Sunday, January 31, 2010

Somebody help me PLEASE!!

I have this stuck in my head. WHY?? I haven't watched it, haven't thought about it, in yonks.

But no. Today, I am being haunted by the Lollipop freakin Guild. For no good reason! Over and over and over, I'm doing that high-pitched "LEEEEEEEEEAGUE" bit. And when I cave, every few rounds I join in with half my mouth shut and sing out the corner of one side of my mouth... "WEEEEEE wish-oo-we'come you TO mu'shkin layyyyynd."

I obviously have a problem here. Intervention requests are being sought by Steve. You can contact him on 1-800-GET-ME-OUT-OF-HERE-SHE'S-NUTS.


Saturday, January 30, 2010


When I was four, my family went to Daylesford for a weekender. I think we stayed at a guest house or similar. I don't recall much of the trip, save for feeling tremendously bored and tired.

The other thing I have never been able to erase from my memory, about that brief holiday, was that Daylesford *cue minor key music* was where I lost my dearly beloved: my Dummy.

Me and my dummy were never far from each other. Heck, I had the thing attached by a little chain to whatever top I was wearing. I don't remember, but I must have been sucking on that thing 24/7. I DO remember it tasted bloody awful (really rubbery - I think, now I am a parent of a child who's had a dummy, Mum and Dad must have been at the end of their tether with how to get it off me... I reckon they mustn't have replaced it in a long time, hoping it'd be so rank that I'd be turned off it and decide on my own to be rid of it).

The day we were leaving, my parents were rushing about packing bags and dodging kids (there are four of us). I remember watching them, hopefully, anticipating one of them calling out, "I've found it, here it is!" because they'd both distractedly told me they would look for my dummy as they were packing up our things to head home.

I sat on that bed and waited and waited. No such exclamation came. I had lost my dummy.

Of course, now I am pretty certain I most certainly did NOT! Doing a few quick deductions, as an adult, I've come to realise that, if the thing was always chained to me, it couldn't have been lost unless someone unclipped it while I slept! And further, my parents didn't even look for it! Okay, so that's just a hunch of mine but I'll bet it's accurate. Regardless, the betrayal I felt. Oh, the betrayal!

I actually mourned the loss of my dummy. I was so incredibly sad that my little four year-old heart thought it would nevahhh, ever mend.

Now, the reason I tell you all of this is because.... We are on night #7 without the dummy here. It was me, first and foremost, who had to confront the situation like I was ripping off a bandaid. Once I got to the point of saying to myself, "Do it now, don't overthink it," it was time to execute a very hasty plan - probably quite similar to the way my parents had done it (and which I have vowed, these past 3 1/2 years Lolly has had hers, not to repeat because I thought they were so dastardly to deceive me so....hmmm).

This is a HEEEUGE feat. Our little Lol was introduced to a dummy to pacify at the tender age of two days. I hadn't decided whether I wanted to give her one or not, but as she was jaundiced and had to go under the Billi lights (which caused her mother to go into a convulsing ball beside her at the sight because it was so familiar and felt like a nightmare about to repeat itself), a nurse just popped a teeny tiny dummy in our wee girl's gob. To soothe me as much as her, the middie had said. By jove, she was right, too.

Ever since, the LGBB has had a dummy for all her sleeps. Never outside the cot (now bed).

The way her little heart broke the other night took me back to when I was sitting watching my parents as they packed up the rooms we had stayed in at Daylesford. I couldn't understand how I could possibly have lost my dummy, I was so bereft i thought I'd never
recover. And I didn't want the LGBB's fate at the end of her dummy's time to have the same lasting effect.

Steve and I think we timed it rather well - when we went away this past weekend to the beach, I hid one dummy (in case it all went ballistic) in my bag but we told her we'd forgotten her dummy for bedtime. And before we left home, I threw away her spares so there were none in the house.

We got home from the beach, after spending two nights there and Lolly was admirable in her acceptance of the lack of dummy. She had fully accepted we had left her dummy at home and went to sleep without it, no problems. All was going according to our plan...

Steve went out and bought a pink and silver glitter lava lamp (his choice of reward for her, and a mighty good one at that) and I wrote a letter "from the Dummy Fairies", who had noticed she had been sleeping so well without her dummy on her holidays that they had given her a gift in exchange for her other dummies (which had been taken to the hospital for the little babies who needed them).

Well, the LGBB started out proud as punch, beaming from ear to ear and making breathy gasps as she gazed at the letter from the fairies. She kept proclaiming her love for her lamp.

But then, lights-out time came and the heaving sobs were soooooo sad! And sweet. And so I told her about when I was a little girl and had 'lost' my dummy. She completely forgot her own misery and started comforting me. Hugging my head and cupping my face in her hands with big tears rolling down her cheeks, my heart ripped a little bit more as she said, "Mummy's so sad". Oh dear! It was very precious.

I hastily reassured her that I was okay now and that seemed to soothe her some. Until she started overlaying her own story of dummy woe with my own, getting all muddled and saying, "But.... my dummy is lost. It got lost in da hostidible." I had to remind her that, no, her dummy was not lost in the hospital, but that it had been taken with many thanks by the dummy fairies to be used by little babies in the hospital who needed it more, now that she was a big girl.

She made far less fuss the next night and only made a half-arsed attempt to ask for it the third night. Poor little lamb. But it was time for them to go - judging by the persistent dummy-shaped gumline and teeth - so we seized our distracting opportunity. I feel wretched in one sense, but know that we have balanced it well (for us). She was a baby who had a strong need for sucking for comfort - her quota of sucking was fulfilled by the dummy, second to the breast. I hazard a pretty good guess that if it hadn't been the dummy, it would have been her thumb.

And the "fairy dust lamp" is just so gorgeous. How can a girl not fall in love with a pink and silver glitter lava lamp in her bedroom?! What I want to know is, why hadn't they been invented when I was a kid? I would have begged for one til I was blue in the face.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Emergence of truly being me

A little while back, I read a post that struck a chord with me. You know when you read something and know that you know, deep down somewhere or perhaps on some connected cellular level, that you know - have always known - what you have just read? And yet, it takes reading it to make the light go on again?

By the way, I win (my own self-assumed competition) for the highest use of the word "know/n" in one paragraph EVER.

The thing is, my 'word' for 2010 has only just come to me. I thought (as evidenced by my contribution on that post's comments feed) it was ... Grace. However, another word floated up today in my mind, amongst being steeped in so much work for my upcoming first ever co-facilitation effort at Peace Space (ohmylorrrrd am I gonna be ready by Feb 10??) and for some inexplicable reason, the instant I heard the word, that post also came to mind.

So. Here I am. Looking at what I'm facing in 2010. Trying valiantly not to stamp on my dreams and destiny before I've even seen my first client (I had a couple of queries arising from my 'business' card that had been picked up in various waiting rooms, waiting for me in my inbox on my return from our weekend away, did I tell you?!) and also knowing that I am holding an energy of change far greater than just me - as one singular person alone - so I am steadied again and reminded that there is sentient guidance here that I still all too rarely give credit to.

