Life has been so busy lately. So busy, that we’ve forgotten a lot of who we are.
May has come around too fast. And another Monday, come and gone.
It was only last week when I went “damn. That came fast.”
Our ‘special’ day.
Not having the time to celebrate when you’re ‘meant to’ does not mean jack.
Take the commercial days, of Valentine’s Day, hell even throw in Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
They’re all the same.
We’re told as a society that we have to do something, we must do something to celebrate it, show off for social media, friends and family…
It is lovely to celebrate, appreciate loved ones in our life, and I’m not saying that I don’t do it, personally…
But you should celebrate your special people, ALL THE DAYS of your life. Not just when the catalogues and ads tell you too.
Same as for other days.
Days like, an anniversary. 💖💖
Our anniversary fell on a Monday this year. Work, school, swimming, groceries, phone calls, emails, basketball game, routine routine routine… it was all too much. It was a fairly uneventful day, and that’s ok, because we share our love for each other on other days, in other ways, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s not on this EXACT day.
I’m not trying to convince myself, honest. 😂 In fact, we are going out tomorrow night, and going away for a couple of nights soon too.
Let there be love on all the days. Let there be hugs, kisses, displays of affection, cards and presents, snuggles and all kinds of lovey-dovey things, on all the days.
Not just when it is deemed special, by society, by milestone, or by date.
I had a really lovely night… sans Hubbie. He was out playing basketball.
Baby girl and I had dinner together, then we sat on the couch and she read school books to me.
Then we watched Masterchef, and we never watch Masterchef. 😂
Hubbie came home, and then eventually we sat on the couch as a family, to do one special thing together, something small to highlight our ‘special’ day…
We looked through our official photos. 😍
Baby girl and I put on the special photo gloves, and she helped me leaf through the pages, as we all reminisced, and she learnt and discovered.
And I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the night.
Today was the day that we said goodbye to our family home.
The home that my parents have lived in for 40 years.
The home that my sister spent growing up as a teenager, all the way until she got married.
The home that’s the only childhood, family home I’ve ever known… that I lived in for 25 years until I got married.
Goodbye, number 14.
It was an emotionally bittersweet day. Emotional because oh God, all of the above! So many memories are in every inch, every corner, every crevice of that house.
Through the rush to get everything out of the house this morning, I tried to pause every so often, look around, take a breath, and say a personal thanks to the house that made my years growing up, the best in the world.
Here is the emotional part.
I was reflecting on my life spent there as I walked around the empty rooms, a bit taken aback by the hollowness of it all. The furniture, furnishings, and all the photos and trinkets that made it such a loved home, were all gone.
But oh, those walls. If those walls could talk.
Those walls would speak of happiness, of laughter. Of sadness and shock, family coming together, and family celebrating to make the most out of life.
And love. SO much love.
Memories hit me as I walked into rooms, turned corners. Looked this way, that. People from the past resurfaced, along with people from the present.
In the lounge room, I saw myself sitting on the floor while my parents watched footy on the TV.
In the kitchen I saw my Mum cooking up a feast, our family sitting down to eat at the small round table, perfect for us in size, so perfect, to keep us tight and close together, as always.
In the garden I saw happiness. Friends, cousins, brimming around, enjoying a drink on a hot Summer’s day, folk music from the garage wafting over and adding to the festive atmosphere of it all.
The garage, ohhhh, the garage. Where so, so, so many parties and events were had. Birthdays. Milestones. Weddings. Day after weddings! New Years. And all of the Christmases that Mum cooked up a storm, catering for over 30 people like it was an absolute breeze, even though it wasn’t.
She made it look effortless.
Those were the days. Those were the BEST days.
The park next door. Hearing the squeals of happiness from our younger cousins as they took advantage of the play proximity.
At the front door, I saw my sister being led out in her wedding dress by my parents… then I saw myself, doing the same.
The dining room showed me all of us, our big family, as we are now. The original foursome, us, being my parents, sister and I, but now with our Hubbies and our kids, filling up the table, eating heaps, drinking more, and playing music off of youtube on the mobile until the late hours of the night.
