Monthly Archives: June 2016

Ground War – a fictional story of change

For this weeks ‘miracle challenge’ I chose to complete number 3 challenge. Write a story using the words Train, Relief and Flirt.

We are truly lucky to have Jacob’s YouTube channels to view his creative talents, watching his little skits he made with family and friends. We always knew that he would have made it had he had more time of earth to carry out his dream. For this weeks challenge I’ll share one of his little quirky exploration in ‘motion comics’ called ‘Ground War’ he made a couple of years ago which is on his YouTube channel. I was featured in the movie as was Jacob and his cousin Luke, but the voices weren’t ours (except Kyle’s dream scene – he used his own voice). Jacob was Kyle, I was mum and Luke played a friend from school and his brother Ben. The following story is fiction.
Kyle liked to spend his time playing war games on a games console. He ate, drank, slept and dreamt ‘war games.’ On hearing that he missed a pretty cool party over the weekend while he locked himself away in his room playing games, he thought he’d better change his way of life. A girl called Jessica had asked about him at the party -what he was up to. Was she the motivation he needed? He needed a plan of action. He sorted out some advice from his brother Ben who had different interests and outlook in life. He taught him how to bulk up, how to train and sculpt his body, transforming him into a much more healthy and stronger version of himself.
Upstairs in the bathroom Kyle took drastic measures to improve his looks as well. Equipped with a pair of scissors he cut his hair (to my relief it was just a wig and not Jacob’s real hair, & with trick camera work it looked like he really had cut it, but he hadn’t) I’m glad he had the good sense to change his t-shirt too as the first one he had on in the first few scenes, the words did nothing to help his self esteem – ‘My Momma said I’m special’ in the words of Forest Gump.
After gaining a bit of dress sense from Ben he found his own persona and he wore it well. All his hard efforts had paid off. The caterpillar had turned into a butterfly, so to speak. And what a transformation. See how a bit of effort can change one’s outlook to life. The smile says it all. He doesn’t have to flirt all he has to do is smile 🙂
Maybe there was an important message within the story that we can all take away with us. That if you put your mind to it you can change. The fictional character in this story turned his life around for obviously the better. I too have the choice of letting the grief of losing Jacob to totally consume me, causing me to retreat from life or me choosing to see the beauty that still remains in life despite having the most unthinkable thing to happen as a parent – losing a child. I know I desperately need to lose weight but I need to find the motivation to change that too. To have money in life to do the things you’ve always wanted to do you first you have to have the means/funds to do it, start saving just small amounts, baby steps, you change the way you spend the money you have so you can put away just a little for that rainy day or for that special item you’ve been eying off or for that relaxing holiday your body so desirably craves.
I will leave you with a quote from Dr Seuss to carry on with the cartoon imagery of Jacob’s motion comic movie and the famous children’s rhyme and picture book author – ‘you have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.’

If you’d like to view more of Jacob’s creative talent in becoming a cinematographer you can find his movies/clips on these two YouTube channels – CobbyFilms and JDScreens.

‘Butterfly kisses’ 


#MiracleChallenge week 1 – write a poem using the words ‘Butterflies’ and ‘Key’

Butterflies are the Heaven sent kisses of an angel

Sent down to earth to greet you in the really hard hours

Spreading it’s wings around you

Filling you with the warmth and love it showers

Although it’s time on earth is very short

The beauty of its colours brings joy

Just like years we had with you were never enough

Our forever 20 year old boy

Your memories and love will keep us strong

As we live our lives without you

Seeing the beauty like the butterflies

Messages from Heaven come in to view

Making everyday count

Bringing thoughts that make us closer to you

Remembering is the key to Heaven

And it is ever so easy to do

I just hope we hold on to that key

And keep your memories deep in our heart

We miss and will love you forever

As families should never be torn apart

Thanks for coming to see us

And landing on our family tree

Love you my beautiful Pisces boy

Fly high and swim free

‘I wish you were here…’ 

