Friday, August 1, 2014

The empty cradle

It's 18 years ago today since I lost a baby in utero...a miscarriage at 16 of the most traumatic and horrific experiences I have been through in my lifetime! I have lost 7 babies in total (to the ten healthy ones I've had). I can't say one was harder than the other. It was all hard! It still is... especially on days like today. It is one of the many reasons I treasure my family, why I feel so blessed and why I don't take life for granted. Life itself is a game of Russian Roulette and you never know when it will all be over! 

Treasure those near and dear to you, for life can turn on a dime - in an instant you could be living life without them...and that is truly one of the most painful things to bear. I know because I've had to do it more times than I can care to count and it never gets any easier!

Eighteen years ago I stood on a cliff face in Robe, in South Australia, as I looked out to sea, wishing with all my heart that the outcome had been different. Hearing those words 'I'm sorry, but there's no heartbeat...' are the single worst words a mother can hear. In one second, all of your hopes and dreams are dandelions blown away on the breeze...gone in a puff...nothing left but fragments of shattered has certainly been like that lately!

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With nothing between the Limestone Coast and Antarctica, it's no surprise this region is part of the Shipwreck Coast. More than one hundred vessels have sunk here in the past century.

The turquoise arctic waves lapped at the shore, as the icy fingers of death wrapped themselves around my heart. My hot tears chilled on my cheeks as they fell..I barely felt their warmth before they turned glacial against my skin...The view was breathtaking but I barely noticed...and yet, it is a memory that pierces through the pain and I eagerly attach to when the unwelcome memories spring unbidden to my mind as they sometimes do on days like today when I cannot avoid them.

I am fortunate to remember the times my husband and I marked the moment by releasing helium balloons, or threw rose petals in the ocean at sunset, and got up at sunrise to usher in the day with a walk along the pier in my hometown to remember this huge loss. He wasn't part of my life when I lost my first baby, but he's been with me for others since we met and married. Many times we've travelled this agonising journey together...the last time was in 2010 when we lost a baby that was due exactly 12 months before our last baby arrived on Feb 10, 2011. Both of these little ones shared a due date of Feb 25 (2010 and 2011 respectively). When I started to bleed with my last baby, just hours after the pregnancy test showed positive while we were on an interstate roadtrip, I was sure we would end up with another loss; but he hung in there and we were excited to welcome our tenth baby on the 10th! He was alive and perfect, delivered naturally...a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarian), some 14 hours after I was induced. It was a long, arduous, slow and painful process and probably the hardest labor of them all! 

But his birth was a healing birth... his arrival began to mend me back together after a very hard year...he is still my little peace in troubled waters. He and I are very close after spending his first year of life struggling with his ill health and getting him over a big hurdle. I honestly didn't know at times if he would make it, he was one very sick little boy! (Read about it here.) But here we are 3.5 years later...and he is thriving! Here he is below with his elder brother who is 7. That Giraffe he's holding belongs to his brother (pictured)'s his fave toy that he's had since he was a year old, and yet he shares it with his little brother all the time. No greater love have a brother that he will share his most prized possession with his sibling. I am so grateful for the love they share! There is just nothing more important than family! And never is it more evident than on days like today when I really need all of mine!!! That sibling bond is an amazing thing. The love of a parent to child is so special. These family ties are all that make life worth living ...but when they unravel (for any reason) it is the worst pain any human can leaves you feeling wounded and breathless, broken...unable to keep going. Family is truly all that keeps me going in this world. Without mine - I am nothing!

You can read more about our baby's journey here 

Friday, July 25, 2014

It is enough!

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including Google Images
(click pic to see larger version)

"You may have to fight a battle more than once
to win it..."  Margaret Thatcher

I am certainly proving this statement is true! And I am grateful for the comfort it brings!

You cant fight destiny or fate... there millions of movies written about this very thing, trying to prove or disprove the theory...but the end, fate has its wicked way with you and you wind up where you were supposed to be is true that everything happens for a reason...and you can't muck with is what it is...