The word that bubbled up from nowhere was


And in 2010, that is what I am set to be experiencing. An emergence, as more truly and originally "me" as I have ever been. Something that I guess I've known I was always working towards, ever since that little soul slipped from my fingers in the NICU in 2004. A hard slog and not one that will ever be over, as each new day brings newly formed 'truths', but one so rewarding in the long run that it's been worth the immensely personal challenges.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So.... what'd I miss?

Far too much going on today for a proper post, so shall have to come back another time. There is also a lot going on in the world right now too and, somehow, yet another post about l'il ol' me just feels inappropriate, at least until I can get up to speed with news.

I feel like I've been out of touch with reality since Friday night. It's kind of a big relief, but feels very weighty when you come back to this parallel reality called Society (which I don't think is my reality at all, or at least, not how I want my 'reality' to be, but more on that another time!).

For now, here is my very fave of the weekend:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to go crazy and have fun all at the same time


79 versions of Popcorn. The song.

Grab this blog, your toddler, your husband and go a little bit insane sampling all the different versions - each with their own dance, apparently - according to said toddler - despite sounding EXACTLY, mind-numbingly, the same. See how long it takes before the giggles give way to ever more stupid renditions of the dances you're concocting.

And that, kids, is how it's done.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nobody puts Lolly in the corner

She can put herself there quite capably, thank ewe very much.

I promise, I did not banish her to this corner of the kitchen to eat her ice block. In one of those literal moments, she thought when I said, "Go and sit down on the step" (between the kitchen and the laundry foyer - the area that's easy to clean up any sticky spills), that she had to go and sit on her actual step, which was still here pushed into the corner where she'd been standing watching me cook porridge this morning.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

While you were reading...

...we've snuck away to the beach this weekend.

What you're reading now is a kindly Blogger-generated scheduled post. There are a couple more to tide over the weekend.

Back to our regular programming on Tuesday. 'Til then, you can just imagine us sunnin' it up on the coast, just the three of us, the mozzies, some Aeroguard (they have to go together), and our bathers/togs/swimmers (depending which state/territory/country you're from). We've hired a friend's holiday unit for three days and are just going to melt into relaxation - I've been on High Simmer since, oh, about 2007 and this is our first proper "gimme a break" family break since the LGBB was born. Ludicrous, really.

So don't mind me, peeps. As you were. And enjoy the rest of your weekends too!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Questions about questioning a loss

(in which she finally gets around to answering the question posed by a commenter over a week ago...)

"So, is it getting any better, love?" Dad asked. He had phoned to say he was thinking of us, after also sending a really beautiful card, 'remembering our Spirit Girl, Ella.' So simple, yet majestic in its offering. My Dad is a masterful card-writer and his secret, really, is to be short and sweet and coming from a place most heartfelt, without even seeming like he's tried or searched or struggled for the right words.

It was an interesting question he posed to me on our daughter's sixth birthday.

"I have to say, it is... and it isn't," I fumbled in reply. How was I going to catch my father up to speed about how much more I had worked on myself [my attitude, my sense of self-centre, my further acceptance about what has happened to me in my life, learning to tailor my responses to people even further so they were real me responses, the genuine ones - after much time and understanding had passed, I would finally feel safe to be me in 2009] when he only asked this every year or so? Beautifully posed cards aside, I don't get checked in on at any other time of year. Not by anyone in my family. Save for my sister in-law sometimes, bless.

"Of course, it's easier in some respects," I continued on, with a real 'comma-but' implied in the trailing off of my sentence that indicated I had more to say.

"Ah, well that's good. I'm glad then," Dad said. He sounded relieved of his post. I left it at that.

There's no way to "nutshell" this process, really. At the end of the day, I'm now beyond needing to hear words of solidarity or comfort from my family and friends. But it's so good to have them delivered on us randomly - it's actually more poignant to be reminded, on any ordinary day during the year, that someone was "just thinking about you and how you're doing" or "had a moment, thinking about Ella today." Those gestures are priceless, this many years on.

So, to the question that was posed in the comments section of a post I made last week. I have to preface my attempts at answering this by clarifying that I am just one of many millions who have suffered the loss of a child over the 'lifetime' of this world. And I don't claim to definitively "know" the answers to these sorts of things. But, of course, without sounding too simpering, I know that I - and so many others like me - have more of a grip on this reality I'm in because of my strive to seek clarity and information and understanding for myself. It is this understanding and perspective only that I can share. And each person's will be different, even if only slightly, because we are all individual. Yes *say it together now* We are all individuals.

The comment:
Years ago, when I was in my early twenties, I was cheerfully chatting to a lady in my workplace and I asked her how many children she had. Two, came the reply. I then asked how old they were, she replied that one was three and the other had died as a newborn.

It totally floored me, I didn't know what to say or where to look. Did I ask what happened and seem nosey? Or should I say something like 'I'm sorry for your loss' and sound glib or insincere, even though I most certainly wasn't? Or should I just bring up the latest episode of Friends and seem uncaring... It all got really awkward and I started babbling about how terrible it must have been and felt like such a clumsy idiot.

In all honesty I'm still not sure I'd know how to react tactfully to the news a person had suffered such a terrible loss. So please, do you have any hints? What is a sensible, tactful response to the news that a person has lost a child?

Firstly, I can't answer this easily. I need to give a bit of background "depth" to this, for it is a situation that happens on a daily basis, I'm sure.

I think the most important thing to remember here is that.... at the end of the day, the woman gave birth to a gorgeous baby. Are we all not very proud of this achievement, as women and mothers, when this happens? The very moment that bubba passes, it's as if all of that joy and wonderment and empowerment gets sucked out of you (the parent) - and mostly, it pains me to have to break it to you, this process happens at the hands of others. Well-meaning they may be, but those who • change the subject, • go straight for the pained or tragic slant on the whole "thing" without properly acknowledging the (albeit short) life of the child, • ask only questions relating to what happened (why the child died).... feel very vampirish. Now, I know vamps are all "in" at the moment. But when you feel like your catastrophic event is being sucked on, it really isn't pleasurable. That joyous moment, the euphoric post-birth high gives way to.... nothing happy. Nothing rewarding. Which urges me to point you to this post (the tulip flower link on the right of this page) about miscarriage and the deep and lasting effects it can have on a woman's body. If people around the parent/s begin to reinforce the fact that theirs is a taboo, ugly, dark, too-hard-basket situation, then the parent/s will eventually have not many places in which to proudly talk about their baby and the experience/s (and life journey, however short-lived) they shared. SO.... my point about all of that paragraph is, what a blessed gift you would give a parent, if you were to provide them an opportunity to talk about the joys, the hope, the blessing they saw/see their child to be, their memories as a normal parent, basically - it is far more rare to receive this welcome opportunity, let me tell you.

All of that being said, one of the hard lessons of becoming a bereaved parent is the difficult realisation of "a-ha, I really DO have such a great duty of care here." When you start to lift yourself out of your own fog of grief - which can literally take years - and see that the responses you've been inflicting, on members of the general public or workmates, etc., who are completely unaware of your situation, are actually really affecting the person in front of you - reactions vary from visible crumbling, instant tears in the eyes, avoidance of meeting your gaze and so forth - that parent then has to become very quickly sound in their delivery. As if to buffer the receiver of the information. So bereaved parent becomes the comforter, if you will. It's a strange dynamic.

