Week 20: ‘in the kitchen’ Looking at this big bowl of colourful and vegetable dense mixture to make spaghetti Bolognese makes me reflect on people’s comments and articles I’d been given to me saying that we could have cured Jacob’s cancer if he ate a diet rich in ‘this and that.’ If only we could have saved him by food alone. Jacob’s cancer wasn’t cause by his diet or poor lifestyle choices. Ewing’s Sarcoma is caused by a gene mutation between cells when they are changing with growth that is inevitable with youth and young adults. I must have fed Jacob well as he grew into his 6foot 2inch frame at 95kgs prediagnosis, and I continued to nurture him with nutritious food disguised in his milkshakes as his disease depleted his appetite towards the end of his life. If love and food could have saved him he wouldn’t have got sick in the first place. The secret ingredients to a mother’s recipe is always ‘love.’ We ate this yummy meal amongst our family and chatted together sharing stories from our day and we were thankful. Thankful for the food before us, the family beside us and the love between us.
Running a little late with last weeks photographic moment – ‘a collection.’ Looking back at the photograph I should have dusted 🙂 as I can see it amongst my husbands collection of DVD box sets and all the memorabilia that go along with those movies. The treasure chest is a special container holding maps, clues and special features, bonus’s and extra DVDs all related to the making of the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ with the newest adventure opening in Australia next week. My husband is I’m sure a borderline hoarder, not in the sense that he can’t throw things out he just keeps adding to his collection. Our family does have a love of movies with ‘horror’ being our favourite genre. So many memories of us all together watching the latest scary movie together with fingers and hands covering our faces as we anticipate a fright going to happen in the scene and we’d end up all asleep with the movie replaying the menu screen. Jacob had inherited his dad’s love of movies which inspired his career choice of becoming an upcoming cinematographer. They would both be terrific to have on hand at a trivia night to answer questions about ‘what was the name of that film’ or ‘who was the star in that film’….You never know what you feel like watching when you get a chance to stop and relax in this busy world of ours. But as I do chose one to watch I can’t help but to think ‘what would Jacob like about this movie.’ Life is a collection of those such moments ❤️
Week 18: Beginnings
‘And suddenly you know…it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.’ I’ve only been African drumming for a month now (every Monday night at 6pm for an hour) and I have had the pleasure of performing to an audience just after two weeks of practice. I know the video of us performing a song on the night isn’t technically a photo but I thought I’d share it with this entry. I’m 3rd from the left 😄 I won’t lie, I was scared at the concert but it was an excitable butterfly feeling inside of me just like the feeling I got when I was a little girl getting her first ride on a merry-go-round. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, just like the first time I slapped my first base and tone on the drum. My teacher said she witnessed that smile on my face when I first made music – she thought to herself ‘she’s hooked.’ And I was! I’ve always found that when I listened to particular instruments and songs an inner stirring of rhythm comes to life and it makes me feel, either physically by dancing, clapping, tapping my toes or swaying my body or emotionally by laughing, smiling, singing, humming and crying. I drum with several ladies who like myself have lost a child and we all belong to our local chapter of the compassionate friends group. We now play our beat on our drums in unison for our children in the hope they can hear, feel and see us all connecting together. I know in my heart that Jacob hears me play for him. I might lose the rhythm and beat the drum out of time but that’s what happens in the beginning. It’s the journey of the learning in the beginning makes it magical. Then one day you’ll look back at how far you’ve come and you can trust your ideas that learning African drumming was a wonderful idea.
Week 17: ‘next to me.’ I can hear the words of the song by Emeli Sande ‘next to me’ sing out from the radio in the car. These lyrics stir thoughts and feelings ‘When all I need is a hand to stop the tears from falling I will find him, I’ll find him next to me.’ I know he’s there beside me, next to me, surrounding his family in everything we do, in a spiritual sense and physical sense (as he is in his life size cut out). People may think we’re a bit weird in the things we do to keep him connected to our lives. We get Jacob out of his cardboard box (we can laugh about it and he would too) at every family function we have. We have photos taken with him, toasting him and sharing our love for him including him in everything we do. He will celebrate with us future engagements, weddings and births of new generations of family in this cardboard form – ‘next to me, next to us’ ♡ Over the years we will change in our photo’s with Jacob, we will age but Jacob will stay youthful and ‘forever 20.’
Week 16: ‘on the phone’ Technology has come a long way since I was this age (7 years). This is my neice playing a game on an iphone which is then placed in virtual reality glasses giving you the sensation of being there in the moment whether it be on a rollercoaster, finding your way out of a maze, scuba diving in the ocean or escaping a haunted mansion. My neice finds multitasking easy as she enjoys a virtual reality adventure while eating an Easter chocolate brownie slice. No mobile phones when I was this age. The telephones were absolutely huge and heavy on your fingers as they traced the circle identifying numbers. I grew up in times where there were public pay telephone boxes on nearly every street corner. I’m glad I grew up in the early 70’s and have had the pleasure of seeing how technology has changed and improved (just like me) like a nice drop of the season’s finest wine.
