I got a notification in my WordPress messages today saying ‘1 Year Anniversary Achievement Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com one year ago. The message brought a smile to my face as I reminisced about all the entries I’ve written, but there’s always that twinge of sadness in the undertow because of my reasons to write. My first ever entry was written on Good Friday and publish for the world of bloggers to read on Easter Sunday. Easter is a little bit later in the month of April this year, so I’ve still got a bit more time to come up with words to make another entry as I thought I’d stop writing before the next Easter. As the number of entries began to amount in my blog space I started to think of a magic number that signified the total amount that I would write. Well I’m up to 51. With one more story to tell it will bring the number up to 52. I think this is the significant number. For I am 52 years of age and I’ve been writing for a year and there is 52 weeks in a year. I’m not going to say I’ll stop writing but I’ve got another vision I’d like to see come into fruition. I’d like to share my stories of love, memories and the grief of loss with others. If one person can take one positive thing from my words of wisdom I will be happy. For I know then that I have helped someone else with their own bumpy, twisty, unpredictable and unscripted life. So if anyone out there in the world of WordPress can help guide me into turning my words into a book I’d be most appreciative.
So this is my 52nd story. I will continue to dedicate the words to Jacob so it seems quite fitting that I talk about his aspirations of becoming a famous cinematographer. As the Robbie Williams song ‘I will talk and Hollywood will listen’ sings from my iPod I hear the words – buy up the rights to my book, live on a ranch from what the box office took, it ties in nicely to mine and Jacob’s dreams. I’ve already mentioned mine in the above paragraph but the continuing lyrics that are sung belong to Jacob. I’m sure the book that I’d write would be a different one that’s already been penned as it would contain all of the successes that would happen in Jacob’s life as an upcoming cinematographer. Some of the memories of his life would be shared because they described who he was as a child, what can’t be added is bits of his future. I have his past and I’ve lost his future. The words sing from the song as if Jacob is saying them from his own hearts desires and Robbie Williams had dedicated the song for him. Quoting the words of the song ‘Kevin Spacey would call on the phone, but I’d (Jacob) be too busy, Cameron Diaz give me a sign, I make you smile all the time. Mr Speilberg look what you’re missing, doesn’t that seem a bit absurd to bow at my every word.’ We are missing him too and I’m sure Mr Speilberg would be missing him too if he only got to witness his talent just like the rest of us who got to see Jacob’s creative heart and spark. We are lucky that we have his YouTube channels to remind us that he would have made it had he been granted a longer time on earth. I’m so lucky I have his scripts of stories yet to come to life as documents on his computer and iPad. Maybe someone will take on his funny little scripts and bring them to life in as a video to showcase in an event like ‘Tropfest.’ Well he did have his brush of fame getting to work on set with Robert Redford, Cate Blanchette, Dennis Quaid, Topher Grace on the set of ‘Truth’ as it was being filmed in Australia. This was a dream of a lifetime that given to him by the charity ‘dreams2live4’ while he was undergoing treatment for Ewing’s Sarcoma.
(Jacob always pointed out that his surname was spelt wrong in the credits)
I first heard the Robbie Williams song in the company of a young theatre group where Jacob, his sisters and I belonged to. You’d hear the entire CD being played and that particular song would be get stuck on repeat as it was a fitting song for upcoming new and inspiring thespians with dreams of making their mark in the world too. The song played in the background while people were busy creating the set, and the cast where rehearsing lines. Hearing the song evokes many memories of what was and what will never be. The song will accompany the words I write, my 52nd entry and by changing the lyrics a little -‘I will talk, and someone may listen.’
As the Autumn footy season starts a brand new year in Australia this week memories flood back of the times our family was divided as supporters of the Sharks and Tigers NRL football teams. An even number of supporters on each team. Rachel, Ben are I are rooting for the black, white and blue as true sharkies supporters and Pete, Amy and Jacob proudly wore the Tigers stripes in orange black and white. Even the pets were mapped out into teams, giving an equal number of supporters. But now our numbers and supporters are off kilter, leaving the balance lop sided, leaving an odd number in our footy team supporters. That’s the way life feels now since Jacob has passed. We have to accept and learn to live this way as it is our new norm.