What to say, though, in far fewer rambly words than I've just unleashed from the depths of who-knows-where? Well, for starters (see - I can't be succinct with ANYTHING), I'm not a huge fan of directing anyone towards The One Ideal Sentence. There actually isn't one, if truth be told. Because the 'ideal' response is as varied as there are dynamics between personae - both the bereaved parent and the person who is attempting to offer some words of sympathy. Suffice to say, a great start would be - absolutely - "May I ask what happened?" Note that this is very different from asking "What happened" without the "may I ask", for you are giving the parent the choice to decide whether they will or will not go into it.

It takes much energy to explain, for me, even this many years on, and dependent on how interested the person is and how many subsequent questions they ask, I could be drained for the remainder of the day (without properly focusing on why that might be). So be mindful too that whatever you ask, you really are extracting memories that the parent may not be feeling up to delving into at that moment in time. Remember too, then, that that too shall pass (the moment of not feeling up to it) and it shouldn't be taken as read that you should never again attempt to enquire or seem interested. If your relationship with the parent is longer than a fleeting passing in the street situation, it would pay you well to perhaps revisit at a point in the near future - if indeed you have been thinking compassionately about the parent - and say something like, "I've been thinking about you and your baby, I can't possibly imagine what you've been through. But I would be interested/would like to learn some more about your experience with him/her sometime." And leave it at that. You may be pleasantly surprised at the appreciation you receive, if in fact you are genuinely interested.

You could also try:
(totally dependent on timing - both of asking the question and how recently the baby passed - and on your familiarity with the person AND not least in importance, being sound in your own agenda: why do you ask, why do you really want to know... a rhetorical question worthy of some consideration)

• I'm very sorry to hear that. (And leave that as your last sentence.... don't trail off into "But at least you've got one child" or "Are you planning to have any more" etc. etc.... these are extreeemely personal questions that I have never ever heard as being useful or received inoffensively in all my years of reading and talking with bereaved parents)

• Did you spend some time with him/her. (Again, VERY dependent on your comfort level of receiving the answer, your reason for asking in the first place, the nature of your relationship with the parent, the nature of the passing - although, in saying that, I think it is fairly standard these days for parents to be given the choice to determine how long they stay with their child after he/she has passed away... I stand to be corrected if anyone wants to weigh in here)

• Don't forget, the very simple "I cannot imagine."

Mostly, if you really would rather not know "details" and just want to back out without causing harm or offense, the first and last response are fine and would be suitable in pretty much all circumstances as a quick pull from your Memory File marked Social Etiquette Techniques.

It's an extremely important question that has been asked - What is a sensible, tactful response to the news that a person has lost a child? - and one that has no really short answer, as I've *aherm* illustrated. It's also something that can really blindsight a person, asking a seemingly obvious and simple question as "How many children do you have" and receiving the reply that one of the counted is no longer living. I'm unsure if I would be gracious and unflappable in response, had I not now experienced the journey I have.

So you'll find, by and large, that the mother or father you are feeling very inadequate in front of (in terms of a fitting reply, I mean) is going to be very forgiving of whatever response you give. Either way, I always maintain, one must act from the heart. To truly communicate and convey from this very private place within yourself, you have to first really know yourself - the Self you are today, forgetting tomorrow because things are going to happen today that could change that truth and standing of 'tomorrow', aren't they - and from there, that's when the giving and connection (between parent and innocent bystander) can truly begin to unfold the magic. Depending how you do it, you could deliver on each other a most astounding gift for the future, without either of you even realising. I think it's called........ unconditional, Universal love, in that brief moment. Remember this post and its story.

Don't know if that makes anything clear at all. I'm pretty satisfied with my response. But I know I've probably disappointed some by not being dot-pointy. I tried! I did. See the dot-points? I just don't do abbreviated, though..... Hnnngh.

But I guess, in closing, I have to refer back to the beginning of this post and my comments about my father's card: an honest, sincere and simple gesture is probably almost always going to work best.

By the way: please excuse any inappropriate Google ads that may appear beneath this post... they change at random and sometimes aren't offensive, but the one I just saw was about as poorly placed as a Libra oddspot.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

With a dress like this...

... is it any wonder a girl can't keep from twirling?

Thank you, Nanna, for the most delicious dress in the wardrobe!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Taking a moment

I've been looking at our daughter through different eyes these past two weeks. The day I discovered the lines on the pregnancy test, we had a nap together. I was so tired (pregnancy hormones had begun to hit) and, mercifully, so was Lol. While she dozed, I watched her. For over an hour, I gazed at her lovely face. So beautiful, such a freaking miracle that she is here to ease our angst. Each and every day.

That day, all of the wonderings and what if's of the future and a new pregnancy battled in my mind with the ones that insisted I "stay in this moment, right here, right now, don't go into flights of fancy... not this time, not yet." Once again, my good ol' instincts proved right. I could see, as I was getting further into the week, that my heightening tightening grip on the process was becoming too desperate for this to turn out 'happily'. I knew it. I denied it. Again! *d'oh*

One of the most poignant scenes of last week was watching our sweet little girl blowing out the six candles on her sister's cake. The cake was rather hard for Daddy and I to swallow past that lump in our throats, but seeing Lolly's face light up both when we decorated it and ate a piece each was all worth it.

My meandering thoughts will find their way to a proper post. Soon. There is too much I have uncovered this time (yes, I know, who KNEW you could still be 'learning' after 10 miscarriages!?) for me not to share, I am duty-bound to do so. It's far too late in the peace for me not to.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'd like to thank Libra for being so supportive

But I'd actually rather BOYCOTT them. If I could be bothered. Pah.

The little wrapper that greeted me as I reached for the pad during my latest early miscarriage bore this fascinating little tidbit:

Are there too many men working there? Or young go get'em females who haven't a clue about how their periods work? Or are they all just numbskulls? Now, I can "do"/overlook the baby fact ones, but foetus facts really should not make it past the boardroom brainstorm.

Should they?

Me Found Me Groove Again

Despite him not being the most favourite Muppet of mine (that place being forever taken by Grover, my ideal man - so refined and yet, willing to let his silly side out as evidenced by his badge in this picture-->>) I have to give Cookie Monster credit for lifting my chin over this past weekend.

I had a penchant for this [look, I could explain why but really you'd have to be inside my head soooo, just take it as a given, kthx] and, as mostly usual, the Tube delivered:

The remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday were then spent with either me, Steve or the LGBB breaking into "WHEEEEERE'S my cookeeeeeeeee? Help me find my cookie...... Please" endlessly, until the giggles came not so much from reminiscing the vid but from the fact that we couldn't get the farking song out of our heads. Even the LGBB (actually, she was the worst culprit) kept breaking into song wherever we were.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hokay.... who wants to hear about Lucky #13?

Well, Internet, I thought I was doing smashingly. I got a positive line on a pregnancy test last Friday. That's a week of not letting on. Only two very close, trusted friends knew (I had to have someone to count things out with). And I was doing so well.

But then, the line became fainter on Tuesday. I waited out Ella's birth day on Wednesday, waiting to miscarry. Yesterday morning the line was non-existent. And today, I have been mercifully, obviously freed from the torment of waiting and wondering, especially considering the alternate reality I've been upholding with regard to grieving for Ella.