Here's a little list of movies I'm talking about...

The Butterfly Effect
The Time Traveler's Wife
About Time
Sliding Doors

And you can find more in the Top Ten List here

Coz...we all do that thing...that thing where we go "I wish I could go back in time and ..." Whateverrrr... imagine...just imagine for one second you could go back and rearrange history... You could even unmake someone or unwish them...or just UNDO decisions and situations...imagine a 'delete or undo button' on would that turn out...I am pretty sure that app would have people diving to delete and undo before you could say 'how do I download that magic button!'...but with what kind of devastating consequences ...there's a reason we can't go back...

'May the bridges I burn light the way!...'

The only thing I do wish we could do is bring back the loved ones we've lost to the grave!

I am a firm believer that each situation in life is a stepping stone that ultimately leads you to where you belong. It takes you to the people you need to meet, the places you need to see and embroils you in certain stories for the lessons you need, to go onto your next place in the world...alter those decisions and you alter the equilibrium of everything!!! Everything in the universe is tied in and really! 

"Be careful what you wish might get it!"

You've heard of being in the right place at the right time? I passionately believe this... because it has happened to me many times and certainly in the past few months... if you can make it to the end of this post, there's a special announcement at the end to this effect...

Last year I lost home, material possessions and more...some things I chose to lose and I offloaded a lot of my possessions because I just didn't want the memories. However, some had precious memories attached - like the bassinette my grandfather made well over 65 years ago and I refuse to part with it. But there were some other things I was attached to just simply because they were very me and they were 'mine'...but, I sold them anyway. I wanted to prove to myself I could live 'without' within! That despite having next to nothing (save some boxes of photos and a few ornaments, clothes, and other odds and ends) that I could exist happily in the world...without the proverbial noose of 'far too many things' (or dust collectors) around my neck...I wanted to prove that I am more than the sum of what I own! And to be honest, I feel better without it all, lighter...less weighed down...I even ditched books I had LOVED!!!, they are for someone else to love. It's kind of like paying it forward I guess. I don't regret it. It's a good feeling...I love the simplicity and I love knowing that someone else's life is blessed from what I gave away!

"To those whom much is given, much is expected"

"I learned to give, not because I have much, but because I know how it feels to have nothing!"

Two of my favorite quotes.

In all of this, the human element never escaped my attention...and I became more in touch with who I am, and those around me - my nearest and dearest. I became minimalist. And I prefer a simple my main focus revolves around - (not necessarily in this order)

1. My people
2. Travel
3. Food ... learning a new way of life (to prepare, to cook, to eat) thanks to my brother
4. Writing

My desires are, sleep, travel and blog! *My Bliss!*

I could sleep on a mattress on the floor so long as I have the people beside me that I love most in the world...I don't need life on a grand scale. If you have your health you have everything!! If you have the people you love, need and want in your life, you are blessed beyond measure...and if you can live your passion - whatever that may be...then you are truly at the top of the rich list!

Now all I long for is a palm tree, and a good book, or my tablet or laptop that I can create watch my children at play...and I am a happy girl! It is ENOUGH! 

These past months have been heaven and hell! But, Universe... GOD...keeps handing me the people I need to survive it and navigate it...for which I am eternally grateful! And I have learned to be grateful...for simply everything...even for simplicity and what it has brought me and taught me. In the midst of simplicity stood and evolved my greatest lessons and blessings!

For all that life has taken away, it has given me back tenfold in other ways...for how do I put a price on having my father and brother back in my life? How do I quantify the beautiful journey I have experienced in New York? How do I expand on how I feel about the gentle and genuine friendships I have made...including my relationship with a beautiful man? Yes, you read that right...I did say a few days ago that I had a little announcement to make...I've been separated almost 19 months now...but I have discovered... "If you're brave enough to say goodbye, life rewards you with a new hello." - Paulo Coehlo

Thank you to those who truly love me for who I am...flaws and matter what! Coz I'm never changing who I am!

But first, before I get into that...let me recap on what life has been like this week!

