Thursday, February 24, 2011

ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

The funeral was this morning. It was standing room only. So many people there to say goodbye.

Too soon. It was too fucking soon.
You always think you have more time, but you just don't.
I had ten years to tell G what I thought. To tell him I thought he was amazing.
I don't think I ever really did.

Do me a favour. Send an email, a text message, a phone call, or go visit every single friend you have. Tell them how special they are. Tell them what you love about them. Tell them if they need someone, to call you. Never turn someone down if they try to talk to you. Never walk away. Never think they'll be okay, because what if they aren't? What if that's the last time you see them?

I remember the night I met you G. We were about 17 years old. That smile. That smile stays with me. I loved your crooked little smile. I only ever understood half of what you said - my eyes glazed over every time you and the boys started talking pure mathematics and programming.

I wish I remembered the last time I saw you. I wish I had known. I wish I'd taken the time to talk more with you. I wish I had pulled myself out of my own little world and paid more attention.

How often do we really look at our friends? How often do you look them in the eye and say "You, my darling, are a precious gift to this world. If you died I would be heartbroken".

I don't think I loved you enough. I hope that somehow you can see us all down here, tears rolling down our cheeks howling at how unfair it is that such a bright spark should be taken from the world. The world is a darker, poorer place without you in it. I hope you know we all loved you so, so much.

Monday, February 21, 2011

some days I forget...and then I remember.

Most days, you would never know that my child died.
Most people, probably forget that my child died.

I don't walk around crying. I don't talk about him much. I do bring him up in conversation, but not all the time. I don't even carry my grief around with me like a security blanket anymore. It is tucked into a white box under my bed with some of my momentos of him. Every now and then I pull it out, I pull him out, I pull my grief out, and I cry. I cry, and cry and remember him. Remember how I ached for him, how I wailed for him.

But most days, most days I am not a bereaved mother. I am, but you wouldn't know it.

Some days however - like tonight - the realisation of what happened weighs me down like a thousand pound weight on my chest. And I remember. My son died. My baby died. My beautiful 3 pound 7 ounce boy died, and then he was born, and then he was buried. And we were left here on earth to muddle through the rest of our lives without him.

On Sunday, one week from today, he will turn three.

There will be no birthday cake, no balloons. No party with friends and family. No trucks to unwrap, no new books as gifts. There will be no games, no laughter.

There will be tears, and memories of love and loss. There will be pain. And more tears.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

this is why we fight.

On Monday I reported to you that I had made a complaint to the authorities regarding what was published in that "family" magazine. I commented that we are fighting like hell to keep our gay youth ALIVE and that kind of bullshit is responsible for letting our youth down, making them feel less than another person. Less worthy of love, less worthy of a family.

And the very next day a beautiful young friend of mine, a friend for almost ten years, a friend who was finally transitioning from female to the male he truly always has been, took his own life.

A truly bright and wonderful soul has been taken from us and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. You are NOT LESS THAN ANOTHER PERSON. You are worthy of love, you are worthy of passion, you are worthy of a family and a good life.

If you are reading this, join the fight against discrimination against and hatred of the GLBTIQ community. Because I want my dear G to be the last to lose this fight. I do not want another single death recorded. You can stand up and be counted.

This is why it is so important to join the fight for equal rights. Granting things like gay marriage IS important. Not necessarily because all gays want to marry (I am sure G never would have bought into a traditional convention like that!) but because it says "We are equal. We are just as deserving of a loving commitment as you are". And the louder we say that, the more voices that join us, the more able we are to drown out those who seek to put us down.

The louder we are, the more those vulnerable members of our community can hear us, can be heard, can live strong.

G - may you find the peace in death that you never found in life. Rest in peace dear heart.

Monday, February 14, 2011

starting a war...

Oops I may have started a war...

It all started when two of my friends were featured in a local family magazine for a story on two mum families. It was a bit nerve wracking because despite their request not to include full names, their full names, and the full name of their son was included all over the article.

The next issue the editor included a particularly nasty letter from someone ranting and raving about how perverted same sex families are. She (the editor) wrote a lovely letter about how all families are equal in their eyes and that beauty is in difference. I lent the magazine my full public support in how they handled it.

The issue obviously hit a few buttons as a number of letters were posted in the months that followed (mostly positive). We thought the whole debacle was over, until I picked up the most recent issue and saw an entire page of "letters" spewing vitriolic hatred towards all same sex families. Without going into specifics, some particular gems included that same sex families are "assaulting the children's rights to a mother and a father" and that we are committing an "abuse of Human Rights under the Geneva convention" (??) and all sorts of other loveliness.

I felt absolutely sick.

So I commented to the editor on her FB that I was disappointed that she had chosen to endorse hate speech and discrimination. That she was endorsing their point of view and putting all our children at risk by doing so. That she was encouraging hatred.

She replied (days later) that she prints a cross section of letters, and that she cant ignore the other side of the argument.

WHAT ARGUMENT? There should BE no other side.

If I chose to write in and say "blacks shouldn't be allowed to have children", do you know how much trouble I would land in? What's the difference?

If I said that disabled people shouldn't be allowed to have children, they never would publish it.

NO ONE can tell anyone else who can, or who can not have children.

End. Of. Story.

The comments have been going back and forth for hours between her and I. I wanted to walk away but I just CAN'T.

My most recent (and hopefully final) comment was this:
If you stand by your decision to publish letters that endorse discrimination and hatred that is your decision, you are the editor, that is your choice.