Yesterday I was a mess. I don't think there was an hour of the day I didn't reduce to tears over something. To make matters worse, the LGBB's little friend (who has nagged me for weeks and weeks to come and play at our house) tormented her the entire time she was here, snatching her own toys off her and running away with things and smacking Lolly's hand off anything Lolly tried to touch. Yep, I can hear some already saying "That's what kids do... she's just a kid..." yada-yada. BUT.... I didn't want to see it yesterday! It seemed so vicious. And besides, this girl is older than Lol (who is 3.5) but behaved more like the clueless anti-social three year-old. I was really sad to see it unfold the way it did, put it that way. She just refused to share anything and gallavanted around as if Lolly wasn't even here, so there were lots of tears for me to comfort (on top of my own!).

Anyway, enough about that. More about me..... I need to work this through and how I feel about it all. It's now not the first nor the second time we've had an unplanned result, neither of which turned out well. The reaction of my body is immediate, you know. My bra started filling out at the start of last week and the slight feeling of discomfort and firmness began before I was even due. By the eve of my pending period, I was saying to myself, "By jove, I think we've had a slip-up!" and had a very strong inkling that if I tested, I'd see that double line.

I have been taken out beyond my own thoughts this week with all this. In the background, beneath my anticipation (no, once again, we were not 'trying' although I am coming to believe that 'slip-ups' of this nature don't just whimsically occur - there must be some split second, momentary 'bring it on' vibes being sent out to the Universe controller/s, even if ever so brief), I have realised that this time, there are not one but two couples around us who have now been trying to conceive a baby of their own with absolutely no break-through for several years. And my first thoughts turned to them and the guilt I felt as I imagined telling them.

I'd like to tell you I came up with some amazing insights about this loss. Perhaps I will, in the coming days. I know it is designed to take me to task and test me - this is my pattern and my learning ground, if I didn't know THAT by now, I'd have to be a fruit cake - so if I discover any epiphany worth sharing, I know where to come express it.

For now, I'm giving this experience a slow nod of recognition. Laced with a bit of disdain. I've almost reached double figures in the straight-out Miscarriage Dept. (we've had two terminations, 9 spontaneous miscarriages and our two precious girls). And here I was, so sure that our Lucky Pregnancy #13 would be the one to stick. Goes to show how much I know.

I could say 'I'm sick of this shit', but really... that wouldn't get me anywhere. That just sounds belligerant and a bit teenagerish. So I'll go up, out and seek answers. If nothing else, my suitcase of gifts and abilities for my calling is expanding. Even if my belly will not.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ordinary Miracle

Trying to keep myself together and composed today as Lolly has a friend coming to play. She is so excited and I feel quite bereft.

I love this song. It is floating around in my head today as I hold my two realities.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The way we were

I thought I would like to do something different to mark Ellanor's birth day this year with you, the Blog Reader(s). I would like to also think I am "all talked out" on the subject (not of her - heavens no, never! - but of me, my searching, yearning feelings, my analysing, my over-compensating for others, etc. etc.). I know I am probably far from it. Although, I hazard a guess - from just my own reading over of these entries over the years around her past birth days - I am closer to it than feeling I need to say any more at this point.

So, if you will - and if you are new to this blog in the past 12 months or so, I do implore you to delve deeper - please take a stroll through these entries. They are, in themselves, a catalogue of sorts, of my progress and that of my family (esp. my husband).

2009 and here, and processing the remnants of her death.
2008 and Steve's progress that year.
2006 and 2007.

Time for a backtrack or two.

And now, something I have not actually ever done on this blog, although I have blogged about it... I want to apologise in advance for the necessity you are going to have, to scroll a looong way past this story if you want to get to my next entry. I just feel the desire to share this story here, in all its fantastical magic.

But I do hope you all take the time to read this. Again, if you have once or twice before. I tried to read it out loud the other night to the LGBB. Nup, couldn't do it. She stared into my eyes, looked right into me, and I knew she didn't want to hear me pained - even though I knew it was a good pain ('good' in that it is useful, it creates change on some deep level as you read it). So I stopped, for her sake, and read it on my own to the end later that night. It was cathartic, as ever.



Once upon a time, there was an angel called Ellanor, who was tired of wearing a long white robe and making sure she didn’t get her wings dirty. She didn’t want to practise her harp or even blow her trumpet any more. Something else was on her mind.

“I want to find out what is happening down on Planet Earth,” she announced to the biggest and oldest of the angels. “I have heard that Earth is full of beautiful people and trees and waters, birds and fishes and flowers of a great many colours, and wonderful animals of all kinds. It must be a very exciting place. I would like to go there.”

The Big Old Angel looked at Ellanor thoughtfully. “Earth may not be quite as you imagine it to be. You will find it hard to go there and even harder to stay, but it is not impossible if you find that you have something important to do there. First, however, you must see for yourself what Earth is like, and then decide if going there is what you really want to do. After that I will help you find a way to go.”

The Big Old Angel showed Ellanor how to scoop a peep-hole through the clouds so that she could see Planet Earth. At first it looked like a blue-green ball floating in an ocean of indigo space.

“Tell me what you see,” said the Big Old Angel.

As she gazed at Earth, it seemed to Ellanor that a dense, grey cloud encircled the Planet, and so it was hard to see anything clearly. She squinted up her angel-heart’s x-ray vision to help her focus, but what she saw made her heart ache sorely. She was reminded of something – perhaps it was the thing that was on her mind -- but she could not remember what it was.

“We-ell,” said Ellanor, slowly, because she was not sure if what her heart saw could really be true. “Earth is even more beautiful than I expected, but everything is so unhappy. The people there do not see Earth as beautiful and they do not see themselves or each other as beautiful. They are so frightened and unkind that they are killing each other and so they are killing the waters and soil, the trees and flowers, and the birds and fishes and animals.” Ellanor began to cry inconsolably.

“I must stop the Earth from hurting so much, but how can I do it?” she asked at last, mopping up the tears on her grubby white robe and blowing her nose on some tattered wing feathers. The Big Old Angel looked at Ellanor lovingly. He had seen angels cry these tears many times before and he knew that Earth’s gravity was already tugging hard at Ellanor’s heart.

“There’s only one thing you can do now, my girl,” said the Big Old Angel. “You must go on that long journey to Earth. It will be difficult, for the task you have chosen is not for the faint-hearted. You will have to be very brave.

“But, first things first. Right now, you must find a mother and a father on Earth who want a baby because you will have to become their human child.”


At last Ellanor’s angel-wings had an important job to do. She preened her feathers carefully. She scrubbed the grub-marks on her robe with a thick white cloud. She wanted to look as respectable as she could when she met her new parents-to-be.

While half the Planet was in darkness, and while those who slept were dreaming, Ellanor flew down to Earth. In and out of people’s dreams she flew. Using her heart’s x-ray vision, Ellanor saw what their hearts were thinking so that she could find the right parents for her big adventure. Always she kept out of the strong rays of the Sun, when folk would wake and forget their dreams. Always Ellanor followed the night’s darkness as it moved around the world, putting people to sleep, perhaps to dream of having a special baby.