In my bedroom. The bedroom that I spent 15 years of my life sleeping, dreaming and hoping in. I had another room for the first 10 years of my life, but I claimed this one, sister’s one, after she got married and moved out.
It’s always been the better room.
I sat in my old room. Took some photos around me. And then here, I began to cry.
I remember watching Video Hits for hours on weekend mornings.
My childhood cat scratching at my window, wanting to be let in, and then me opening the window to shoo her, upset she had woken me… but when she jumped down from the window sill outside, I thought stuff it, you’ve woken me now… and so I would call her back in (she must have thought I was a crazy bipolar cat owner) and she’d snuggle up next to me as I slept a little more.
I’d open up that window, and talk to friends through it.
I talked to SO MANY people, through it.
I listened to music for hours on my bed.
I had sleepovers in that room.
I had sleepovers in that house! On the lounge room floor, covered in blankets and sleeping bags.
When Croatia played Australia in the 2006 World Cup, Hubbie-then-boyfriend and I watched it, me running around the house with a Cro flag when Croatia scored a goal, and Hubbie running around the house with an Aussie flag when they scored a goal.
I don’t remember who won that game. All I remember is the memories.
All the people who came, and went from that house. It would be in the hundreds. Friends, family, people who I grew up with, grew apart from, so many people have touched base in that house, shared a laugh, a dance, a drink, and made a memory.
Even baby girl. It was the first place that she ever visited, after her own home.
Speaking of baby girl… My waters broke in that house! And my own Mum’s waters broke in there, when she was pregnant with me!
Both sister’s Hubbie, and my Hubbie, met my parents for the first time in THAT lounge room…
News broke. Secrets shared. Heavy discussions were had. Tears shed.
People were welcomed. People were greeted.
People came in, and immediately knew that there was love. They were safe. They were in a memorable place.
And so today, the time came. We walked through the house. We took our final photos.
And we drove off, for good.
That was seriously bitter, right?
Where is the sweet?
Well, it comes with the choice. How blessed are we that this was born of my parents decision to move closer to me and sis, and not because of a bad circumstance.
How lucky are we that we get to say goodbye, together, in the best way possible… and how lucky that we still get to take ALL the memories with us?
Including most importantly, the people.
I am so looking forward to making just as many happy memories in their new abode. 🏡🏡
But my heart will always hold a very special and dear place, for number 14.
And I don’t swear lightly… on social media, that is. But today was totally fucking swear-worthy.
The start and end of it look quite blissful… see?
Baby girl’s babycino following our buffet brekkie. Then me enjoying some relaxing time while baby girl screamed “cannonball!” launching into the shallow swimming pool’s waters.
But the meat of the sandwich that was between those two photos? The middle of the day?
That is a story and a half.
Because we had started the day happy, you see. We had brekkie, and on our way to visit a beach we had only stopped by days earlier, made a pit stop to get a boogie board for baby girl, which ended up being a family boogie board, so awesome and big and colourful it was.
We were just pumped. Couldn’t wait to get to the beach, oh, 10 minutes away…
But then my car overheated.
The temperature gauge went to red.
Hubbie pulled over in a panic.
And in the space of a few hours, we were waiting waiting waiting, had a huge mix-up with our car roadside insurance that resulted in help being sent a lot later than we would have liked, we were hot, stuck on a busy road. were in the vicinity of a possible Wolf Creek type abduction attempt when a man pulled over after seeing me outside the car, and in between all of the waiting, being told by the roadside guy there was nothing he could do, daydreaming about the boogie board we should have been using then at the beach…
Well there were the water birds.
We called them ducks the whole time, but they were too big to be ducks. These birds were on one side of the busy road as we waited over an hour for help, and in that space they proceeded to leisurely cross the two sides of traffic, a number of 4 times.
At first, we couldn’t watch. We told baby girl to cover her eyes, sure that one of them would be splattered and flattened over the asphalt. They were lanky, moved slowly, and just lacked any kind of fear or trepidation when it came to forcing huge pieces of machinery to brake to a stop to allow them to pass.