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After writing my blog about my reasons to ‘smile’ see miracles in life everyday I found the #MiracleChallenge to ignite more writings from deep within my mind, heart and soul. I have chose to complete number 1 – write a short story using the sentence, ‘ I wish you were here’ in week 2’s ‘Miracle Challenge.’ (I missed week one – but I still might do it!)
I can remember first hearing the song ‘wish you were here’ by Pink Floyd as a young impressionable teenager at 15. The song had obviously been around for several years before my ears and mind had the pleasure of listening to it. The words and music made an impression way back then and they still hold the same chemistry now at the ripe old age of 52. My husband was learning that song on his electric guitar, the distinct notes of each string played loud through the amplifier stirring up emotions of the past, present and future. Delta Goodrem had a song in the charts with the same name too ‘wish you were here.’ But her words in the song with the same name gives me a lump in my throat ‘I miss you in the earth’s atmosphere.’ We have someone missing too. Our son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend Jacob left the earth’s atmosphere last October after a short battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Oh how I wish you were here! One of our branches of our family tree has broken and fallen off. We’ve lost your future, seeing you fulfil your dreams of becoming a famous cinemaphotographer, seeing your name in lights, falling in love, getting married, becoming a dad. All we have is the memories, to cherish and keep close in hearts. We’ll keep listening to those songs that make us feel connected to you and help make us remember. I used the photo and video of Jacob playing his saxophone to accompany this passage of writing as music ‘plays the moments, pauses the memories, stops the pain and rewinds the happiness.’ The dogs would howl every time you played, it was music to my ears but it must of hurt theirs 🙂 You had a great collection of songs on your phone which you’d play on the way home from hospital after having chemo to take you to a happy place and space. At the end of a long day as the stars appear in the night time sky I will say – ‘starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, I have this wish, I wish tonight’ – ‘I wish you were here.’ x

‘7 years…’ 

001-copy.jpg.jpeg‘There’s a significance with the number 7’ the very talented and gifted physic medium Sue Nicholson stated to the blond curly haired girl Rachel in the audience as she handed her the mic. Number 7, someone’s birthday? the 7th month…kept repeating the number 7. Nothing rang a bell or came to mind. We took this information with the intent of looking for signs with anything to do with the number 7. Several days later on a trip to Sydney to speak to a jeweller to make us momentous pendants I heard a song on the radio. I said to Ben ‘I like this, what’s it called?’ The title of the song was ‘7 years’ by Lukas Graham. Could this song be the message we had been warned of by the medium a few weeks earlier? As I listened to the words of the song emotions rushed all over me, bringing uncontrollable tears and smiles all at the same, combined as one.
‘Once I was 7 years old, my mama told me; go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely’ were the first few lines of the song. I remember the teachers telling me that Jacob was a bit of a loner at school, not having that special connection with a mate at recess or lunch, someone to buddy with. He didn’t ‘fit the norm’ according to his teachers. I didn’t want him to be the ‘norm’ as I knew he was way more than that. A unique little old soul. He was content to be in his own company being friendly to everyone he met and with a cheeky grin he would cruise the playground – the gentle shy guy.
The second and third verse of the song didn’t contain anything in the words that triggered memories, similarities or connections to our story so we quickly let the words flow past until the next message revealed itself in the fourth. ‘I always had that dream…