I’m sure he watched the Tigers win their first game of the season with a score of 18-34 as his dad and sister watched it in the ‘good’ room as we call it. I could hear giggles and cheers as their team delivered the points. My team had already had their limelight as they kicked off the season as the first game. Sadly they lost – 18-26. That’s the way it usually panned out when we went to watch a game in real life as a family. The long drive home in the car was always quiet and withdrawn for one team, the losers and statistically it was usually my team. Tigers having a bit of an edge over the Sharks on more than just one occasion. Watching the two teams play against one another at home on tv was just as traumatic. Pete would watch it perched in his favourite lay-z-boy recliner, Jacob usually stretched his long 6 foot 2 inch frame along the lounge by the window, Amy and Rach squished together on the lounge near the tropical fish tank (all the fish where technically sharks supporters just because of where they lived even though some wore the colours of the Tigers proudly – the clown fish Nemo and Marlin), Ben got himself comfy in the beanbag decked out in his favourite attire that he’d wear in all seasons – his boxer shorts, never feeling the cold. I just looked around the room and tried to fit in a spot amongst my family to watch the game. Most mothers would give up their own comforts for their family. The pleasure of seeing them all together (even when they weren’t talking to one another because of the game) the experience is priceless. I’m sure I ended up sitting at the end of the lounge that Jacob was on, with him using my lap as a footstool for his feet.
When we were at a game of the two teams we managed to get on a televised segment called the ‘footy show.’ As a try was being scored by the Tigers the cameras closed in on where it was taking place and they did a slow motion pan of the try for play back. In that slow motion shot you could see us our family of 6 sitting on the seats behind all colour coordinated for our teams waving flags. Pete, Amy and Jacobs faces wore smiles from ear to ear. Rachel, Ben and mine were the opposite as we knew that our team was losing. We found out that our family was on the footage as we watched an episode of ‘the footy show.’ We have the episode now to keep on DVD to treasure the memory. Jacob used to take his friend Kyle along for a day of family fun and we always gave him a footy jersey to wear in which ever team he chose on that particular day (usually the opposite of Jacob so they could have a bit of rival banter between tries).
Amy has her own memories of taking Jacob to many live games and those stories will be locked away in her heart for all enternity. Trips of getting lost on the way before the days of gps on your phone and getting soaked in a mad downpour without a raincoat. The very last time she took her baby brother to a game she had to leave the stadium to get money out of a Flexi teller as the grounds only sold food by cash as Jacob was starving and we couldn’t let him lose anymore weight, the horrible parasitic disease and toxic treatment had already depleted his once chunky athletic frame of 96kgs down to around 50kgs. The weather that afternoon froze him to the core as their team lost another game of what seemed to be a shocker year, they were going out in sympathy with Jacob as he came closer the end of his life.
Watching a game of footy of our favourite teams doesn’t feel the same as it once did before. I’m forever grateful for the sharkies winning their first ever grand final last year in the month of Jacob’s first angelversary of not being with us on earth anymore. I’d like to think that Jacob had his hand in making his mum’s team win. We watched the game outside under the pergola on Pete’s milestone birthday, his 60th. Pete’s friend ‘Uncle’ Trev and his son Daniel joined us in the afternoon fun on the long weekend in October to celebrate both of their birthdays as they are a day apart. The last few minutes of the game was gut wrenching and nail biting to watch as they ball was passed from team player to another. A large moth had given us a sign earlier on that evening as the game was unfolding. It flew blindly, heavily landing on me then Pete, then me then Pete again before landing on a cartoon character poster of sharkies claiming victory. Thanks Jacob for the sign. Ben was lucky enough to have bought a ticket to travel to Sydney to watch the game unfold live at the stadium. Jacob knew they would win for his mum. Pete’s team had their glory in 2005 and we were there at the live game while the kids at home had their own grand final pool party with friends.
My mum and dad religiously run a footy tipping syndicate for family and friends to bet who wins in all the games for $10 per person. The winner of the comp can’t retire for the money you could be at a chance to receive would only reach $50 – $60 depending on how many join the tipping. I have used my tipping skills to claim last place where you get $5. A win for coming in at last place. In our first year without Jacob he took part in the tipping comp among family and friends. We gave him all of the ‘home’ games of the teams. He’s participating again this year too. I will pay his $5 to play. I will always be a dedicated Sharkies fan as the team hailed from Cronulla, the first place our family lived in after we immigrated from the UK to Australia.
As we watch future footy games this year we will leave an empty space. A space for Jacob. We will look out for the signs that you are with us as we barrack for our teams. I can almost hear him now….’Go the tiger-sharks.’