Week 15: ‘My Space’ – Please excuse the mess of my space 😊 I really need to declutter, be stronger and throw stuff out. My husband is a bit of a hoarder and as we are becoming ’empty nesters’ we seem to be accumulating more stuff. This is the space where I work on the computers with photography and writing mainly. I use a Mac computer & windows PC which sit side by side on different desks depending on what program I’m working and share a printer/scanner between the two. I even have to share my chair with the cats. This room used to be our dining room but over time it has transformed to the computer space that’s become ‘my space.’ When my children are here they tend to sit with their devices wherever they are, not necessarily sitting on a chair by the computer like me. I need both the light (love the light shade) and lamp on to see as my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be and if you look closely through the window you can see the washing on the line under the pergola out the back (looked like rain). In ‘my space’ I’m not messy, I’m just creatively organised. 😊
Week 14: ‘in the drawer’ No treasures to find in these draws lol as these are the ugliest of draws in our house 😊 Our house was already old (30 years + ) when we moved in and fast foward to present day we’ve been here for 22 years. Wow where does the time go! These ugly draws live in our very old but still functionable kitchen, although it’s a mystery what’s in the bottom draw as it’s stuck. They were once originally a dark brown colour laminate exterior in their prime (hence the brown showing through the scratches) and have had several upgrades thanks to my husband who’s a house painter. He painted them an off white which looked great when it was fresh but it’s crying out for a re-coat now and the fluorescent light makes it looks even more sickly. The ornate handles fall off when you try and open the draws so I’m in constant hunt for modern replacements at a cheap price. I really shouldn’t complain after all it’s just a set of draws to store things in and they are part of an old, well lived in, cluttered house full of love.
Week 13: ‘where I live’ ~ I’m glad I set my alarm to greet this particular new day on the 1st Oct 2016 last year on a crisp Saturday morning to take that one photo among thousands that speak to you and reveal a hidden butterfly in the tree as the sun peeps through. The sun came up at 5.35am at my neck of the woods at Mount Warrigal NSW Australia.
I have so many happy memories of family get-together’s in the surrounding areas of the photo. Many barbecues and picnics we’ve had on the shores of the lake and by the ocean and trekked around Windang Island at low tide like castaways on a deserted Island looking for treasure. My parents still live in the house where I grew up just a few streets below this photo. I made cubby houses in these bushes as a child with neighbourhood friends and slid down the long grass on broken up bits of cardboard. My husband and I moved back to this neighbourhood just before Jacob was born. So this place has been his childhood memories too. We share that connection of beauty. I have Jacob’s past locked deep within my heart as I travel the future with his older siblings. I will search for pieces of him in everything that life will bring – future weddings, births of new generations, songs that come on the radio, the stars in the night sky, and all the new colours I see because he was mine. Fly high forever 20 like the butterfly I captured in this photo. (A message to Jacob – On top of this mountain I’m a little bit closer to you -‘ I will continue to see the world through your eyes through the lens of your camera 😊
Week 12: ‘Windows’ This is our newest addition to our family as from last night. His name is Monty (known as Sailor by his previous owners 😊) my nephew & his girlfriend had to surrender him for several reasons. He was very loved & spoilt by his first family and we will continue to do so. Our other cat Mike wants to get to know him & play being only 2 months older & still a kitten himself, but Monty is taking his time with getting acquainted hissing & growling at him. I have faith they will get on over time, we just have to go slow and gently. I think he’s pretty comfortable here in this photo looking out through the window into the wild jungle outside ~ beyond the safety of his cat Taj Mahal
‘help2help’ is a Not For Profit charity which was founded in Australia. It supports children around the globe aiming to improve access to education and healthcare in disadvantaged areas in South East Asia. Their mission is to help Cabodians beat the poverty cycle and their brutal past in providing much needed safe and healthy education in areas not serviced by major charities throughout regional Cambodia. The inspiration for help2help was born on a 2011 extended family vacation where the Webb family saw the need to provide assistance to impoverished communities, particularly schools in outlying areas from the City of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Wanting to get more out of their holiday than simply visiting tourist destinations they endeavoured to provide some assistance. The Cambodian guide, Lyheng, took the family to visit a school on the banks of Ton Le Sap where they were moved to assist after seeing the abject poverty. What they experienced and having experienced what they did, the family could not return to Australia and not assist. On their return the Webb’s began the arduous task of establishing a charity in preparation for their return to Cambodia. In doing so they have been encouraged by the assistance of many individuals and were buoyed by the outpouring of passion from different parts of the community. The goal of the charity is to build schools across the globe because every child has a right to an education. The first photo is of Harry Webb at the ‘help2help’ charity in Cambodia. He is one of my son Jacob’s close friends. The second photo shows how Harry and his mates supported my son at the beginning of his treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma. They all shaved their hair to support him. After Jacob passed away we donated all of his unopened/unused medical items like catheter drainage bags, dressing kits etc and lots of his clothes to ‘help2help’ and these were delivered in Nov ’15. I guess it was our family’s way of ‘paying it forward.’