‘Plugged in’ 

Week 40: plugged in
I know that jumper leads don’t really plug but they seem to suit this weeks theme within my mind this week. By connecting them to another car you can interpret and vision them as being something plugged in for a purpose. These jumper leads have been plugged in quite a bit over the last few days charging a little bit more life into Jacob’s car. His car sits lonely on the road as it did throughout Jacob’s treatment and passing two years ago this week. I was hoping to let the little car have a new lease of life and have a driver to call it’s own if only for awhile for my daughter Rach to use till she got a car. It served her well for a few days then refused to start. You see the car is old. It is the same age as Jacob was at his passing – 20years, a long time for a car and yet such a short time for a human. We are hoping it’s just the battery and not anything expensive to fix so we don’t have to part with something that was so special to Jacob. 

He bought it with his own money from his part-time job for $1,000 before he’d left high school. It isn’t the most masculine looking car tinted a purple/mauve with a repainted white bonnet. His mates loved that car too. I bet they have lots of memories of adventures in the car as they rocked up at the drive through at Maccas paying for the food with his debit card and then laughing that they all ended up knowing his private PIN number. As I open the car door and sit in the driver seat I feel him there. The car still smells like him. Everything about it brings memories flooding home. It was featured in his movies on his YouTube channels. The body work on the old girl isn’t what she used to be and holds her bumps and bruises with pride. Jacob reversed out of the drive way into another car as he went to the shops to pick up some milk – this was bump number 1. Bump number 2 the damage went unnoticed for awhile after a car sideswiped it out the front adding further dents to the existing ones. Her bumps and bruises tell many stories just like all of us. 
I hope these little jumper leads can bring long wanted life to the old girl yet again. We are not yet ready to say goodbye to her. But if it’s her time to go the timing is more of a coincidence as the car is the same age that Jacob passed and her problems started within days of his anniversary and then we’ll have to let her go. As I captured this photo through the boot of the hatchback you can spot an unplanned and mystery capital ‘A’ on a pair of tiger striped gum boots. You see it was a sign from Jacob for they are his sister Amy’s gum boots in his car and they are the patterns of Jacob, Amy and my husband’s football team – the West Tigers. Jacob’s given his approval that it may be time to let the car go. These jumper leads have been connected and sort of plugged in and have served her well in keeping her road worthy over time. 


Week 39: evening 
I like the evening to say thanks for the day I’d just been given. I like the natural progression of life slowing down after a busy day, particularly on a weekday. Weekend evenings are even more special. No set time limits on weekends, go with the flow kind of days. The colours in the evening skies are equally as beautiful as the way the day begins. What a wonderful open and closing ceremony that happens with the magic of each day. 
In a photography workshop I was shown how to capture pretty cool shots during the evening and I try and dabble with the techniques now and again. I couldn’t pick just one photo of this particular evening on the jetty capturing my daughter and her boyfriend Adam who had just returned from a holiday in UK and Europe for 10months, so any excuse being in their company was magic on any given evening. Their images in one photo appear as ghosts as they were moving as I captured it.  Nothing beats having family around you. This has become more paramount since the loss of Jacob from our family tree. My nurturing drive kicks in overtime and mother hen wants to keep us all under her wings in the fear of loosing one of her eggs. But I will rise just like the stars in the evening sky and search for him in the stars, moon and colours knowing Jacob will do everything in his power to help keep his family safe from afar. I know for a fact that he was part of that ghostly image of Rach & Adam. 
‘What a nice night to have an evening’


Week 38: New

It’s funny that sometimes new things become the old things and that’s the case of my ‘new’ sports watch. My husband had wanted a new fancy sports watch for awhile. One of the ones that monitor your heart rate, steps taken and connects to your mobile phone and tells you it’s time to get up out of your chair and move. During our holiday away in Canada and Alaska this sports watch didn’t live up to his expectations and was talking of getting another one. After doing some research he came up with the conclusion that this type of sports watch was better suited to an android phone not an iPhone. So as it was our anniversary and I hadn’t really got him a present (as if the holiday wasn’t enough of a present for the both of us) I decided that I’d get him the new iPhone sports watch for a combined anniversary and upcoming birthday present. Since I own and love an android phone -my old faithful Samsung Galaxy S5 I now have my husbands old sports watch but it’s new to me. 