One night it happened. Her angel-heart found two people whom Ellanor felt might be the mother and father she wanted to be born to, as a human child. Their names were Steve and Kirrily.

Steve and Kirrily loved all children. They especially loved Sam and Emily and Mia. In fact, they loved them so much that now they longed to have a little baby all their own.

Ellanor flew in and out of Kirrily’s dreams for a long time, just to make sure that these were indeed the parents who would let her make people love each other again so that the Earth would stop hurting. When she was quite sure, she ran to tell the Big Old Angel.

“What must I do now?” asked Ellanor. The Big Old Angel stopped playing the ‘cello and looked at Ellanor in silence. Although even the smallest angel is much bigger than a human being and Ellanor was an average sized angel, the Big Old Angel knew she had chosen one the hardest jobs any angel can try to do.

“Hmm,” said the Big Old Angel at last. “You will have to become very small, in fact, no bigger than a twinkle. I am afraid there’ll be no room even for your wings. You will have to pack all of yourself into your heart. Your heart will become all that you are and all that you have in the whole of the wide universe.”

Ellanor felt scared for the first time. “But if all I am is no bigger than a twinkle I might get lost and never be found again in all the wide universe!” she said.

“Never fear, my girl,” replied the Big Old Angel. I’ll make sure you are never lost. Look, I shall tie this silver cord around your heart. Then I shall tie one end of the cord around my middle and throw the other end down to the Earth Faeries to tell them you are coming to help them stop the Earth from hurting. If things get too tough for you, the Earth Faeries will tug three times on the cord and I will pull you up to safety.”

So Ellanor packed all that she was into her heart, closed her eyes tightly and shrank herself down to the size of the tiniest twinkle. The Big Old Angel tied the silver cord around her heart, and Ellanor jumped off her cloud.

Faster than ever she had flown, Ellanor felt herself falling, falling, falling through deepest indigo space. There was no going back now. Faster and faster she fell as if the Earth was pulling hard on the silver cord.

She must have lost consciousness for she suddenly felt dizzy and found she had stopped falling. It took her a little while to discover what had happened at first. Then she heard a voice she had come to know over the many months of flying in and out of Kirrily’s dreams. It was the voice of her new mother-to-be excitedly telling Steve, her new father-to-be, “We are going to have a baby at last!”

And because Ellanor had whispered in Kirrily’s ear so many times, just to make sure that she was wanted, Kirrily knew what her name was. “I’ll call you Ella, for short,” Kirrily told her privately, “because at first you will be so little.” Ella smiled to herself. She knew that Kirrily would help her remember what she had forgotten. And she knew Kirrily would let her stop the Earth from hurting.


The world from inside Kirrily’s body amazed Ella. At first she thought the sounds of Earth would deafen her. All the gurglings, and splashings and rumblings and grumblings that went on right next to where she found herself were very different to the harmony of harp and trumpet and sweet flute, and the Big Old Angel’s ‘cello that she had been used to. Then there were all the different tones in Kirrily’s voice, and the deep rumble of the voice of her new father-to-be as he read her bed-time stories, even though all he could see of Ella was the growing bump that was Kirrily’s belly. And, as if this was not enough to get used to, there were the sounds of dogs barking and cats meowing, noises of crowds of people and traffic, voices laughing, shouting, crying, car engines and the clatterings of knives and forks and spoons, and the jangle of radio and television, and the strange hum of the computer. Ella suspected she would just have to get used to all this if she were to become a human person who stopped the Earth from hurting.

Month by month and day by day, Ella concentrated on growing from a tiny twinkle into a bigger and then a much bigger womb-baby. To leave room for growth, she loosened the knot on the silver cord tied around her angel heart. Very soon her angel-heart had managed to grow first Ella’s human brain and spine, then two eyes, then two lovely shell-like ears and a rosebud mouth, and arms and legs and ten delicate fingers and ten long toes. But most of all the angel-heart grew Ella’s human heart at the centre of her body. All this growing took a lot of energy, so when she was tired, Ella crossed her long new legs, closed her new eyes and put her new thumb in her new mouth. Perhaps what she was trying to remember about Earth would come to her in her sleep.

There was no one else inside Kirrily’s growing belly, but Ella never felt alone or lonely. She was often visited by the Big Old Angel who very early on introduced her to the Earth Faeries. The Earth Faeries were delighted that she had come to stop the Earth from hurting. Eagerly they showed her what Earth was made of so that she should know how to live there as a human child who would never hurt the Earth herself.

The Soil Faeries led Ella inside crystal caves and to the heart of the oldest rocks on the Planet. They ran with her over hot desert sands and helped her dig holes in the dark garden soil near the birdbath. “When you grow big we will plant seeds together. We will show you the pink earthworms, and slinky lizards and bright lime beetles,” they promised Ella. “We will help you stop the Earth from hurting.”

The Water Faeries taught Ella how to ride raindrops and dive into puddles without getting muddy. They swam with her in the dark blue rivers and played with her in the white spray of the ocean. ”When you grow big, we will show you how tadpoles turn into frogs and teach you how to sing to the silvery fishes,” they promised Ella. We will help you stop the Earth from hurting.”

The Fire Faeries laughed with Ella as they raced her through the tops of the gumtrees. Behind them, the leaves exploded into flames, and Ella and the fire Faeries leapt high with the red sparks and cartwheeled through the orange smoke of the bushfire. “When you grow big, we will show you how to keep warm on cold nights, and bake bread full of the hot Sun’s goodness,” they promised Ella. “We will help you stop the Earth from hurting.”

The Air Faeries breathed into Ella’s ear. “Wake up and come dancing with us,” they whispered, and whirled her round the Earth with them. They spiralled her into hurricanes and onto gentle breezes which laid her, as light as feather-down, into the cup of a rose petal. “When you grow big, we will show you dragonfly wings. We will teach you the language of trees,” they promised Ella. “We will help you stop the Earth from hurting.”

Now Ella felt certain she knew just how beautiful Earth was, and she longed to be with the Earth Faeries. Perhaps among them she would remember what it was she had forgotten.

All Steve and Kirrily’s families and friends looked forward to Ella growing big enough to be born. All the grandmothers and grandfathers, all the uncles and aunts and cousins and brothers and sisters began to make their plans for how they would welcome Ella into their world on Earth.

“When can I see my new cousin?” asked Sam. He wanted to show Ella how clever he was with his cricket bat and how many balls he could hit with his tennis racquet.

“Cousin?” said Emily May. She wanted to show her new cousin her dollies and teach her how to be gentle with the pussycat and how not to make Cassie and Bill growl and snap.

And Mia came all the way from Japan to look in wonder at Kirrily’s very big belly. “Can my new cousin really be growing bigger and bigger in there?” she wondered.

The grandfathers talked about mortages and money for Ella’s education. The grandmothers began to knit lacy clothes for Ella. The fathers painted Ella’s nursery and worried about the car for the special trip to the hospital. The mothers discussed breast-feeding and stretch-marks.

Now Ella felt certain she was going to be loved and wanted on Earth, and she longed to be with her new big family of human people. Perhaps among them, too, she would remember what it was she had forgotten.

Ella knew that what she was trying to remember was just what she needed to stop the Earth from hurting.


