I was going through old family photos this evening as I searched for photos of my Dad over the years, for his official birthday today.
I don’t know about you, but I get sucked into a time warp when I start doing this. I go through one year, then another, and another… suddenly I’ll look up from what I’m doing and be like “woah. Where am I?”
Like I’ve just woken up or something.
Photos transport you. I love going through them, and I’m trying my damndest to keep all my photo albums documented and in chronological order, though I’m very behind… but still trying.
And in thinking about photos, I realised that their ability to transport you to different times, and with different people, make them invincible.
They defy time and space.
They live forever.
It immediately made me think of words. Words live forever too. Think of the words you read by a poet 200 years ago… they breathe new life when you quietly repeat them in your mind, the meaning travelling through centuries to make its way to you.
And music. I LOVE music. Think of all the songs you love, from singers and bands that have long now gone, the words and the melodies that you continue to belt out in your car, when you’re doing the dishes, or in the shower… their lyrics and the music continue to live on through you, when you press play on your device, or decide to go acapella, wherever.
Art. Art is what it is. I love art, creativity, in all its forms.
Part of the reason is, IT CAN NEVER DIE. People, words, songs, they will always be revived when they are recalled, read, played.
Of course, they are passionate expressions of creativity, and that is simply the most beautiful thing. Even photography, it captures a moment in time, something that nothing else can quite do, and helps you to recall sudden scents, sights, a dress you used to wear when you were young, or a place you used to visit, and no longer do…
Photos can do all of this, and it was this I was reminded of when passing through the many years of my Dad’s life tonight.
They remind us of all the times of our life, when our own memories fail us.
How many other wonderful things will be captured by photo, that we are yet to live?
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.
I’ve been really trying to get baby girl reading more.
Not for me, because I’m a lover of words… but for her. It’ll be so much easier for her, education wise, if she’s a good reader, and so I’ve been pretty adamant since school began, that she needs to read something to us every night.
Tonight she continued on with the Hot Dog book she’s been reading, from the local library. This one from the series is called Camping Time. Written by comedian Anh Do, these books centre on a sausage dog called Hot Dog, and his friends, with the adventures they get up to featuring in some wacky way or another.
Well, she started reading from about page 26, since that was what she was up to the other night.
She kept reading…
AND she got to the end of the book! She had read up to page 113, which means she had almost gone through 100 pages!
She was on a mission. Aimed at primary school kids, it’s an easy to read page-turner, with large graphics, speech bubbles and engaging sound effects on each page! And on she went, and she did it all.
I’m so proud of her, but mostly I’m happy she chose to do it on her own. Hubbie and I told her multiple times to leave it for another day, but she persisted…
And just look where she ended up. Unbelievable.
I hope this helps her appreciate books and stories a lot more now. 💖📚
It’s interesting to get feedback from your child’s teacher on their school progress.
It’s even better when the feedback is good. 🤩
I had an online conference call with baby girl’s teacher today. She’s been doing well for the level she’s at… but my main happiness came when she told me baby girl is past the expected reading level for this time of year.
My eyes, shone.
I mean, I read. I write. I don’t expect my daughter to love to read, and write.
Well, I do expect her to appreciate reading, and to be well-read.
Which is why we read, often, and I try to get her to read independently as much as she can. She was put into an extra reading group at the start of the year as well, so to hear now that she has jumped 5 reading levels since the beginning, and can probably even go up another level soon…
I had to hold back the tears. I was super grateful. Super happy.
I was working from home when an old work colleague called me.
She told me that a mutual friend of ours, our old work friend, had died.
She cried, and I said ‘Oh my God,’ repeatedly.
It wasn’t that much of a shock. In terms of, we knew she had been battling a serious illness for years now.
But she had been winning. She had been beating it, time and time again, and I really felt like her bubbly personality and upbeat attitude would actually kick its arse.
I really did. I thought she had.
I read her posts on facebook, and I also followed her journey, taking in eagerly her updates that she was getting better, she was part of the small percentage that was still alive since her original diagnosis, watching her face on the screen of my mobile, all happy and positive, the way I used to see her when we worked together.
