped him with stuff like changing the name of the lease on his flat, and was the spokesperson at Jane's funeral. I also knitted incessantly, ate virtually nothing but vegetable soup, gratefully drank too much wine and crashed the night more than once at the home of my little brother Ciaran and his gorgeous partner, the stunning La Lizzie*, went to a birthday party, and even stood up and performed at an open mic poetry night. I bought so much knitting wool I had to fork out for an extra suitcase to hold it all and was forced to pay NZ$80.00 in excess baggage when it was time to come home.
So, having finally made it back to Townsville (3 personal kilos lighter, I might add), I hugged the Dreamboat, sat down and realised I didn't know what the fuck to do. After a month of this incredibly intense, pared-down existence knowing exactly who I'd be with and what I'd be doing virtually every minute of every day, I had no idea how to get back to 'normal' life.
I still don't, really. I didn't have any time to be tired or sad when I was in NZ. Since I've been back, I've felt plenty of both. My usually-overflowing fund of small talk is empty as well.
The Dreamboat (who's been incredible through every stage of this and even flew over for the funeral) thought it might be a good idea for us to get away for a couple of days, coinciding with my birthday on 20 March. He booked some swanky B&B in Yungaburra in the Atherton Tablelands, we spent a week getting excited about it all and then -- you've probably guessed it -- enter Cyclone Larry. We were supposed to drive to Yungaburra on Sunday the 19th. At that stage, no-one was sure where the cyclone was headed, other than in the general direction of North Queensland. After weighing everything up, we decided against travelling. Turns out it was the right thing to do. Yungaburra was pummelled by the cyclone and we still don't know if the cottage we'd booked even exists any more.
So I spent my birthday feeling sorry for myself, drinking a lot and reminiscing over sundry other birthday events that have taken place in previous years ...**
And that's it, really. You're up to speed. I'll do my best to update more frequently in April ... and thanks again. I haven't been reading any other blogs, so can only hope there's been none of the wrong sort of excitement going on in your own lives.
I may write more about some of the circumstances surrounding Jane's death but don't worry, superheroes. They'll be quirky or interesting ... not designed to freak you out. Take care 'til next.
* Who, incidentally, used to read hot water before she ever met Ciaran. Weird.
** War being declared on Iraq in 2003, for instance. Or how about that mastectomy an ex mother-in-law had to endure? Yep, always a laugh a minute on my birthday.
Nominated for stuff in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Australian Blog Awards.
This means I should be taken very, very seriously. You hear me? Very.
meditate on this, Noddy
Hurley: Maybe the dog can find water. I mean, dogs can find pot and bombs, so I'm sure they can find water.
Created by JJ Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof
Niki (Your Correspondent): a shy, retiring, sweet sort of soul who wouldn't say boo to a goose. Born in NZ of Irish parents, jumped across the ditch to Oz in 1998. Hates cabbage and has always craved a life of complete obscurity. So far, this wish has been granted. Dammit.
Karratha, Western Australia ... again.
from the cheap seats
"This person is not a team player."
High school Biology teacher
"... an idiot."
The Dowager Empress
"... powerfully irritating."
A former spouse
"... dangerously mischievous."
current attention grabbers
Curling up with:
The View From the Valley of Hell
Drowning out the world with:
Your Favourite Driving Songs
Staring fixedly at:
Directed by Jonathan King
Trying hard to:
Reassure The Cat about The Dog
other recommended blogs
Bad News Hughes
John Howard: P.M.
S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia)
Bert Is Evil
Ask Sister Rossetta
the good old days
webrings and cliques
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