Although Ella’s angel-heart was hard at work growing every single part of her human body, she was still an angel, and her angel-heart’s x-ray vision was still very busy looking into people’s hearts to see if it could find what Ella had forgotten. So it was that everywhere Kirrily took Ella, tucked up inside her belly, Ella’s heart could see if people were happy or sad.

Every time her angel-heart saw someone who was happy, or being kind to another person, or doing something loving towards the Earth, Ella grew bigger and stronger inside Kirrily. But every time Ella’s heart saw unhappiness or unkindness, her new little human heart hurt so badly that it began to tear in places.

One day, when Ella’s angel-heart had seen just too much unkindness and unhappiness for her human heart to bear, she suddenly remembered what it was she had forgotten. She remembered that once upon a time, she had been on Earth herself long, long ago.

She remembered a time when she had been part of such unhappiness and unkindness that the leaves had withered on the trees, the grasses had shrivelled away and died, and the flowers had faded away before their petals had even begun to open. The birds sang no more, but fell from the skies, and lifeless fish floated on the oily rivers. People’s faces turned grey and the eyes of the little children lay dark and lifeless in their sockets.

Ella remembered how people had been afraid there would not be enough of anything for them, how they had refused to share and had stolen things belonging to others. She remembered how people had taken more than they needed and always for themselves, how they had left nothing for others – no food, no homes, and no love. She remembered that, in order for people to do this to others, they had looked down on others and criticised them because they saw others as poor, ugly, dirty, stupid, different. She remembered how they made fun of others as worthless and unlovable, and then pretended they had nothing to do with hurting others and making them unhappy. Ella remembered how the more things people took, the more frightened, unhappy, angry and unkind they were to others.

Ella’s angel-heart saw that the people on Earth still did these things and that what they did to each other they also did to Earth, and to all Earth’s trees and flowers and waters, soils and rocks and fishes, and birds and animals.

Everywhere she went inside Kirrily’s belly, Ella’s heart saw people saying and thinking things which would lead to unkind actions. Both near and far, every unkind thought, word and action, tore holes in Ella’s new human heart which was trying to grow big and strong enough for her to be born.

“If I don’t get born soon my heart will be filled with holes, and then I’ll be no good to anyone and I won’t be able to stop the Earth from hurting!” exclaimed Ella to herself. She asked the Big Old Angel and the Earth Faeries if she could be born before her heart got any more holes in it.

The Earth Faeries raised their pale green eyebrows into question marks and looked at each other. The Big Old Angel stroked the length of his white beard, thoughtfully. Then they all nodded, one after the other.

“Yes,” they agreed, “But you will have to work very quickly and your job will be harder than ever.”

“I am ready,” said Ella, “But you will help me, won’t you?”


The Big Old Angel called on four of the most powerful angels to bring Ella strength from the four corners of Earth. The Earth Faeries began to stir Kirrily’s belly with a big flat spoon.

Kirrily called out to Steve: “Start up the car. We’ll have to go to the hospital because Ella is going to be born 10 weeks early.”

Ella turned upside down and got herself ready to be born. She could feel the clever fingers of the Earth Faeries preparing the way ahead for her. She was glad the Big Old Angel had told her to leave her wings behind. There was no room for anything extra as she pushed her way through the long dark tunnel.

For a moment she felt as if she were falling, falling, falling as she had done through the indigo ocean of space. Then Ella’s world was a sudden confusion of bright light and shiny things, voices that boomed and grated in her ear, and air that hurt her lungs and stung her eyes and dried the skin on her tiny human body. Steve and Kirrily laughed and cried with joy as they held their tiny daughter.

And so Ella was born for all the world of Earth to see. She sighed with relief and closed her eyes.


“Now what am I supposed to do?” Ella asked the Big Old Angel. “Everyone says I am too tiny to survive on Earth. They have put me in a see-through crib. Kirrily and Steve come to be with me and talk to me, but they aren’t allowed to touch me too much for fear I will break. How am I to stop Earth from hurting when I am too small for anyone to take me seriously?” Ella had been crying quite a bit at what her angel-heart still saw, but right now she just felt cross and frustrated.

“First things first, my girl,” said the Big Old Angel calmly. “Don’t do anything for a while yet. Let people get to know who you are first before you go among them to stop the Earth from hurting.”

So while Kirrily and Steve were visited by their families and friends, Ella lay in the nursery like a little rosebud. Cards and balloons and fluffy baby toys arrived for Ella to play with when she was a bigger human baby, but Ella lay quietly in her crib to give folk a chance to know her better.

She wanted her new parents, Steve and Kirrily, to know her especially well. Sometimes the Water Faeries helped Kirrily to bathe her which made her feel more like a real human being. And the sound she came to love best of all was Steve’s voice who had read her so many stories when all he could see of her was a bump in Kirrily’s belly. “Grow bigger and stronger,” whispered Steve and Kirrily into Ella’s ear. “We know you can do it. We will help you all we can.”

Everywhere, everyone was whispering to Ella, “Grow big and strong. We know you can do it. We will help you.”


But, as she lay there trying to grow big enough to stop the Earth from hurting, Ella’s angel-heart would still see many things that tore more holes in her human-baby heart. Although Ella grew humanly bigger, at the same time, she also grew humanly weaker.

“What can I do?” she asked the Big Old Angel, despairingly. “I am still too little to do anything to stop the Earth from hurting, and now I feel as if I am fading away from being a human.”

“Aha!” replied the Big Old Angel with one of his rare smiles. “Never fear, my girl. I have a plan. While everyone thinks you are lying in your crib, I want you to do something you are very good at. I want you to fly again.”

He began to unwrap the plain brown paper from a parcel he had smuggled into the hospital in the sleeve of his white robe. Ella looked in amazed delight as the Big Old Angel held out her very own wings, the ones she had left behind before coming to Earth. They had been freshly preened and polished and fluffed up.

“Put them on,” the Big Old Angel encouraged Ella. “This is what I want you to do. Every time somebody thinks of you, they leave a tiny doorway in their hearts open and, the moment they do, I want you to fly inside. You will have only a few seconds to tell them how special they are, how important it is to love and care about each other, how important it is to love and care about the Earth. But tell them that by doing this they will surely keep you alive.”

Now that she knew what to do Ella was filled with hope. For the first time, she opened her eyes properly and smiled at Kirrily and Steve. She wanted them to know her secret plan. Then she closed her eyes again, put on her wings and began to fly.


In and out of people’s hearts she flew, whispering to their owners during the moments they were thinking of her. Amazingly, the doctors and the nurses in the hospital became kinder to each other and to their patients. Instantly the mothers became kinder to their children. Suddenly, the fathers became kinder to the mothers. Miraculously, the grandmothers became kinder to the grandfathers. “Yes, of course,” thought the aunts and uncles and cousins who all became kinder to each other and told people in the shops about Ella. The people in the shops who thought about keeping little Ella alive became kinder to the other customers. The other customers who heard about Ella drove home with their shopping thinking about her and became kinder to the other car-drivers. When the other car drivers (who had never heard of Ella) arrived home, they were kinder to their next door neighbours (who also had never heard of Ella). The next door neighbours phoned their mothers and said “I love you Mum”. And these other mothers (who had never heard of Ella either) felt happy and wanted to help little children and injured possums, and old people who were sick, and young men in prison, and people who were suffering all over the world. And they asked the other fathers to help them.