I started writing stories….cause only those I really love will ever know me…’ We had known for a very long time of his ultimate dream of becoming a cinematographer and he was well on the way to achieving this, having his own YouTube channels to showcase his creative talent. He was already writing his stories, the scripts that highlighted his wicked dry sense of humour. All of his family and close friends who loved him most knew his dream.
‘Once I was 20 years old, my story got told.’ These words resonate our nightmare when he left our world after a short battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma. He was 20 years old and his story was told. Our world fell apart never to be the same again. Children weren’t meant to go before their parents its against natural order. It’s not the story we wanted to hear or be told. But this was the unfortunate story that the song made us think about. We’d gladly replace it with one of his funny clips of his cousin Luke getting ‘Stuck’ in his little purple car. A comedy beats a tragedy any day.
‘I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure.’ He sure packed in a whole lot in, in his 20 years. A recent highlight was when he worked on set of the movie ‘Truth’ where he got to meet Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace and several others.
‘I got my boys with me, at least those in favour.’ He was surrounded by his mates, particularly in the last month of his life. They were with him right to the end when took his last breath. Friends till the very end. ‘And if we don’t meet before I leave, I hope I’ll see you later.’ In our Catholic faith we believe that this is truth. We will meet again.
‘My woman brought children for me.’ Not sure who the woman is but the medium said that he had a new calling in life, helping young children who have crossed over from cancer. A mentor, teacher and spirit guide. He never got a chance to meet his soul mate, I would much rather have this part of the story in the future giving him children that would carry on his name. ‘And some I had to leave behind, My brother I’m still sorry.’ Ben’s sorry too, he misses his little bro. He left us all behind.
‘Soon I’ll be 60 years old…’ His dad turns 60 this year – a milestone birthday and one we wish we could celebrate as a family, a complete family, not without one of our branches off our family tree. ‘I made the man so happy when I wrote a letter once.’ That man was his dad and those letters were written on his Father’s Day card just a month before we lost him.
The songs goes back to the beginning, and ends repeating the first verse ‘Once I was 7 years old, my mama told me go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely.’ In Lukas Graham’s own words – friends are the family you choose to keep in your life. And you’ve got the friends that are there since childhood to back you up. But a good friend can walk into your life from nowhere, too. You guys know who you are and we thank you for being there, particularly when he needed you most.
I felt an urge to put my finger on the keyboard to write my words tonight just like the old saying ‘putting pen to paper.’ Today being the 13th of May (he was born on the 13th March) and the song having a 7 in it. Adding those numbers together they add up to 20. Forever young at 20. We lost our beautiful brown eyed boy on the 7th day of October 2015. Libra is the 7th astrological sign in the zodiac in the month when he passed (Sept 22 – Oct 24). And number 7 is supposed to a lucky number for cancer (the zodiac sign not the disease) and Pisces – swim free my water spirit.
I think we have found the significance of the number 7 from the encounter from the medium. I take these hidden messages in the verses of this song as a sign that he’s ok, still watching over us, loving us from afar. We put this song his birthday dvd, his 21st birthday, his first Heavenly birthday.
We can’t always explain how we feel, but we can find the songs that can. ‘Once I was 7 years old…..’ I will continue to find him everyday in all the signs and messages that come my way. May we find you in our dreams, our thoughts, our smiles, our tears, our laughter, our memories, all the rest of our lives. I’ll hold you in my heart until I can hold you in my arms x

‘Smile’…….See Miracles In Life Everyday 😊

This is my last writing and photo taking task in the photography course called ‘illuminate’ guided by the very talented photographer Beryl Ayn Young – lighting the way to photographic healing. I was asked to think of a one word mantra that would help me get through the next coming year. I had to search for the letters in that one word in everyday objects around the house, office, garden, anywhere where your journey took you. I had to think outside the box in order to find the letters. You had to reverse them and flip them around in your head before you had access to the photographic apps on the computer to crop it into a symbol that resembled a letter. The ‘s’ was a horizontal bar on my bed, the ‘m’ was an old shell that was once in our fish tank, the ‘I’ was a dandelion, the ‘L’ was the mast and half of the body of a boat made out of wood, and the ‘e’ was a decorative piece off our letterbox. The ‘e’ had to be adjusted the most.
I chose the word ‘smile’ as my mantra because it’s a hell of a lot easier to smile at what life has given us than frown and hold a grudge about every bad thing that’s happened. I’ve been a smiley person all my life and I think my children have taken on my outlook on life and wear beautiful smiles that comes from deep within their souls. Over the last 8 months we’ve had to continue to ‘smile.’ Just like the old familiar song that comes to mind –
Smile though your heart is aching

Smile even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow

Smile and maybe tomorrow

You’ll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness

Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near

That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile
That’s the time you must keep on trying

Smile, what’s the use of crying?

