Thursday, December 25, 2008

I attended a Xmas party with friends on Saturday night - they pull out all the stops for Christmas. They had `Con the fruiterer' there as MC. He was a very funny guy. He had that comedian's ability to zone in on someone and target their weak points.
I fell off the bike again on Friday, another gutter :( I was heading over to Southern Cross Station from Docklands after catching up with friends for a meal, and I rode down a ramp, across the tram lines, over the road, expecting to find a ramp on the other side - no such luck, it was dark and I didn't see the gutter. My knee looks like a rugby players but there is not too much pain & I can move ok. But my shoulder is back to giving me grief again.

I've been flat out over the weekend, cleaning & getting ready for Xmas Day. Kristin came over & did the windows for me on Sunday. She worked like a trooper. I got the ice-cream made, it's a special secret family recipe, that everyone in the family knows!
I lost power to all the power points on one side of the house. I checked out the fuses and trip switches, but they were all ok - reset them anyway, but got no improvement, so booked an electrician first thing Monday. Turned out I'd missed an internal power point with a trip switch on it. Never mind, I now have an electrician who will come out in January to do half a dozen jobs I've been waiting to get done.

This week at work has been slow. I had some sort of wog on Monday & felt crook all day, having difficulty focussing on tasks and getting things done in the right order. I didn't think much about it, except that I didn't feel well, then one of my workmates remarked to me on Tuesday "Were you OK yesterday? You didn't look well." so I guess I must have been sick!

The building management put all the building electronics onto night mode, which means that anyone without an electronic swipe tag can't get into the building or access the lifts. This has caused major havoc and a lot of disgruntlement amongst those without tags. They have to huddle outside the building until someone comes along to let them in, and hopefully also travel in the lift with them otherwise they have to use the fire escape stairs. This has had an unfortunate result as our part time receptionist, who has a severe limp and has some difficulty walking decided to take the stairs rather than wait for one of the girls with a swipe key. She got up the stairs OK, but a little later in the morning she had a fall in the staff kitchen and injured her shoulder. I'm left wondering if her bad leg gave way on her. We had to call an ambulance and she was given morphine and taken to hospital.

It's Xmas Eve and finally there's that lovely sense of slowing down and just doing what's important - time with friends. Kristin and her housemate, Karen have come over and are staying the night. We spend the evening preparing table decorations for Christmas Day and catching up on each others news. It's such good fun to have them in the house for the night - I set my alarm for 5.30am and get up and deliver Santa's stockings.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I don't know what to do with the piece, `Death and Falling Angels (for Kristin)". I think it 's a good piece and I keep re-reading it trying to work out how to extend it or give it more depth, and I keep coming up with nothing. Maybe I'm still too close to it. I still feel like crying everytime I read it.

I remember walking with Kristin after Jasper was taken out of the house, and her sadness and inability to understand that finality of death. Feeling that she just wanted those few moments more with him, as the Vets rolled him in the blanket and walked out with him.

I remember sitting on my bedroom window sill listening to a my neighbours grief at 2am in the morning as he screamed `my Karen, my Karen', when they brought him the news of his daughters death, thrown out of the back window of the car as it left the highway and rolled down an embankment. I still cry when I remember his grief, unbearable, inconsolable.

I remember the shockwaves of Steves death, "Hey Dad, I'm going to the party in Mt. Eliza with my mates, I've left the car keys on top of the fridge.' "Jane, Jane, what's wrong?" "Steves dead." "what happened?" "He wanted to leave the party and got a lift with another chick, she was smashed , she rolled the car, they're both dead". 30 years, it's no easier. I confront my fathers death. Flying in limbo, Townsville, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne. Is he still alive, what do I do when I get there, can I see him? The long drive from the airport, walking into his hospital room, brothers and sisters anxiously pacing the corridoors, mum sitting at the end of his bed. The look on his face as I walked in, his struggle to say "Little Cathy, see I can always make you come home", and my response, "Not like this Dad, not like this." Last words about working on the trawlers and his time in the navy. Three days with my mum afterwards, sleeping in the new house that she moved into the day he was taken to hospital. Her grief, the emptiness of the house, not even any pictures on the walls, the gardens bare.

My daughter has had a tough year with grief. Managing the grief of others, while her own grief for her beloved dog, who was high school friend & confidante through her parents breakup, companion as she moved into adulthood, is raw, only to be followed by the chance discovery of the death of a childhood friend far from home, away in a foreign country on a lonely nighttime road.