These were only a few of the people that became kinder because of Ella’s flying visits.

Ella worked harder and harder, but the harder she worked to fly in and out of people’s hearts, the weaker her human body grew. She was far too busy to see how people were changing because of her heart-message. All she could see was that there was still so much work to be done. The last thing Ella wanted was to give up before she had stopped the Earth from hurting. As she flew, she asked her little human body to gather up as much of the Earth’s unhappiness as it could. But, with all the holes in it, her human heart was not strong enough to help her body turn this unhappiness into happiness.

One night the Big Old Angel saw how tired she was and told her that she would soon have to stop.

“Just a little longer,” pleaded Ella. “Please.”

“Just a little longer,” agreed the Big Old Angel, and he went away with the four powerful angels to visit the famous rose gardens of Faeryland.

“I may not be able to visit you much longer,” whispered Ella as she flew in and out of people’s hearts that night. “Light a rose-pink candle in your heart every time you think of me. It will remind you to be kind to others and to the Earth so it doesn’t hurt any more. I don’t want you to forget, as I once forgot long, long ago. Remembering will keep me alive, too.”

That night, if you had been awake, you would have smelt the sweet scent of roses as the Big Old Angel and the four powerful angels carried baskets of rose petals from Faeryland through the Earth, and up above the clouds to make a beautiful bed for Ella. And if you had been really wide awake, you just might have heard the rustling, murmuring, crackling, whispering sounds of the Earth Faeries as they gathered around the Earth end of Ella’s silver cord.


Ella was so tired after her last flight that she could not even greet Kirrily and Steve when they came to visit. As always, they seemed to know what was wrong. “If you want to go now, Little Ella, we won’t make you stay,” said Kirrily and Steve.

This was a sign to the Earth Faeries to tug three times on the silver cord. Ella felt it hold her tight as her human heart stopped beating. She felt herself being carried upward.

“Will we see you again, Little Ella?” called Steve and Kirrily.

“Oh yes,” replied Ella. “We’ve loved each other for too long to say goodbye forever.”

Up and up she went. At last she caught hold of the edge of the cloud and the Big Old Angel and the four powerful ones reached down to pull her up.

“I’m sorry. I’m afraid I failed,” said Ella sadly. “I did not know how badly the Earth was hurting until I lived down there amongst it all. I wasn’t strong enough to stop it from hurting and I gave up too soon.” First one, and then another and another, her hot angel-tears splashed down and melted a hole in the cloud at her feet.

“Come now,” said the Big Old Angel. “Just take a look down there to see what you really have done.”

With what energy she had left, Ella looked down at Earth through the hole in the cloud. Thick grey fog still blanketed the Planet, but here and there all over the Earth little patches of light had melted the fog and shone through like rosy lanterns. In some places, especially around where her Earth family lived, quite a lot of the fog had melted completely away. And, as she looked, Ella could see the patches of rosy light getting bigger and spreading.

What Ella had not realised was that people had begun to light pink candles in their hearts whenever they thought of her, or all the other angels who try to become human children. Around the rosy glow of these candles, Ella could see how pale green shoots had already begun to appear on the trees, how blue the Earth’s sky was and how fresh was the air in which the coloured birds flew and sang, how happily the silvery fish swam in the sparkling river waters, how warmly the Sun shone and how brightly the winter night’s fire burnt to keep folk warm.

“You see,” said the Big Old Angel, picking up his ‘cello to play a lullaby for Ella. “You have succeeded where many others have failed.”

But Ella didn’t hear. She was already fast asleep. The four powerful angels gently lifted her up and carried her to her new bed of rose petals.

Now you may be wondering what became of the tiny human body that Ella’s angel-heart worked so hard to grow. After Kirrily and Steve had said goodbye to Ella, the Earth Faeries took her body away with them to a place where there were tall trees above a pool of water. There, if you are very still, you may be able to see Little Ella playing with Soil Faeries in the fern-gully, and with the Water Faeries in the pool, and sometimes with the Fire Faeries if the bushland is alight; if you are very quiet, you just may hear Ella whispering with the Air Faeries as she swirls with the gusts of wind and flies with the coloured birds.

And then you will remember the story of Ellanor, the angel who became Little Ella for thirty miraculous days, and how she stopped the Earth from hurting so much. And you may wish to light a pink candle in your own heart so that the Earth can stop from hurting any more.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Anti-Resolution List

What are your Anti-Resolutions?
Lessons learned -never-to-be-repeated again things? Tell us about resolutions you've broken before, the ones you'd never make - Make a list of 5 resolutions you plan to break! Make resolutions for someone - a celebrity or politician if you like!

A new BlogThis challenge (my first for the New Year!), how fitting as I haven't done one for a while...

I don't make resolutions, really, because I know I'll probably break them, although some years I do like to have a To Do list. So a list of resolutions I'd never make, with the lessons lending themselves from some of my previous entries (see the links throughout the post for backtracks), would easily go something like this:

Never allow friends to be the tally keeper of a) my number of drinks, or b) the pourer/s of said drinks.

Never read Twilight or any of the sagas. I've held out this long, no point giving in now.

• Don't bother with child locks or any other devices to prevent the young lady of the house from going where she oughtn't. She's onto me and should also be in the Safety Design Dept at Clipsal. They could use her.

• Never, ever, EVER cut corners with a sharp utensil in hand. And I don't mean literal corners (for running with scissors/knives would be even stupider), I mean short cuts that you think are oh so smart and time saving.

• Whatever I do, I must NOT put still-warm pureed vegies in the freezer! OHMYGOD why didn't I think they would expand out of the bag and then take me 3 months to chisel off the base of the freezer compartment where I stored them?? A recipe for disaster.

• I won't bother using a useless household item just to prove a point with my husband. Life's too short. And so is my broom handle.

• Never believe for one moment that I am more amusing than the dog. I just make good lunches and know how to turn on the teev, and that's all I feel useful for some days.

• And just on that dog, it is a MUST that she (they) never be given access to the underneath of our house. We're not made of money! And now we're going to freeze into iceblocks every winter, thanks to the more brain-stunted one.

• However, I WILL make it known that I shall be endeavouring to put more dress-ups on the dog. Because nothing makes me laugh harder.

• Never attempt to keep up with our lemon tree by way of cooking. Never think I've even got enough friends, relations and neighbours to ever want THIS MANY lemons. The tree is insanely productive.

• Never take my eyes off my complementary restaurant bread when my daughter is around (it's mine, I love them, she's got her own and it's too bad for her if she scoffs hers faster).

• Never, no NEVER, lend out my Matchbox cars to "friends"..... And I will be making sure I raise the LGBB to do the same. Yes, I'm still seething about the VW Golf. No, I don't think that's strange seeing as I'm a mid-30-something year-old woman and still love that particular friend to death, yet have never told her SHE HAS MY CAR.

• And here it is: my last-ditch effort to give myself some good old-fashioned reverse psychology and vow..... I will NOT finish my book in 2010. There. Lessee if that trick works so I can finally put closure to the last page and get it out there already. Sheeeesh!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

How to word it

"So how many kids do you have?"

