Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nine Months

I woke up feeling extremely strange. I felt anxious and outside of my own reality. Stuff was happening around me; I was driving, talking and engaging but I was not present. I was almost in the third person.

I came home and considered taking a tranquliser which is not something I do; all the while trying to nail down WHY I was feeling this way. 

And then my phone rang and as I reached for it I noticed the date.

25 May 2016

And then I realised that my soul knew before my brain did. 

Nine months ago today I was coming home from hospice to tell my children their dad had died. 

Unthinkable. Horrific. The flashback hit me so hard. All of it. All at once.

The sound of Faith's scream when she saw my car pull up.
The image of Levi's crumpled frame on the couch.
The dark look of utter despair in Rachel's eyes as she reached for me.

I felt that I may scream and never stop. So I held my breath. I may even have silently prayed that I didn't lose my mind; that the images would just stop.

Your body knows. The soul tie is a real thing. It is not just a meme.

I did not need the tranquiliser. I understood why I was feeling weird; decided to ride it out, feel it and walk alongside it. 

I called my mom. I went to my favourite places, found quiet spaces. I wrote, I ran. I drank coffee. 

It was a good day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Life Captured

One never expects to raise your children with a person other than their own father/mother.

My over-arching response to losing my guy was to simply knuckle down and raise my kids single handedly. I could not even fathom bringing a man into their lives; or into mine.

Yet somehow this happened. It just did. Without me even trying to make it happen or gently introduce the idea. I still marvel at how easily my children have taken K into their lives and how he has poured out himself for them. 

Preparing an afrikaans essay

Watching a rather tense Sevens game

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Winter Came

The long awaited 'Winter is Coming' party arrived and it did not disappoint.

It was a night to remember and I will let the photos tell the story. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Of coffee, mountains and men

Coffee. In the mountain. With my bloke. Bliss.

With 6 kids charging around. Somehow coffee just makes everything slow down for a moment. 

I won't forget the conversation happening when Faith took this picture:

Hero " Did you slip some whisky into the flask before we left?'

Adventurer "Wish! I do have gin in the time for sure!"

I love us. We share so much besides our common grief.  Our relentless pursuit of happiness and our shared humour is one of the pillars of our relationship. Few people will understand how imperative it is for me to be alongside humans who bring out light and laughter and good vibes. Sounds trite but it is truth.

This day was a very difficult one, in ways few would understand,  but we did it. 
There was beauty in the brokeness which will need to become a safe place for us. 

We will never escape the relative destruction that marks our past but we can be grateful for the beauty we have been afforded and we can choose to nuture this new season with a tenderness and grace that comes from walking through deep pain, often tinged with regrets.

We have many, many difficult days ahead of us as we blend our families but I do believe we can make it happen. 

Not just survive, but thrive, as a family.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers Day

I was not sure how to start this new blog.  There is no clear way to define Part 1 and Part 2 of my life. No neat little 'wrap-up' or clever bylines.

Somehow it feels like today was the line. It was crossed. Today I woke up in my bed on Mothers Day with not 3 little people to spoil me but 6. 

It was humbling and overwhelming. I was caught between deep gratitude and deep pain. I saw my children stumbling through their emotions as they endeavoured to continue traditions their Dad started with them all those years ago.  I watched K's kids give so much of themselves to me despite wrestling their own grief and sorrow as they miss their mom so much on this day.

Both K and myself both struggle deeply with anger at what our children have to face. Losing a parent is just not right and it never gets easier for us to watch our kids being brave; stumbling and then being brave all over again.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Picture Perfect

There are so many things I love about this photograph. I am so grateful The Hero collared someone to take it.

I love the way D is holding my hand. I may have been restraining him....and he may have been trying to escape but I prefer my interpretation. ;-)

I love the way L is leaning into me. She is a slow burn and I am so grateful that she has slowly begun to take me into her confidence. 

Most of all I love the demeanour of my Hero. Squared shoulders, proud and powerful. I am not sure who is more impressive in this picture - him or Table Mountain!

To any passer-by we look like the picture perfect family and somehow that is totally okay with me.