And yet, they passed. They made it. There were 6 of these animals, with one of them hobbling like it’d been swiped by a vehicle… and yet they crossed the two-sided road 4 times.
It was a miracle.
Cars, even trucks, pulled to a stop. We watched in amazement as traffic on this busy tourist road came to a standstill, as these slow-moving water birds ambled across slowly, seemingly unaware of the chaos they were creating.
They managed to move, however slowly, while we sat there static, in the heat, a little bit in awe of their bravery (and sometimes, stupidity).
My faith in humankind was restored, even following the Wolf Creek incident, seeing ‘most’ of the cars patiently wait for these indecisive avian kind to work out which side of the road they wanted to be on.
And that faith in people continued when some time later, a random cafe owner we had passed only that morning on our fated way to the beach, ended up helping Hubbie get back on the road, however slowly, where we breathed a huge sigh of relief that we were back in a known, safe, comfortable place.
But now, we are stuck.
There are a couple of morals to this story. One is the REAL truth behind all the social media photos you see. Despite the filters being put on display, it doesn’t mask the truth in between the snaps of photos being taken and the 100 special effects being created.
And secondly… there are miracles to be observed, even amongst unbelievable odds and impossible situations.
We’re relying on technology so much nowadays, being separated from one another physically, and so it brought me much joy to see facebook spring forth a memory this morning.
I mean, I knew what day it was, I’m kinda counting the days to August (with nothing to really look forward to at this stage, let’s face it, but ‘eternal dreamer’) so I did realise it was the anniversary of our dear baby girl’s christening, from 6 years ago.
WOW. 6 years ago. Photos, with family and friends. My gorgeous baby girl, actually, a baby girl! Not 6 going on 13 as she wishes she were. Even a video was there, and I could hear the music in the background, was reminded of the joy of the event, and tried to imagine what it’d be like to be amongst people like that again…
No fear. All love. Happiness, laughter, good times.
I hope this virus passes soon, for everyone’s sakes. And then when facebook brings up 2020 memories in years to come, we’ll look back on all the masks, isolation woes, and toilet paper wars, shaking our hands and wondering if it was all a dream…
Or a nightmare. In the meantime, let’s look back on the memories, and look towards making new ones, hopefully soon…
Ok, little white lie… I didn’t actively seek them out for the sake of reminiscing. It was Hubbie’s request to find an old photo of himself with a certain hair cut, and I knew roughly which album it was in…
So I came down the stairs some time later, with two albums.
Because one wasn’t enough.
Not even two was enough! But still we sat. We searched. We laughed and laughed.
We were back in time about 15 years. 15 years! Do you know what can happen in 15 years?
Fortunately, a good sign… there were a lot of familiar faces. 🙂
Baby girl asked if every baby pictured was her, and when I told her it was her cousins, my nephews, she demanded to know why she wasn’t there!
“Honey, you weren’t ready to come out yet!”
“Yes I was, I was always ready!”
Oh LOL LOL.
What did I find, specifically?
Well, in all those familiar faces…
I found flared pants.
I found hair with so much foils it was practically blonde.
I found stupid/silly face photos (photos where you deliberately pull a stupid face… if you haven’t done it, this you MUST TRY!)
I found so many 21sts.
I found selfies… before there were selfies!
I found my nephews so small, they could fit in my arms.
I found my parents garage, filled with family, music and laughter, as was so common back when I was a teen.
I found a lot of drinks!
I found a lot of parties.
I found a lot of freedom.
I found a lot of happiness.
I found a lot of love.
And it made me think… looking through photos is one of the best things you can do right now. Even if you are going through really hard times…photos of happier times are honestly, the best thing we can show ourselves at this point in our lives…
Because life is a rollercoaster, just gotta ride it, as Ronan Keating sings. It goes up, it comes down.
Or like one of my favourite sayings,
“Good times and bad times have one thing in common… they never last forever.”
Universally, we all are going through a tough time, in one way or another.
So when we look back at these photos and remember how good things used to be…
You can remind yourself, they will be that way again.
Before we know it, we will be making more memories.