You’ll find that life is still worthwhile

If you just smile
Nat King Coles charismatic voice sings out those lyrics, telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a bright tomorrow, just as long as they smile. The grief of losing Jacob has brought about a deeper appreciation of life and seeing all the beautiful things like all the different colours in the world, in plants, in the sea – the creatures and habitats they live in and sky at sunrises and sunsets. How can a death of someone so beautiful in your life make you see and appreciate things more deeply. How is it possible? It should make us bitter people. But I choose to ‘smile.’ I choose to smile because Jacob smiled throughout the treatments of chemo, radiation, operations, scans and biopsies. He smiled through the pain of the rapidly spreading disease. He smiled even after the days of being told there was nothing more they could do to save him. He smiled right up until the day before he took his last breath. His strength and will to live life to the fullest despite being given the most shittiest outcome possible for one so young and just starting to enjoy life make me want to live the rest of my life in ways that would make him proud. He would want us all to smile, not to be gloomy and sad and bitter at the wrongs in life. He’d want us to be happy and for us to smile and continue to see miracles in life everyday.
‘See miracles in life everyday’ – my greatest miracles by far has been the creation of my 4 children. We all have to see the miracles in everyday life and find our own reasons to ‘smile.’ I have Jacob’s memories to make me smile. * The way he did the actions for a preschool concert in a beat just made for his own drums, seconds before the rest of the class. * when he licked white powder of the ground when we were camping thinking it was sherbet when it was washing powder (his face was priceless) * when he first walked across the sand towards the water in flippers when he was about 2/12, he would have won ‘funniest home video’ had we recorded it. * the way he tippy toe walked and had the sculptured calve muscles to prove it. * the way he called out to me while playing footy ‘hi mummy’ with a wave and his quirky way of tackling a player, putting your hand on their back when they were already down. So many more reasons to smile. I’m sure his siblings have many too. One’s that come to mind – * Ben standing at the end of the Jacob’s bed in the dark of night stealing his blankets and waking him up yelling ‘come on we’ve got to get out if here!’ in one of his sleep walking dreams or nightmare as they shared a room. * Amy will cherish all those road trips taken together to watch the Tigers play a game of footy, particularly the last game they drove to and got a flat tyre on the way only to change it to the new tyre to find out that that too was flat. * Rachel will watch all the home videos and smile at how many squabbles they had, as siblings do and I caught some on film. Maybe she’ll watch ‘Babes in the Woods’ the Roo theatre production where her and Jacob got to wear green tights as they were both two of Robin Hoods Merry Men. When we played family games there was really only one winner and that was Pete, and we’d laugh at how Jacob tried his hardest to beat his dad at ‘Buzz’ and ‘Scene it’ being the big movie critic he was becoming. Chris and all of his mates will have to find their own ‘smiles’ to keep them going in hard times when they miss their friend and buddy.
By trying to find the reasons to smile a lot more in the days that pan out throughout the coming year does not mean that my heart has mended. Grief has changed me. The pain has sculpted me into someone who understands more deeply, hurts more often, appreciates more quickly, cries more easily, hopes more desperately, love more openly and ‘smiles’ more freely.

Nothing is more beautiful than a real smile that has struggled through the tears.

‘Gratitude puts everything into perspective’

I’m starting to write this weeks assignment for the photography course ‘illuminate’ on my 52nd birthday. We have to be grateful for birthdays for its a privilege of being given another year to celebrate and enjoy life. Some get to celebrate many and others are only limited a few. But it’s the quality moments within those years we are most grateful for. I have looked hard into all the things I’m grateful for before when completing a Facebook challenge for a month. After such an emotionally traumatic event like losing a family member you sometimes have to look a bit closer and harder to the things around you and see the beauty in all the small things that begin to become the larger, more important things in life and the gift of being alive.

I took myself out of my comfort zone of the house and took 100 steps out into the big wide world to capture nature at its finest in several shots using Jacob’s camera and my mobile phone. From the photos I took I had to choose 5 to work with. Only one of the five photos were taken inside, it was raining that day so I took a long walk inside the house and stopped at the 100th step. As I examine the photos I had to explore the compositional idea of ‘Perspective’ in my images. The only one I didn’t mange to capture in any of my photos was ‘negative space’ but that’s ok, I’ll keep looking for that one shot in others I will continue to take. I had to look at the rule of thirds, framing, point of view and type of camera. I took 100 steps, stopped and found my focus point – ‘today I’m grateful for…..’