Back in the party shop days, when we were both in uni. We’d usually work the same Friday night shift, 4pm-8pm, and she’d fill me in on her weekend plans, the clubs she would frequent, the friends she would go out with. She was so bubbly. So positive. I don’t think I ever saw her mad. EVER. Even when a sad or sore topic crossed her lips, all it did was lower her voice, make her eyes go distant for only a moment…
But then she’d be back. That happy girl we all knew.
Today on the phone, my old work friend cried. I just stared at my computer screen, my mind blank with shock. I told her I’d call her back to have a good chat… I was at work, and had to process it all. She urged me to check out the facebook page that confirmed the sad news.
We hung up, and I knew I shouldn’t have… not just because I was at work, but because my mind was already becoming a jumbled mess.
But I did. I looked up the facebook page and burst into tears.
Why? Why her? How? She was 2 years younger than me. She was 34 when she died, months ago, and we’d only found out now. My heart sobbed. I felt sad all over. I thought of her again and again, her fight, her courage, her strength…
I struggled to think of memories. They were from so long ago, over a decade now. But slowly they came back, more and more.
Her long nails that she kept immaculate, strong and healthy despite all the balloons we tied and dust we encountered.
I remembered her 21st birthday. It was in a huge hall and she had hundreds of people there. She was dating a guy she was rapt about at the time, but he ended up to be a bit of a douche. I have to say, I wasn’t surprised about him when she later told us.
But I was beyond floored to hear the news of her death today.
Why? How? How did this happen? She had a loving family. A wide circle of friends.
She was going places. She loved her job. She was motivated. Dedicated. hard-working. Fun and cheeky and hilarious.
How did this happen?
This afternoon, my thoughts went into a deep, dark place. I cried over my keyboard, and then Hubbie came home for lunch and I cried some more.
He just nodded. He understood.
I told him I was scared. “What’s the point of life… we’re all leading towards death, or heading towards watching all our loved ones die. I’m scared to love anyone.”
I struggled with these thoughts. To and fro I went, battling, thinking of her, thinking how life was scary, life was unfair… life didn’t ask you. Things happened.
Things just happened.
Nothing mattered anymore. All this coronavirus crap… seriously who cared?
We were alive! We were breathing. Hell even if I felt pain somewhere, it meant I was alive.
I was feeling. Breathing.
A few little things made me realise what was important in the second part of the day. I finished work, and instead of rushing off to do home-schooling, and start the whole routine of getting jobs done, I sat with baby girl. Watched her draw with some colouring pens she’d re-discovered.
We had our coffee break on the balcony.
I used my eyes to look at the water.
My hands to wave at the passing neighbour.
I smelt the coffee with my nose.
I felt the sunshine on my face.
I heard the wind breathing as it wrapped the warmth of Spring around us.
I was alive.
We took a walk around the block. I needed it. We looked at houses. We counted street signs. We laughed. Touched leaves. Ran.
At home, I read, on whim. I’ve been holding back, trying to not read as much in order to motivate myself to catch up on my Book Reviews for my blog… but it’s made my soul sad. My soul wants to read. I want to read.
So I read a chapter just before dinner.
Yes, if you looked at it deeply, darkly… we were all leading to inevitable death. Ours, or everyone around us.
And we didn’t know what would come first.
Bleak, yes. Not very glass half-full at all.
But we had this life to live… and to love, was to live. We had to spend our time on this earth making the most of it, enjoying the little moments, using our senses, experiencing them, and being grateful that we were granted time on this earth at all.
Doing what we wanted. What made us feel good, in our core. I realised I had really followed my heart today, because the news of our work friend passing was so upsetting, I had to do something to make myself feel better…
I am still so profoundly sad. I think of her and I feel like crying all over again. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe she’s not here anymore.
Despite everything, I spent my time doing something for me today. Something to make me smile through my sadness. Something to make me happy through my tears.
And it was made all the more meaningful tonight. Baby girl kept asking for kiss after kiss after hug after hug from us, as she lay in bed tonight. It became a joke to her, saying “one more,” every time we moved back.