A question that makes me take a deep breath, knowing what's coming and that I have to quickly pop on a bit of armour, in case of the inevitable well-intended but ultimately dismissive reply.

Finally, after years of fumbling and not feeling terribly comfortable with the lack of impact that comes with me saying, "We have two daughters - (Lolly) who's 3 and Ellanor passed away when she was a baby, she would have been x this year," I have discovered what I'm going to say.

I was sitting with Steve watching Avatar in 3D the other night. Now, don't ask me why this came to me while I was there, for it's not really a movie where your mind can wander. But apparently, mine did.

I was thinking about the fact that, no matter how much I know Ellanor has meant to us and how "long" we had with her before she died (I get the feeling, often, that many people don't realise that not all prem babies are 'unresponsive' and 'just lie there'), whenever I describe us as having had 2 children "but just the one at home" or similar, it doesn't convey the incredible impact nor the inclusive nature of us as a family of four, even though one of us isn't here.

The sentence formed easily in my free-thinking mind. I'm very satisfied with how it sits, with me, and that it clearly indicates Ellanor is far from "dead and gone". Her essence has changed and shaped not only her parents, individually and as a couple, but also the nature of our parenting and how our family now functions. That kind of impact ought never to be unrealised, even in brief exchanges (where people would naturally have an understanding more of 'a family with two children' as opposed to the more alien 'family with one living and one dead child'.

So from now on, I'm going to be saying proudly to people who ask,

"We have two children - (Lolly) who's 3 and Ellanor who's been in our family for six years but passed away as a baby."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where's your head at?

Aside from being a catchy Basement Jaxx tune (with a bizarre video clip), this question is a very good one to start the new decade.

Today, I'm still steeped in edits and alterations to the fast-approaching Part IV of Energenetics (the study of the energy behind the genetic/family lines and how to decode this and old patterns of behaviour - which are not intrinsically you but, rather, are learned or imprinted - in order to then consciously create your destiny and not blindly/unconsciously follow "the way we've/I've always done it/been/expected to behave and react", etc.).

A sentence from the work that stands out to me today is:

This healing somersaults the personality/feelings from taking credit for the reason for your thoughts and realigns your energenetic pattern to be more appropriate and aware that your thoughts invoke your experiences and that your feelings are an obvious reminder to change your negative gearing.

"Your thoughts invoke your experiences and your feelings are an obvious reminder to change your 'negative gearing'."

That switched something on in my brain. I literally almost heard the light go on.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Show Me - Mint Royale

Auuuugh, sorry, luv, if you've happened across this post in the hopes I'd show you How To do something yummy with a Mint Royale chocolate something-or-other.

'Tis just this little music vid. By the group (although I hasten to add here that this film clip is obviously not them, possibly some 'fans'??). It is one of my very favourite get-moving, pick-me-up songs. Has been for years. There is a plethora of them, but I won't bore you with a list today.

For now, here is where I am (well... not on some dodgy tribal happening in the forest... just placing myself in the music, heading into next week and January 13th)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My dear, dear Boo

Here we are again. So close to your sixth birthday, the anniversary of the day Steve and I became parents. Shocked and elated and scared witless at your early arrival.

I don't know if I have much to say, for how often have I said it? When I thought I couldn't possibly heal any more (and would always remain in a slightly broken, semi-pieced-back-together state and "so be it", I discover I have healed SO much more this past year - the fifth spent without you, residing physically in our family - I've read more, I've learned so much more from others (and about myself).

Could I really be ready to say that the grief is gone? By jove, I think I might be....

This is no easy task and if truth be told, it has begun a bit of a pain in my forehead just putting it "out there" to the wider audience that is the very anonymous, voyeuristic www. It in some way breaks my own deep-seated notion that, to convey just how deeply I love you and how irreversibly broken I was to lose you, I must always, always appear pained when I talk of you. It must always shine through. But something has changed in the lead-up to your birthday, since Christmas. No longer does my pain 'cloak' need to be worn by me. I get it now. I do, truly, get it. I don't need to wear it in order to prove anything. I've lived it. I've shared it. I've expressed it every which way, up, down, blown wide open, sideways, upside down, cynically, humourously.... and at the end of it all, I've still had to roll up my sleeves and do all the work (on myself) to get myself to a place of further healing.

Boo, I have always held close to my heart the imagery of all those moments that made up your brief life. The needlepricks, the bruising, the nurses (both the good and breathtakingly awful ones), the sheer panic of not being able to "fix" you with my boob, my hands, my ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to take the pain (and all of "them") away and stop you from being so uncomfortable, the brain bleeds, the horrendous possiting of your feeds and what that meant - were you getting an infection, were you reacting to my milk, were you simply too small and feeble to tolerate such an enormous feed - the dicey pace-setting of the cardiologists to get you to the point of surgery for your heart abnormality weighed up against the incredible pressure it placed your body under (not to mention your lungs, your breathing, your blood saturation), your desat rate which never went above 70 (and me, never even knowing what this really meant but that it was bloody dangerous and posed a life threatening danger to you from the get-go), the awful, heart-racing feeling of seeing your heart rate dip and stop, dip and stop whenever those nurses stopped their compressions, those same nurses as they cried while they performed their ultimately futile attempts to save your sweet, monumentous, precious life.

Yes. I can let it all go. I must. And I have. For now, the picture does not involve all that I have been this past decade. And it is not just you and I. Nor even you and I, your Dad and little sister. It is not just my "audience" here on this blog, who have collectively spurred me on, helped set my healing pace, cried and cheered with me through a few more pregnancies (both the successful and four more tantalisingly close but no cigar ones since having you) and seen me come somewhere near full circle. There are so many in the world who need that light. Just one little flicker of light.

It now becomes me as the torch bearer. I've pulled my head out, reached my hand up and said, "Okay, it's time." I can't even say I'm shitscared. That was last month. This time, on the eve of your birthday, I realise I carry with me all those images I mentioned above and many, many more. They are the snapshots of my time with you. My precious, everlasting, unforgettable time with you.

But they are also my past. From past life, whereby I was born again, out of the horror of losing you. Born into new gifts, awareness and abilities that I never knew would one day lead me to a place of solace where I would be bold enough to ever dare dream myself ready to reach a hand out and help lift another up who was going through the same thing. And now, here I am, readying to take with me those gifts you bestowed and entrusted to me, with that pained and anguished part of my past lovingly and respectfully moving to the background so I can take a position at the helm to be willing and truly in the moment for others. I couldn't do that with my own pain still breaking the surface.

I read your "fairytale" story again two nights ago. I still cannot get through it without crying. I just can't. It is SO incredibly beautiful. The meaning of it is ingrained in me as if you were telling it yourself. And you did, too, you cheeky l'il thing! I know you did, because I can feel your essence positively dripping from every page. If only people would pass it on, light that candle in their heart, stop forgetting...... how very enlightened would the world be then?

You. Baby girl, you and all your untold strength. You did it. You got me over the line. And I thank you, I thank you so, so very much. I wish you were always here to hold. Instead, I hold you in my forever. And ever.

You gave me back the Me I was destined to be. Thank you.

I love you.

Ellanor Ruby's very first - and only - blissful bath

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