I am pretty ok with new technology but I may just need to study the instructions a bit to get the best out the item. Jacob was my ‘go to’ for technology issues at our home. He just had magic hands that when he dabbled with technology he made it like child’s play. He sometimes got frustrated with me when I did things too slow or not the right way, but he had the gentlest way of teaching me and I miss that. His siblings have got a way with technology too as with most young adults of this generation and are always willing to help their slightly ageing mum lol. 

With this new toy I’m hoping to get reacquainted with my one word that I chose for the recapture self village at the beginning of the year – ‘focus.’ It was my intention to focus a bit more on getting myself into shape this year and losing those unwanted kilos. I think I utilised the word more within the photography realm as I thoroughly enjoyed the momtography class as I fiddled with my camera lens in manual focus and lacked the focus that I needed on myself. I’ve got a ball to go to in at the end of October and relatives coming over to stay with us from the UK for a holiday in November so there’s plenty of healthy reasons to ‘focus’ on me. My new piece of old equipment might help with the emerging of the new me. 


Week 37: Saturday 
Quoting from Mark Twain on a Saturday afternoon as my husband and I set sail on the Eurodam cruise ship from Seattle to Alaska ~ ‘twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.’ We will try and have no regrets as we enjoy our cruise and celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary while onboard. We will toast our love towards the future as we travel along life’s journey as we savour our very first alcoholic beverage since we’ve set sail.

An Irish toast ~ ‘there are good ships and wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be.’ 

I want to make memories all over the world. 


Week 36: morning 

I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes. I feel blessed to wake up every morning to appreciate a new day when it is denied to so many. Jacob taught us to be blessed with everyday you’ve been given and to treat it as though it may be your last. Don’t stress about the housework and the dishes in the sink, they can wait. Do the things that you’ve always wanted to do, write that bucket list and start ticking some of them off. Start that hobby you’ve always wanted to but have never had the courage to try. Sometimes it’s even worth getting up that extra bit early just to see the sunrise and witness the start of a brand new day. 

With the word ‘morning’ I can’t help hearing the song by Cat Stevens called ‘Morning has broken.’ I remember learning to play it on the recorder at primary school as a youngster and can still play it today. I remember hearing the song be sung at church at school and on Sunday. It was always a favourite to singalong to. I had it played as a hymn at my wedding to my husband in 1987 and as I’m writing this entry it happens to be our 30th Anniversary. 

At Jacobs funeral I had 2 teachers from his school sing and play the saxophone when a particular part of the mass happened and on the order of service they were meant to sing & play ‘Amazing Grace’ but by accident the song they performed was ‘morning has broken.’ It was a perfect mistake. My aunt who was also my God parent had that song played at her wedding too. She had passed several years before Jacob so it was a nice to think they had a connection even before they had the pleasure of meeting each other in the spiritual world. 

So as I wake this morning and enjoy the breakfast provided on the Canadian tour my husband and I are travelling on I give thanks for this day. To be provided food and drink in such beautiful surroundings, among new friends that have become like family is something to be grateful for. To be able to travel, to see new countries and towns. Some never get the chance, so I’m taking Jacob with me and scattering him a little in the places I feel he’d like to have travelled had he had the chance in his lifetime. 

What I wouldn’t do to be able to wake up one morning and saying the featured word to Jacob on waking up on a new day just as I do to his dad and siblings. Nothing really stops me of course but I do in a different way now. He’s the last thing on my mind before I close my eyes at night and the first thing on my mind in the morning and it will be like this for the rest of my life. With Jacob’s guiding love from afar I will try my best to start the morning with a smile 😊 ‘see miracles in life everyday.’ Good morning everyone. 