We lost a friend...death snuck into our lives and stole away a beautiful soul; he was buried two days ago...I can barely believe it. His pic is in the above collage. I have already blogged about him here and here, and also here, in varying stages and degrees. 

I hit the Vineyards with gusto and enjoyed a weekend with my best friend creating memories...that's what life is all about! Great memories...and great photo moments!
And keepsakes!! 

We hit the beach (one of my fave places to be!)

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Putting their best foot forward!
Facing different ways but they even walk the same!
Too cute!

...and my daughter and I had our Helix pierced together...OUUUUUUUUUUCH! I grimaced and had to breathe through the pain...she didn't bat an eyelid...and I thought I'd be soooo brave...this minor thing ten kids later! lol My pics are in the collage's hers. Last week she had her nose pierced! (same as me)...though I've had mine done 7 years now, and let me tell you, if it closes over, I am NOT having it redone...on a pain scale of 1-10 that was like a 23! ha ha! Screw that, I'd rather go through labor again lol!

You can just see my tiny butterfly here!
A momento of the babies I have lost.

I am contemplating my next tattoo, a memorial to my Grandfather which my son designed for me - the pic is in the collage above also! We have already been to the tattoo parlour to get a price and some direction on how to place it :) I can't wait to have it done! :) My grandfather was born in 1911 and strangely, 911 is a time I see on the clock OFTEN (yes I know it comes around twice a day) but somehow I always seem to look down at this precise moment, and if I think of it, I post it on Facebook. It appears A LOT, even in a shop where I may see a price or a weight on something or a sock size marked is of course the day that the twin towers and many lives were destroyed...for many years I didn't know if my family living in NYC were caught up in it, and it also the date that my brother and I got our matching 'memorial' tattoos done - 9.11.2012... I LOVE my tattoo (you can see part of it in the collage above - my son also designed that one) and I have plans for at least 2 more :) or you can see it on my About Mee page! MAN that of the foot...don't recommend it, but I do have one planned for the other foot lol! I think if you can stand that pain, you can tattoo ANYWHERE on your body! lol It'll be a piece of cake after that. ha ha! Lucky the next one is somewhat smaller...less intricate.

My friend's son celebrated his tenth birthday here...HAPPY BIRTHDAY 'X'. Last year my little brother made his cake! Wow! What a difference a year makes eh...

and I came across this car (below) in a car park!
I laughed!!!!
'YOUR LOSS!!!'  bahahhaaa!
Guess that was a break-up/divorce car!
You go cupcake! I love it!
I need to get myself one of THOSE I think ;)

and speaking of numbers and letters...

here's an 'S' for 'my Superman'

Which leads me back to my *NEWS* or announcement...I am excited to share that I am in a relationship with the most amazing man, and I may be planning a wedding in the Caribbean before you know it...a few people have asked me what line of work he's in ...I was going to say 'I shall be well protected', but I guess I can tell you that he's in the police force. I feel very safe in those big strong arms!!! Meeting was Serendipity...and definitely a case of being in the right place at the right time! I'll introduce him at some point...but for now, I must bid you all adieu! 

It's been a huge and harrowing week and I am beyond emotionally exhausted. It's an early night for me...and tomorrow, it's a case of help a friend move Engagement Party to attend ;)

Take care all, til next time...


M xo

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

In those still moments...

My son has to bury his best friend 3 days before his own birthday...this is so is a cruel twist of fate I can barely fathom! It is a reality my heart does not want to indulge in. It is a truth my mind does not want to believe. It is a messed up 'the end' my eyes do not want to witness and my soul does not want to parttake in! 

Today I discovered that in typical 'ZD style,' he was creating a wrap-around design for my son to have put on the hood of his car. I couldn't help but think of that unfinished piece, now lying dormant. It will never be will surely remain as a testament to a life half-lived, not because he didn't live life to the full - he surely did in so many ways - but because he is no longer here and we are no longer the recipients of his beautiful talent. He was a blessing to many! 

How is it that you were taken away all too quickly...all too soon? We weren't done with you yet!!!