‘Gratitude is said to be the memory of the heart’ – Joseph F. Smith. The photos I chose to share and write about evoke some memories from within my heart. I will tell the story behind why I took that particular photo highlighting the hidden message of gratefulness.

The rules of thirds – ‘let the warm glow of the setting sun kiss life’s hurts away.’ The sunset was too beautiful not to capture. We are grateful for everyday we’ve been blessed with and Jacob taught us this during the last month of his life. Treat everyday like it’s your last. On the days that have been particularly bad, (if we’re lucky) we get given another beautiful day to get things right, to make it better and to start again afresh. The time I took this photo was pretty much the same time that he took his last breath at 4.33pm in the afternoon. It was a beautiful sunset like this, and the sun shone down on his face through the window for the rest of the afternoon. ‘Here comes the sun’ by the Beatles sang out of the iPod just after we lost him. I am grateful to see another sunset, all the different colours, to be living in a beautiful place by the lake, to be given another day.

Framing – ‘choose to shine.’ I really love bright shiny lights, like the twinkling stars in the sky and the fairy lights at Christmas time. You can never have enough around the house and with the invention of solar lights we get to see more of the magic that the sun is capable of. Jacob loved lights too. He decorated the house inside and out at Christmas time, the more the merrier was his motto. His name would have been in lights one day as he would have become the famous cinematographer he always wanted to be. He used his special bright lights in all of his YouTube movies he made with friends to give the desired effect. The cherry blossom light shines even brighter when switched on but the little buds still stood out in this photo, still bright in times of darkness. We got the tree after his passing. This little tree adds brightness to his memorial area outside, near his drinking and toasting bar and bell. The lights bring a sense of calmness just like watching the embers flicker in a fire.

Point of view – ‘we are tree-mendously grateful.’ The circles on this tree stump indicates how many years it’s been alive. Although this one has been chopped down, shortening its life as it had been poisoned by a human who was in search of a better view for their home. Such sad reason to cut short a life of something that’s living. Just as Jacob’s life was cut short we can still celebrate and cherish the memories he left us in life just like the circles of life in the tree. Every year, every moment, every memories of his life like 20 rings in the stump. New trees have been planted to replace the one that’s been lost, to provide shelter and comfort for all those that relied on her. Not quite possible to grow another Jacob, although I do have his curls of his first hair cut. Maybe the new trees will be future additions to our family who carry on his name and striking features.

Type of camera – ‘plant smiles, grow laughter, harvest love.’ I used my mobile phone camera for this shot indoors. I’ve discovered over time that I haven’t got a green thumb. I put time and effort into loving all things green in pots and gardens but they never seem to love me back. I’m am grateful for all the other things I’m good at though as you can’t be good at everything, but there’s no harm in trying. Unfortunately the big black thing in the photo surrounded by rocks was once a beautiful succulent. I had been watering it in the hope of bringing it back to life. But it was not to be (not yet anyway) but on a closer look a tiny fragile fine thread of life was breaking through the dirt. It made me think of how I could save Jacob from the common cold and other viruses but I couldn’t save him from the thing that took him. The nurturing mothers instinct comes through in nature and life – to nourish, love and protect.

The last photo, number 5 I like to call ‘creep it real’ makes me smile. It encompasses our family’s weird and wacky love for horror movies. Not sure of the real reason for the monster puppet to be in the tree or how it got there but I like how we can see it more in winter and less in the summer as the foliage changes in the seasons. Grief is like the puppet some days you see and feel it other days you don’t. To carry on the weird and wacky love of scary movies I’m going to see one tonight with my grown up kids Amy and Rachel for my birthday – ‘The conjuring 2.’ Ben’s chickened out and Pete (my husband) will be listening to music DVDs at home after a session at the pub. Jacob will be with us as we cover our eyes and peek through our fingers at the scary bits, just as we did all together in the lounge room watching scary movies together, a favourite thing Jacob loved to do. The simple things in life… watching a movie and listening to music you can take a break from the heartache of real life and be immersed in make-believe and fantasy and taken to another place and space. ‘We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones’ said the famous writer Stephen King.