(and I have lodged a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission in my state and am encouraging everyone I know to do the same)

Her response could be interesting.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

catching up...

Oh my gosh I've got so much to write about, I wish that I kept up better with my blogging - I think about things at silly times and when I sit down with time to blog - I forget what I was about to write!

My fledgling photography career is over (by choice) as I hated the pressure of having to perform, and being stuck to deadlines. Deadlines + me = major stress! I mean the shoots went well (except for the one that nearly gave me a nervous breakdown!!) but it was just all too much. Maybe one day when I don't have a hundred other things going on and can focus solely on it I may try again. For now I'll just stick to taking hundreds of photos of my family :)

The investment house hits the rental market this week (as our agent was on vacation all last week, or it would already be gone!) and the house is slowly slowly coming along.

Since we decided to go on holiday instead of working our asses off, our new deadline is August to have it completed. I'm not happy about having to wait but hey, I'd rather have a fun holiday instead!

Planning for that has taken over all my time at the moment - goo.gling hotels, flights, things to see - it's exciting but a little stressful as I am more at home in Europe, I know nothing of the US. I'm always worried that I'll pick the wrong hotel, or the wrong airline, and ruin everything, so I've been spending hours on trip advisor sites (so any recommendations welcome (or any horror stories - I need to know what to avoid!))

Friday, February 11, 2011

almost perfect

It's been one of those strange days, where at times it feels like the perfect day, and at others I feel strangely disconnected from the world (hi, welcome to my mental illness)

It started, really, with a VERY stressful day yesterday. It was one of those days where everything seems too overwhelming and every little thing that goes wrong can set you off. From the look of my FB though, the feeling was doing the rounds through all my friends too. The day ended with me being BEYOND frustrated at trying to get the kids passports sorted. I made an appt at the passport office in the morning and decided to take a train into the city. I decided not having to drive in and park would lower the stress level. I was mostly right :)

This morning was pretty chilled, as they have been lately, because Manny has decided to start sleeping in (yay!) Made it to the train in plenty of time (even though I didn't have time to get my morning iced coffee).

Train into the city was fun. Manny LOVES the train so he was pointing out the window and laughing, but given his inability to stay still, was also wiggling all over the place and jumping from seat to seat. Cute, but giving me nightmarish visions of what he is going to be like on a thirteen hour flight in just a few short weeks. I'm trying not to think about it too much (and googling if there is such a thing as baby

When we got into the city it was pouring with rain. I had him in the wrap so he was nice and dry but I had to do the mad dash up the street. Ducked into McD's to avoid the buckets of rain and got a nice hot breakfast :)

When the rain slowed, we did another mad dash into the passport office. Aside from the chip in my credit card not working, everything went just fine! (such a change for us)

When we finally exited, the heavens had opened. If I thought it was pouring rain before, I was wrong. By this point it was torrential! Nothing for it, had to get back to the station. As luck would have it, a lovely lady (who looked like a supermodel) had a gigantic umbrella and invited us to hop under it with her. She walked us all the way to the underpass to the station :)

When we got home, Manny slept for close to FOUR HOURS and I was wrecked so I slept too! Unbelievable. I don't remember the last time I got an afternoon nap.

And now we sit here, Rocket doing the dishes, Manny shovelling cereal into his mouth using spoon and both hands, watching scooby doo while I do my work from home hours. Days like this renew me for the bad days :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

a real vacation? me?

It has been years now that we have talked about "one day" going away - far away - on an actual vacation *gasp* but there was always a reason not to.

After our boy died all I wanted was to get away...but at the same time all I wanted was to hibernate in my tiny house and never leave.

Then I got pregnant with Manny and travelling anywhere more than 20 minutes from my hospital was a big fat HELL NO.

Then he was born, and wonderful, and we renovated another house. "Maybe when we're done here" we said "we should make enough money to afford a big trip overseas". Well of course I bought another house before selling that one, so all our money went into that.

And here we are renovating house number 4 with no end date in sight.

So last week we got to talking. It's like having kids. If you wait for the "right time" you will always be waiting. There is no right time. The time is now. Carpe diem and all that jazz. So we started thinking "where should we go?" Pacific islands? Nepal? India? Back to Italy or Spain? (as I have never taken Lou to see where I lived). To Canada? (hey we could get legally hitched!)

But all talk turned to the Happiest Place on Earth and the joy it would bring to my kids (and by kids I am including the 30 year old one in there too). I haven't been since I was 12 and I remember how amazing it all was. I took Rocket to Euro in Paris when he was about 2 but it was NOT the same by any standards. Then we talked about NYC and San Francisco and so many other places we wanted to see, and take the kids to see.

Then Lou found out there was a and that was it. USA it had to be.

And as I am known for rash spur of the moment decisions, and as aforementioned carpe diem nonsense...we leave in roughly 3.5 weeks.

Eek! Cue panic over Manny having no passport, Rocket's being expired and no plans whatsoever. What can I say - I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of girl through and through. All I can say is it will be very exciting, and a well deserved break for us all. Our kids have suffered through a lot over the last few years and they need this too. Everyone that has found out about our plans has commented "You guys have worked so hard for so long you deserve this". Who knew people had noticed??

Stay tuned for midnight panic attacks until we leave :)

(ooh and photos of our nearly completed bathroom! My wife is a rockstar)


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