His funeral will be held in Sydney this week...I have looked at his pictures, so full of life, and I simply cannot comprehend this. Surely this is a nightmare we will all wake up from? If only....but my heart whispers the truth of it, while still trying to deny it.

To my beautiful son - "If I'd just built my first house in a different street...I could have saved you this heartache. You never would have met him or knew he had existed. I'm so sorry you are hurting!" But I know deep down that thought process is so wrong. We can't save our children from everything...and as much as I want to protect my little boy, who is almost 24, I realise that it is just a crazy thought. We all suffer in this life...but it is a very harsh reality of life to be faced with such a huge death, at his tender age. I dont want this journey for him...but I am powerless, was powerless, to save him from it. And who could deny him the joy of that friendship, even if his heart is broken is proof of the connection they had!

We experience life and suffer for it. It is because we love that we hurt when we lose someone. It is so much easier to go into protective mode, wrap our hearts in cottonwool, or harden them up and never let a soul in...but as humanbeings it is very hard not to 'feel'...not to have those tender is virtually impossible to stand alone. To never truly love someone, with all of your heart and soul, is to miss the true meaning of life... They say 'it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all....' I guess on some level, I do believe this. To know that you can feel that depth of emotion for another is a beautiful thing. It is a gift...but it hurts like hell when that gift is taken away...and how do we recover???

I no longer believe the quote that 'Time heals all wounds.' I think we just learn to live with the pain...It becomes our 'new kind of normal!' The structure of our heart alters...that elastic part of our beings that can stretch and love more than one, expands to fill our chest cavity, it involves our brain, our emotional control center...and every fiber in our being hurts and aches for the space that person filled but now lies empty... And yet if we invest nothing...what then? Who are we? What are we but robots barely functioning... In order to hurt we had to have lived and loved...but the density of that grief mantel is a banner we grow weary of hurts and nothing stops it hurting...There is but one remedy...having that person back in our lives to share the journey... but sometimes, it is just not possible...death steals them away and what then?

Where to from here? How do we continue a path we shared, where now that space beside us is so obviously devoid of their presence...our heart is missing the joy they brought do we go on without their loving presence in our, when we got so used to having that vibrant person there do we walk forward into the unknown without them...when once they held our hand, understood every word we said (and the ones we didn't), shared our lives and brought a dimension to our little piece of the world that no one else could, how do we survive it? I have no answers to these questions...I only know that Kubler-Ross identified the stages of grief...and she was right! I would dearly love to live in the denial phase forever, where it's safe...but the rest of it comes in waves...unnbidden and unwelcome...waves we cannot banish or avoid...waves that press upon us like the ocean against the shore...sometimes it comes in a gentle motion... and at other moments (when we are least prepared) it comes crashing around us, threatening to drown us in its laps and licks, erodes and pounds...and yet, sometimes the calmest ocean can be the one where we those still moments of reflection, in that bottomless salty abyss, time stands still and we are at the mercy of the elements...the truth will always be the moment of reckoning - our undoing...there is no escape from that... He is gone and we have already grown weary of that truth; now we must traverse this painful path alone...

RIP Kiddo...we miss you!

Au Revoir!

*If you only knew how loved you were in you are in death :*(

Au Revoir...

As I drove around the Vineyards on the weekend, 
I realised that much has changed in my life
and some of it, I just don't want back...
those hopes and dreams were for another time!
Fate had other plans for me...
and I am very grateful of them!
I love what my future looks like now...

 I could never go back to hoping and wishing for the things 
I wanted previously, for my heart and mind have experienced so much more!

I am a city girl and my heart yearns for the excitement of NYC!
The country is definitely not for me...

But I learned something else this weekend!...

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I have realised that on this road we travel, called life, that there are going to be some people we will miss along the way - as they either separate themselves from us by choice or by fate; they will leave by moving away to other places, perhaps they'll just walk away because they can't give us what we need...or, they will die...leaving a great big gaping hole in our lives that cannot be filled!