I enjoyed taking the 100 steps photography challenge just as much as did doing the grateful challenge on Facebook. In Lexi Behrndt’s own words – ‘I talk about him, not because I’m constantly living in pain. I’m not anymore, but in my world, this is my normal, and I’d rather live honestly and out loud. Joy, love, happiness, and gratefulness are my everyday, but so are death, loss, heartache, and grief.’ I will continue to be grateful for all the little things in life and on earth, for I’ll see Jacob in the those little things like the sparkles of light on the water from the sun, the colours in a rainbow, the changing of the seasons, the new flowers of spring, the rain in the storm, the scares and thrills from the newly released horror movies  and in the wind that says his name through the trees.

Today I’m grateful it’s my birthday – I am another year older, wiser, and more grateful.


‘Hello from the other side’ 

Not sure if you believe in messages from the other side or are you someone who thinks that all the signs are mere coincidental happenings – ‘to each his own.’ I suppose you can say I’m a believer…
At 18 years of age I was told by a dr that I might be psychic. He came to this conclusion after I’d had two EEG’s and a brain CT scan for having regular headaches. Mum thought it was from being stressed from studying in year 12 but boy was she wrong. How could I be stressed, the hsc was not a high point on my priority list. Looking back I can really say it was a waste of my parents money putting me through Years 11 and 12 as my heart definitely wasn’t in it. My heart was more into going out with friends, drinking, socialising and meeting cute guys. When I was at school I’d be found looking out the window day dreaming watching the cute surfers pull up at the beach as the Catholic girls school was across the road from the beach. Anyway back to the Drs results – sorry for getting sidetracked. After looking at all the results etc with mum telling me that they needed to do more testing as they used a faulty machine not to get me worried. The dr told me that I didn’t have a tumour 🙂 but my brain waves didn’t match the average person. He said the readings were probably normal for you or that you are a bit psychic. I took the later explanation.
Over the years I’ve always had the ability to think of things that I haven’t seen or heard from in a while and before you know it that movie or song comes on. The same thing happens when the phone rings sometimes you guess right for who was on the other end other times you were wrong. Sometimes you finish people’s sentences for them, and you find yourself in times of déjà vu. My husband and I before we had married would meet each other for a date night and have to go and get changed cause we’d warn the similar colours in similar combinations – white pants, white skirt, orange t-shirt, orange boob tube (after all it was the 80’s)

I never really fine tuned my so called psychic ability over the years as I’ve never really had the need to. Until now that is. In October 2015 we lost our son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and best friend Jacob. After losing him I have begun to over-analyse everything, looking for that message from him in every thing I see or imagine I see. It started right from the moment of his passing as he took his last breath to my favourite song that he introduced me to. The song before this one was for his best mate Chris a James Taylor number ‘Gone to Carolina in my mind.’ The last song on shuffle played ‘here comes the sun’ from the Beatles, sun shone down on his face through the window for the rest of the afternoon. A big huge blow fly appeared later on that night and annoyed us, and with our strange sense of humour we all said it was Jacob coming back as a March fly as his birthday was in March. Other family and friends have seen these flies in their homes too, and it wasn’t even the right time for them to be out.

The moon has become a significant part of the solar system since his passing. The moon was mentioned in the priest’s sermon in his service just after I had heard a story about Jacob and the moon from a friend when he was little. I have been told to be wary of a full moon as it plays with your emotions and I do believe I get more sooky la la as it appears. At the very same time he took his last breath a very close friend of mine who had lost her only daughter in the same year as Jacob, was transferring her daughter ashes into a special container, what made her to do this at that particular time when she’s had 7 or 8 months to do this.
There are too many things that have happened over the past 7 and a half months to write down. So I’ll share them in dot points instead of explaining them all in a long sentence.

