Posted on January 10, 2016
We’ve just returned from our two week holiday at Mitta Mitta. It was, in many ways, an idyllic time, to be together as a family, to reflect, to talk, to take in the fact that we were commencing 2016, a year I was told that I would never see. I still love writing it. Here it is again….2016! 😛
On the way up to Mitta, Gaz took the two middle girls in the funbus and Georgie and Dakota came in the car with me. It is a 6 – 7 hour drive with a couple of stops, so Dakota and I had a long time to talk that we don’t usually get. Georgie doesn’t say much, so she basically had me all to myself. We talked a lot about high school, and what she was going to do, what they sold in the canteen (she is wrapped about this canteen business), and her bewilderment about the necessity of studying Indonesian. To be honest I am a bit lost myself, but it spawned some hilarious conversations. I told her that I studied German nearly to the end of high school, and used to be quite conversational, but now I only remember how to count, say hello and goodbye, ask people if they have brothers and sisters, etc. She wanted to hear me speak German, so I pulled out all the words I knew, and a kick arse German accent to boot. She was in HYSTERICS, and kept wanting me to say other things I didn’t know how to say, so I made shit up, still with the accent. Then I told her about my time working for a season on a Greek Island, and how there were all these emaciated stray dogs there, and there was one I used to pass every day on the way to work, and I used to call for it, as I wanted to give it food. I would yell out, here doggy, come here doggy, and it would just look at me, but never come. After about 3 weeks, I gerried…it was a GREEK dog, it didn’t understand English. I asked my friend who owned the local cafe how to call to the dog, and he said to call “Ella”. The next day I did, and the dog came running over. I went on to learn that Ella might be one of the most useful words in the Greek language. My cafe owning friend used it not only to say come, but also answered and ended phone calls with this word. I wondered if Ella is actually the Greek word for everything. Dakota was beside herself with the idea of animals understanding different languages according to their country of residence, and for the rest of the two weeks so implored me constantly “mum, tell the girls about that Greek dog again”. Many more stories were exchanged, what my teachers names were in primary school, what they were like, what subjects I did in high school, what was my favourite etc. And I realised that I must tell more of these stories, about my history, as my girls delighted in every single one of them, and there comes a time in all of our lives, not just mine, when people are gone, and these stories never see the light of day again, they go with the person who lived them. First big enlightening moment, hours before we reached our destination.
We had some lovely times. We swam at the waterhole, ate dinner in the pub a few times, spent time with my brother, sister in law, niece, great niece and great nephew, I did a little drinking, which I don’t do much of nowadays (used to be a right lush, but I have lost the taste for it since cancer came a calling). We went on trips further afield, and to Albury for a bit of shopping (and cider drinking). The only issue is that as a result of my recent SIRT treatment, I was very very fatigued at times. I had some days where I could go a full day without any issues, but other days I wasn’t awake for more than 6 or 7 hours in the day. One night at the pub I told Gaz that I needed to go home right in the middle of our meals – I literally couldn’t even finish dinner I was so exhausted. Completely indescribable. When I had my treatment the SIRT doctor told me that I would feel pretty shocking for two weeks or so and he was right on the money, I felt DREADFUL and then day 14 all of a sudden I didn’t. But he said the fatigue that comes with this treatment might last up to six weeks and it looks like he might be on the money again. That gives me about two weeks left of this shit – sick to death of it. Needless to say every night was an early night…and every night was spent with my darling little Indi at my side. As soon as she saw me slip into bed, no matter what fun she was having, or the others were having with other kids in the camp etc, she left it all and was straight in next to me. Not out of any sort of obligation, but because I am her favourite person, and being beside me, her favourite thing. We watched whole series of shows on DVD..she particularly enjoyed Love Child, and I was able to use to it educate her about what things were like back then. She is a sensitive little soul, and she teared up at a few story lines when the women’s babies were removed. She snuggled closer, and said “thank goodness no one ever took me away from YOU”. We also watched the British series Doc Martin, and she loved that. Such precious times.
The day before we went home, Tana and Indi kept going on about this picnic that they were going to have and wanted to know if they would have this food and that for this picnic. They packed it all up, and announced that they had found the best tree they’d ever seen in their lives for us to picnic under, and said it was time to go. Then Gaz and I realised that we were to come on this picnic (normally they just pack up some food at Mitta and take off somewhere to picnic themselves, it’s that kind of place. To be honest, I am ashamed about how I reacted. We had had lunch in a nearby town with a friend, and I had eaten a little too much (not heaps, but my altered digestive system means I have to be very careful with quantity), and I felt quite unwell, and once again, very tired. I was breathless too, from not having digested lunch, and the place they were talking about was right out in the middle of the golf course and I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to walk there, and I tried to get out of going. They didn’t look disappointed, or stricken, but they simply weren’t taking no for an answer, it was a FAMILY picnic and we were all coming. I realised what it meant to them, so we packed up the pram and the dog, and made the trek. They had run ahead of us, and we found THIS at the end of the rainbow.
There was a magnificent variety, shapes, banana’s, cherry tomato’s, tinned fruit salad and Venetian biscuits, and bottles of warm water to wash it all down. Bless them, they were DELIGHTED, and if Tana said it once, she said it a hundred times “isn’t this fantastic, we are all together, we’ve GOT to do this more often”. Yes we do darling, yes we do. And we will.
And right then, I realised that when I wrote in my blog about overcoming the urge to reject them, to remove myself bit by bit from them to make it less painful them later, I was wrong. I haven’t overcome it at all. I am “better”, but still find it hard to give myself fully to them, as my mind still fights itself all the time, that to make them too reliant on me, to let them love me too much will only make it more difficult for them down the track. But they are children for heavens sake, of course they are going to love me with all the wild abandonment that comes with being children, and I must once again teach myself to do the same…love love LOVE them, with all the innocent joy of someone who thinks they will live forever.
So, I told them how it was going to be. That every night we were going to sit down at the big table and do our homework, and talk about our day, and then we were going to get into the preparation of dinner and cleaning up together. When all that was done, we were going to read, or watch a bit of television until bedtime, and then, and only then would I check out what was going on on Facebook. I said to Tana that I was going to be on her tail a bit more this year about making sure jumpers came home and that she took her lunch and that she did her homework every night. Instead of being indignant, she looked so relieved, like she had her mother back..she is quite a “young” 9 and she still needs me so much. This year I will be there my darling – really there. For all of you.
Then I did the only thing I knew how to do to make up for my behaviour in trying to get out of the longed for picnic. I apologised. I said sometimes adults were just plain wrong, and mummy was wrong to do that, and it was a beautiful picnic, a most special night, and I was so glad they made me come. They hugged me and said “it’s ok mama”. They are so forgiving – it’s ok to admit you are wrong to a child, and say sorry.
So many lessons learned, these are just the tip of the iceberg. I feel better mentally than I have for quite a long time, and 2016 (there it is AGAIN) is going to be a good year, I am sure. As my late, great Scottish mother in law would say “I can feel it in me waters”.
My beautiful people: