And here we are, thirty days of silver linings. Not quite consecutive as I missed one or two nights due to tiredness, but even those days I did make a mental note of positives for the day.
Tonight was a visit to close friends for dinner. We are like family to each other. And I am a favourite uncle to their two boys, who are five and three. In fact they were bribed by my visiting to have had dinner, bathed and in their pyjamas ready for bed when we arrived.
Of course first thing was they wanted to play Lego with me, so the sheet filled with all manner of bricks and blocks was placed on the floor and the three of us settled down for 15 minutes or so of play, until dinner was served.
After dinner and their play it was definitely time for the younger one to get to bed. He asked for me to carry him to bed. This is a first! So we said goodnight to everyone and I got to tuck him into his small bed (with a little assistance from mum).
Then there was some testing of colouring pens and watercolour paper (adult colouring books and brush tip pens). So the older boy wanted to join in and did a reasonable job of staying within the lines. I grabbed his drawing book and pens and asked him to select colours for me. So colour by colour I made a little drawing and put my name on it.
I love kids. Especially love these two. They are as close to having my own as I’ll ever get. I love the innocence and openness that they have. It reminds me as an adult, a lot about living and having fun. The older one has a learning developmental difficulty. Mild Cornelia de Lange Syndrome,
hope that is spelled correctly thanks google for the spell check. But the love they both show is a beautiful reminder of life in a simpler way.
Grateful for sunny pleasant weather to ride my bike in today, people who are so close as to be family, and movie fun with a friend.
What significance does Lego have in your life?
Today’s pleasant surprise was when my brother called by with his kids. He asked about some spare timber to finish off the tree house he’s been making for them (courtesy of some spare pallets that I just happened to have lying around previously) and I said he can have the last of the pallet timbers.
They just needed to be pulled apart.
So cue handy Uncle getting the niece and nephew interested in swinging a heavy mallet and crowbar. With leather safety gloves on of course. They were very enthusiastic and quite good at it, with a few pointers provided along the way.
A few very persistent nails needed adult strength to loosen. Did you know timber pallets are built to not fall apart, so the nails are ridged to prevent them sliding out easily.
They were keen to keep going after the first pallet skeleton was dismantled so I let them work on the last remaining one as well. They were quite tired by the end, but pleased with their accomplishments.
Before settling down to write tonight, I plugged in my fitness monitor wristband and received a pleasant surprise.
For the first time I reached my 10,000 step goal for the day. And also reached my sleep goals three nights in a row.
It also noted a 54 minute workout this afternoon. No that wasn’t the pallet demolition, it was the lawnmowing and garden clearing I did after my brother left.
Do you monitor your fitness or sleep in any way?
What I saw, what I experienced, what I remember. There were other darker times, but to me they were caused by his motorbike accident induced physical battering and brain damage. Here is the true man that I recall.
Physically active, healthy and strong.
Strong energy of person, bold.
Comfortable to sit with himself.
Caring, patient, considerate.
As I remember him being laid to rest with his parents one year ago, in this way I honour his memory and acknowledge his life within my own.
(1 January 2015)
I’m discovering a relationship
That I didn’t really know
Because I was uncomfortable asking
It was easier to say nothing and wonder
Not that doing so was particularly easy
A relationship of understanding,
Companionship and love
Of life and dreams, sharing and enjoying
I’m learning about this relationship
Now that my Dad is gone
(25 Sept 2014)
Easter is a long weekend, what are we planning?
Easter is dark chocolate egg for early breakfast having
Easter is foil crunching between your teeth (missed that bit of wrapping!)
Easter is the precious gift of giving and the humble gift of receiving
Easter is 250% wage loading, extra pay for working
Easter is managing a meal with the family even when they are working
Easter is driving for hours to participate in camping
Easter is pagan rituals still surviving
Easter is giggling and searching for the kids
Easter is family egg hunts in the garden
Easter is games with the niece and nephew
Easter is making hot cross buns with your best friend
Easter is free hot cross buns at your hardware store
Easter is deck construction, house renovations continue
Easter is dark rainy Friday morning
Easter is sunshine filled days outside
Easter is bicycle rides
Easter is eggscelent
Easter is rising to the occasion
Easter is always too close to Passover
Easter is forgetting what day of the week it is
Easter is two public holidays surrounding a weekend
Easter is a mad scramble before, but then relaxing with family
Easter is love
[Easter is the Easter bunny helpers all tired out from their deliveries. With thanks to my friends who contributed input on what Easter means to them.]
Walk in your shoes
Get to know you
They are a size big or two
Always bigger than me were you
I look up to you
Even more, now that I miss you
The stories I hear now
Tell me so much I never knew
I always knew the similarities
Matching pieces of personality
Some used to upset me
But now I hold them dearly
What you did that upset many
I understand I can see your view
Don’t agree with it
But in so much your heart was true
And this is what I remember
[This was inspired by looking through my father’s shoe collection – many old, some unworn, mostly practical work boots – more reminiscing and seeing photographs of a happy young man. (Photograph by me of a couple of the items). The poem’s structure is a bit rough, but I can’t change it without, you know, changing it. And it’s like my memories of him, good or bad, they are all I have now, so I will learn to love them all.]
Sooty fawn lop eared bunny
On the carpet at my feet
One hand stroking along your back
With forefinger and thumb brushing your sides
From the back of your head
Slowly down to your tail
Head to tail
Teeth clicking in continual happiness
I want to brush away all your worries
Brush away the arthritis in your back legs
Soothe away your addled-ness
Stroke away your old-age complications
Reinforcing your family membership
For right now is companionship and love
Your love is not overshadowed by your moods
You are therapy for me
To my sister in London
I just want to say
How much I enjoyed
Your visit and stay
We talked just a little
And you slept quite a while
Just having your presence
Has given me a smile
in my heart, that lingers
Each time that I see
you pop up on Facebook
With an update or three
And photographic records
More travels abroad
Or just in your city
Always leave me awed
You are loved so much
Despite distance and time
So I send you my thoughts
In word and in rhyme
[Just one of her recent photos “Pleasant winter day en route cycling to Richmond”]