– at the relay for life trivia night in honour of Ash Collins a single purple helium balloon floated to the ceiling

– on the day of Jacobs celebration of life as we walked into the locked room where we were going to set up, one single purple balloon was perched on the ceiling, our beautiful Ash was there x

– several friends saw the same truck with the number plates COB 222 – (222numbers being Angel numbers) and Cob was short for Cobby, a nickname of Jacob’s.

– when I wrote his name out of shells on the rocky shores of Hawaii before scattering his ashes, waves weren’t able to reach the spot but when I turned around to walk away a freak wave came and washed his name away.

– as we scattered his ashes in Waikiki the water was dead calm but at the moment I scattered a bit of his ashes four sets of huge waves came from nowhere, then it went calm again.

– a teacher found a letter that he wrote to his future self at a school retreat, he was meant to get it on graduation but as he didn’t graduate she put the letter aside. It was only when she moved classrooms that she found it and gave it too us.

– several people dream of him giving me messages – he told Jade to tell me to fix my tooth which I ended up having out just before Christmas, also to fix the star on the Christmas tree. There wasn’t anything wrong with ours at home? But there was something wrong with the star on the Christmas tree at the hospital where we were decorating the ward. It kept falling off.

– a pillow flying off the top of the lounge, Amy witnessed it too

– feelings of hair being pulled

– shadows out of the corners of our eyes

– orbs in photos

– favourite songs that come on when you turn on the radio

– phones making random funny rings

– flashes of light out of the corner of my eye

– keeping me safe when I was driving to work and the truck jackknifed which I’ve posted with this blog

– when I see a feather, a butterfly, a coin, when I just happen to look at the clock at the time 11.11 – the door is open to the Heavens for that 1 minute for us to give our loved ones a message.

– when I listen to new songs and hear messages in the lyrics that I’ve never heard before and even when I hear old familiar tunes that I’ve learned to love because of the meanings of the lyrics

– while we were counting down the minutes to his first Heavenly birthday, his 21st Adele’s words sing out of Amy’s IPod on shuffle – ‘hello from the other side’ right as the clock strikes midnight on the 13th day of March.

– when I make a wish on the first lonely star I see at night.

I wish with all my might that I continue to be connected to him, to be able to feel him throughout my day, in the sunshine, in the ocean, in my dreams, in scents and perfumes of flowers, food and certain aftershaves, in future family additions as babies who bare an uncanny resemblance to their uncle and second cousin.

I’m thankful for my lovely gift I was given today which prompted me to write this story. I found a $20 note on the ground before me, I picked it up as no one was around, walked into Subway to buy some lunch when a familiar song which holds great meaning to my beautiful boy – ‘remind me’ by Conrad Sewell. Thanks for shouting me lunch today Jacob.
So I’m sure my writing all of this down supports that I am a believer…. ‘ the soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind’ to let the messages and signs be heard and felt. For I look forward to getting my daily fix of Jacob now that he’s not in the physical world with us. I get my daily fix on family and friends who I’m surrounded by, which I love dearly but it’s so hard when there’s someone missing and you sometimes try a bit too hard and you may miss the signs and signals. I’m off to bed now so Jacob please feel free to visit me in my dreams. Sleep tight and sweet dreams my baby boy and keep up the good work of communication, you are learning from the best – from my 5 female guardian angels x ‘my 5 pink roses.’

‘Life is like the ocean…’