Some of those people we miss because they are 'our people...or our tribe' and we should be with them if we can. We should find a way to connect those dots and never ever let them go again, like I am doing with my long lost family.... You can find out more about that here on my GoFundMe Project.

...but then, there are people we will always miss, because we love them, but...they aren't right for us. And oft times, those people are not meant to be in our lives. Maybe it's because they are bad for us...or they don't mesh in our world. Maybe it's because we are too different and can't make it all blend. Maybe it's something in them or something in us, maybe it's just that distance and time separates you and there's really nothing you can do about first...maybe in time it can be rectified...or, maybe it was just a case of right people/wrong time. Who knows! Some goodbyes truly are forever...

But, I've learned it's ok to miss someone. You don't necessarily have to 'fix it up!' Maybe some things just aren't meant to be and you can't struggle to make them happen. For if something is truly meant, truly pre-ordained, then it will happen! It will eventuate and unfold as surely as a flag unfurls in the breeze. You can work towards a good outcome BUT you can't fight fate...We humans think we are in control of our lives but it's more true that 'All the world's a stage and we are merely players!' Thanks Shakespeare! You really worked it out early on and said it so well!

Recently I've had more goodbyes than I ever cared to have, for all kinds of reasons and there are more to come. I hate the word goodbye and I've kind of resolved never to say it again to those I love and I want nearby (even if I can only keep them in my heart for now). I prefer 'Au Revoir - til we meet again' (although technically it's a goodbye of sorts, it's makes the assumption you will meet again...who knows when or where, but you will!) I pray some of those goodbyes aren't permanent, but sadly, some of them were or at least, appear to be...some are permanent for this life, til we meet again on other side, beyond the veil. Those are the worst goodbyes, the ones you can do nothing about!

This week I am missing a piece of my heart...or maybe it's two pieces really! And something happened that I didn't see coming and couldn't have been prepared for...death impacts our lives so greatly. The height and depth, length and breadth of it all, is so unimaginable...the pain and permanence and gravity of it rakes through your soul and it leaves you saying (and knowing) 'I will miss you forever...'

This other goodbye has left a profound mark, and feeling of sadness on my soul, and yet, it was in that goodbye that I realised we have no control over what someone else thinks and feels...and sometimes, it just best to let them go, bid them adieu, wish them well on their life's journey...but literally, say goodbye! If it was meant to be any different it would be...

It begs the question...if you have six months away from someone, don't see them, contact them or have anything to do with them, do you truly get over them as the experts say?

...if someone truly wants to be in your life, they will find a way! You won't need to beg, or to convince them that they should be, you won't have to change their mind or tell them that something is worth fighting will happen, because they'll already know that or come to that realisation all by themselves...maybe not as a conscious decision at first, but after a time; and when they realise that hole in their heart was left because you aren't there any more, then it will either motivate them to do something about it, or they will come to the same realisation.... 'It's ok to miss someone...' It really is ok! But...sometimes it's better than continuously hurting yourself trying to be with them...

I suppose whatever is beyond the OK mark is up to fate to decide...

Goodbye ZD and 'S'...I miss you both!!!
...miss you forever!

Images supplied by Google images unless otherwise stated. 
Photography by SuiteXposure Photography by M. Hayward

Saturday, July 19, 2014

prendere il volo ... take flight

"With brave wings she flies..."

Woman thou art loosed - Luke 13:12

I seem to spend A LOT of time in and at airports lately!
That's where this pic was taken as I flew out on Thursday
to hit the vineyards with my bestie...

Me & Bex
Such a beautiful trip
with lots of laughs...
and lots of fun!

Infront of...and inside of...
my fave chapel...

Morning tea at a fave little place I've been to before...

No grapes on the vines...
...but this time we were only interested in the bottled kind!

#bathroomselfie lol
Yep that's me....after ten kids...
Gah! I hate bathroom selfies
but as I don't own a full length mirror and people wonder
what I look like 'completely'
here ya go...

Love these night / sunset shots~!

all photography is property of
SuiteXposure Photography
by M. Hayward