Week 35: Clean 
I’m writing this while on holiday in Canada with my husband Pete. We are travelling around for 25 days. Nothing beats walking into your motel room after a full day of travelling. To walk into a beautiful room so fresh and clean is just what we need. I get a bit excited with each day we travel, the wonderful things to visit, to do, to photograph and checking into a new motel at the end of the day to recharge the batteries. I love checking out all the nooks and crannies within the clean room we’ve just checked into. I have been writing down our room numbers too just as a record and taking a photo from the room window. If we have been fortunate enough to stay more than one night it quickly becomes ‘unclean’ as the items find their way out of the suitcase and are deposited all of the room. 
I don’t think we are the only guilty travellers that starts off with a clean room and end up with an entirely different room. My children are culprits too. I’ve seen the rooms they’ve stayed in during our holidays, particularly our last holiday all together as a family of 6. I’m positive the rooms were clean as they swiped the key to gain entry. It’s quite amazing what can happen in a few days with the girls sharing a room and the boys sharing another. The girls room smelt of perfume and makeup with little piles of clothes near their luggage and bags of shopping. When I opened the boys door (I didn’t really want to enter their room 😊) I was hit with the smell of a boys dorm, I could see their beds were unmade and clothes and towels were scattered all over the floor amongst the bags and luggage. I instantly felt sorry for the hotel room service so I placed the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door to save embarrassment. We always pick up our game as our check out nears. We leave the place in reasonable shape in the hope we get the opportunity to be invited back. We don’t want to be black listed for not having a clean room. 
My children’s bedrooms at home are sometimes clean, but at times can resemble a hotel room with things everywhere, and things out of place. When I ask them to clean their room it usually ends up just being a clear path being made from the door to their bed. 
As we continue to travel on our holiday and stay in different motels, I will look into the clean room and think that it’s telling me to ‘use it well, keep it clean, and it will never tell me what it has seen’ over the years. If only the walls could talk. 


‘Messy pool hair, really don’t care.’ If I left off the word ‘hair’ in the previous quote, the sentence would be a better caption for my photo of ‘messy’ for the 34th week of the 52 moments, recapture yourself photo prompts. During the winter months our pool looks really messy and unkept. Not like the once inviting crystal clear haven for cooling yourself down on a summers day. The harshness of the changing months drop leaves, sticks and dirt onto the protective blue plastic cover. It looks neglected and univiting. But it won’t take long to get her back into shape for summer. A few weekends of dedication to bring her back to the glory of her heyday. 

When Jacob was in treatment the poison was delivered through a port called a Hickman’s line. This port prevented him from swimming due to the risk of infection. It was just an effort to keep the protective dressing dry after a shower and a bath yet along a quick dip in the pool or ocean to cool down which was prohibited. It was a long hot summer while he was on treatment and nobody really felt the urge to go in the pool that summer as they felt it was unfair to enjoy the pool when he could not. He occasionally sat on the steps not letting the water reach the port. As he lost body weight the pool became too cool for him just to sit there as the layers of fat around his bones were being depleted from a once 96kg frame. 

In the summer just only a few months after we’d lost our beautiful brown eyed boy if I went into the pool to cool off a rush of guilt would fall over me. For Christmas that year we gifted each other with pool toys to bring a little bit of joy in our dark time as it had been a long time since we’d had fun in the pool with laughter skipping over the yard and being carried into the house. I’m lucky I have photos of videos of all the fun the pool has provided us over the past 17 years. 

A little bit of TLC is what we need. My husband will work his magic with adding the ingredients like a recipe for a cake, stirring the leaves and sediment on the bottom of the pool like scrapping the mixing bowl with a spatula and watching the water turn from muddy to clear. It won’t be long before we’re diving through pools of clear water towards summer.