‘Life is like the ocean. It can be calm or still, and rough and rigid, light and dark, but in the end, it is always beautiful.’ We’ve heard these words before. Our family donated a beautiful photo of a wave to the hospital that treated Jacob. It was taken at one of our local beaches so it meant a lot more. Those words were read out when we handed the photo over to the nursing staff to put in their tv room as they described the picture to a ‘t.’ Those words also suited the photo I took of the beach to complete this weeks exploration of ‘light’ in photography and grief. I knew I wanted to take a picture of the beach as I seem to be drawn to it lately, maybe because Jacob is part of the sea as we’ve scattered a little bit of him at some of our favourite holiday seaside spots. Plus he’s a Pisces water sign in the zodiac – swim free my little fish. I drove around the point when I noticed dolphins not far from shore. I pulled the car over and grabbed Jacob’s camera and clicked away. I ran along with them parallel to the water.
When I got home I checked the photos out and I found the one I wanted to fiddle and mess with different effects for light. I tried to write on the photo using a photographic app on my mobile trying to point out where the Dolphins were and free hand drawing an arrow. I thought I was erasing my words and drawings off my photo but obviously not as when I looked at my final work of art it had pieces of all the writings and drawings I had tried to rub out, making it have a weird abstract feel about it. I chose that one over the original, cause it’s a bit weird like I am at times 🙂
I like the light blue and creamy colours of the sea and the rocks in the photo. I think I may have turned the photo a bit too light, but I like the way it turned out by mistake. These colours made me feel calm. A feeling that I have felt a lot since we lost Jacob, in all his trials and tribulations during his battle with cancer he never complained, he was really calm. If he soldiered through all of that like he did, I should live by his example and really appreciate everyday I’ve been blessed with, to stop and smell the roses and appreciate all the small things. The small things like the sparkles on the water from the sun, the dolphins swimming by, sand between your toes, dancing in the rain, rainbows and butterflies.
The two photographs side by side capture the light and dark of the ocean. Just like in life we deal with the light and dark. ‘We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are’ – Sirius Black. I choose ‘light.’ And just as Dory said in ‘Finding Nemo’ – just keep swimming, just keep swimming – in the beautiful ‘light’ blue waters and I will find you. 🐬



‘Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness….’ This is my inspiration for my next photo in the exploration of ‘light.’ I took a slow walk across the road from our house as the sun went down and took several photos. It was hard to pick which one spoke to me the most. I liked this one the best because the big trees that line the lake have a slight red glow on them and red was Jacob’s favourite colour. You can see the jetty and speckled through the trees, shining like stars in the darkness you can see the lights. These shining lights that poke through the darkness symbolises our journey of how we are coming to terms of losing Jacob and that he’s no longer here with us all. The small colourful lights are the days of good still to come when we hear that old song that used to make us cry we now can listen to it and smile and sing along. The lights are the days you jump up out of bed looking toward to the day ahead instead of not wanting to surface from under the covers. The lights are when you look at all the family photos you have and remember every moment with a smile instead of tears. The lights are the love for him that continues to glow warm from within. The lights are for the future family moments that are yet to happen like engagements, weddings and births of new generations, although he won’t physically be there with us, we will carry him in everything we do and everywhere we go in our hearts and he will be forever connected as we capture these moments with his camera – seeing the world through his eyes. In ‘hope’ we continue to see the bright lights in-between the patches of darkness.

Like the old saying says you have to have seen the ‘darkness’ to appreciate the ‘light.’ I’m not afraid of night time in all of its darkness, for its in the darkest night you can see the brightest stars ⭐️



For my second week for the ‘illuminate’ photographic course I will explore ‘light’ – (within 3 photos) This is photo number 1.

Grief can be descibed using the terms of ‘light & darkness’ and so can that one photograph that captures light and darkness in one shot. I tried to capture my light & darkness using one of mother nature masterpieces, a tree. ‘There are cracks in everything: that’s how the light gets in….’

When creating my ‘stepping on shards of glass’ artwork that I was creating for another online grief course on the website called ‘wildfeathers wellness’ I wrote down some of my triggers of grief (too many to write down) and turned them into stained glass and found a quote to accompany it. “Our hearts are like stained glass windows. Those windows are made of broken glass which have been forged back together, and these windows are even stronger and more beautiful for having been broken….”

The light that shines through the branches and leaves that I took of a tree in my backyard symbolizes these cracks like broken pieces of the stained glass letting the light through in dark times. We are slowly seeing all the light and beautiful colours in life as we live our ‘new’ normal without Jacob. We will continue to see him in all the beauty of the world, a butterfly, the sunset, the rain drops, a thunderstorm, the waves on the beach,  shells, the wind whistling through the trees letting the light shine down on us and all the stars we wish upon at night 🌟

Let there be light