Thursday, August 28, 2014

Update of my life... 6 months on...

Hey everyone,
You probably haven’t heard from me for a while, and if you are wondering how I am going, well here we go. I am going as well as can be expected...

Last week was the 6th month anniversary of my fathers death, which also co-coincided with what would have been my mum and dads 37th Wedding Anniversary. In the weeks to come we are looking at all the things we need to do to create a place to have my dads ashes put.

6 months ago, we got a phone call from my dads nursing home telling us he had passed away in his sleep! We stood vigil around his body, my sister making the trek down the hill to be with us in the wee hours of the morning! I can't believe it has been 6 months! It feels like both days and years since we waited with dad for the funeral home to take him away from the place he had called home for 7 years!

I miss dad so very much! I miss going to tell him about all the good stuff I've done, and talking with him about all the struggles and heartbreak too! He was a fighter & had such an amazing sense of humour! He was stubborn, generous, outrageous and kind!

To my mum, who would have last week celebrated her 37th wedding anniversary with my father too, I love you! So very much! You are so strong even when you have been so broken yourself! You are so loved!!!

My sister & brother in law, thank you for standing beside us through it all when you had so many of your own burdens to bare!

For my niece and nephew... Thank you for the smiles, & tears and the reminders that we need to take things a little less seriously! I love you both!

To my friends both near and far... To my Samwise Gamgee, for helping me, your Frodo, carry that ring to Mordor! Thank you to all of you who helped me get through these last few months! From food drops, dinner outings, care packages, flowers, cards, hugs, kisses, love and amazing kindness! Thank you for holding me together when I felt like I was just pieces of glitter on the wind... To now being a few bigger fragments of my former self! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And sadly but finally to those who have spoken to us about "getting over it" or "moving on", I need to say... grieving doesn't work like that!!! We have been broken, shattered by both the illness dad underwent and also his death, then to deal with mums cancer and other things, some small, whilst some were tectonic. These things breaking us into smaller fragments of ourselves, to the point we thought we would end up dust in the wind! The fact we are still in small fragments at all is a celebration! We haven't been ground down, blown away, given up, or lost who we are! But to become a single person again is going to take days, months and years! Every day we miss dad & that won't stop! Not now, not in 10 years, not in 50 years! So please, please don't expect any of us to "get over it" or "move on"! Life is not that simple or that black and white! Please be patient!

What I most want to say is that I love my dad! I am who I am because of him. He lives on in the hearts of those who knew him! I just can't believe it's been over 6 months! Rest peacefully dad I miss you!

Mum, my strong, strong mum,  is recovering from the cancer. 5 months ago she was operated on. And for someone who has no cancer any more, it is amazing how many non-deadly complications there can be. I think I have to say we have almost had them all. I remember before mum had her surgery that the physios said to us that they will continue to care for her for 2 years after the surgery. I remember thinking … 2 years is a bloody long time... why would we need to be here for that long? But it turns out that they treat cancer patients for that long, because people need help for that long. Like mum needs the help. People have made comments that make me cringe, like “because she doesn’t have the cancer any more, means she should be okay now”. I'd like to think it was that simple... but its not. The doctor recently explained it to me, and my mum, that it was like having two amputations. The body reacts so violently when you loose and arm or a leg... and as it turns out... two breasts. Mum has been so courageous through it all. I am so proud of her for her strength. It is true what they say about women ... "You don't know how strong a woman is until you put her in hot water". The best thing that has come out of mum having had cancer is that almost every female friend over the age of 45 has booked in and gone for a mammogram since mums surgery. Which is amazing! If you are a woman over 45 or if you find a lump in your breast (this can be guys too) head to the doctor and get a mammogram or ultrasound.

Mentally I have fought to find the good things, that I know are there. I see my friends and family struggling with so many issues of their own. I just wish I could wrap them all in cotton wool, give them the resources they need and give them the biggest cuddle in the world. Or take away the problems they have like some sort of Kindness Fairy. Sadly the world doesn’t work like that... and if I did start wrapping my friends in cotton wool and taking them away from the things that hurt them... apart from being considered a lunatic... its not very good for those people, my friends. We all need to push past our own issues, and deal with them in their own way, and in doing so grow stronger as a result. Still my heart bleeds for those who are doing it tough at the moment. I send you my love and my hope that things will get better in the future.

I keep my gratitude journals going. 10 things every day that I am grateful for. Sometimes that is harder than others... but there is ALWAYS something to be grateful.

Keeping my gratitude journal going means I also have a continual physical record of all my Kindnesses too. I haven't stopped even through all the craziness in my life. Even though I have mainly stopped blogging in that time, and it has been only with my sisters help that I have kept up the Facebook page. Thanks Vandra! :) 

I have to focus on the positive things at the moment (so I don't get too down)...Which kind of leads me to my next thing. Some awesome news this month was that I got a job. Its only a little job for a short amount of time but its very important to me because it gets me out of the house, (leaving mum in the safe hands of others) and doing something for the greater community.

I have recently started work at the Social Justice Unit for the Uniting Church. Our little unit has, since I have been there, been a part of organising and running a conference on Eco-issues, sustainability and how those who believe in God are called to look after his creation; they have offered homes to children of Asylum Seekers who are living in detention (along with other church groups) (Read more here); and also made statements and stands on Sustainable resources not Uranium (Read more here).

I like to think that all of this work is another form of kindness. Kindness for those that cannot protect themselves (i.e.. Mother earth/Gaia/Gods creation & the human beings who most need our care). I, personally, like to start with sorting things out in our own countries before trying to tackle those in the wider world. It brings me back to one of my dads favourite musicals, Godspell,How can you pick a speck of saw dust from your brothers eye, when all the time there is a great plank in your own.”

I, personally, have really struggled with the way that the current Australian government is treating the humans & the land in its care. Focusing on money, not kindness. No government is perfect, don't get me wrong, but this particular government seems to be doing more harm than good. So I want to do more kindness to compensate. Of course I don’t have the same money or resource’s the government in Australia has, but I have been looking at ways that the average human can make a difference. I think I might have found a few ways.

Do you think there is any way that us, mere mortals, can make a difference in our own communities for the better? If so, how? If not, why not?

Okay... I bet this wasn’t quite what you were expecting when you started reading... politics. I know politics is always controversial. I don’t like politics much myself, but we can't escape it.

I stand for Kindness. I stand for it every day. And I only want kindness for everyone. I know... it seems like the impossible dream. But someone has to dream it right? So it may as well be me! If you share a similar dream, I would love to hear about it.

Love and Kindness,
Daena Xx

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