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.’
A hug is like a boomerang you get it back right away. This is a good friend of mine who I met at such an emotionally traumatic time in my life x Our paths first met in 2014 at the hospital where our young 19 year old children were being treated. Our favourite nurse had told us that another family were here with the same cancer as Jacob so I immediately went & introduced myself to this family. I went to visit her at her house after our children were discharged in between treatments. Her first impression of me was the total opposite of who I really was & she began to think that we wouldn’t have the connection to become good friends. I’m so glad that her first thoughts were wrong. I knew we’d hit it off as besties. We are now kindred spirits, soul sisters, sisters from another mister, friends for life. For my friend Cathy Collins knows the heartache of losing a child just like me, from the same horrible parasitic disease Ewing’s Sarcoma. We just get each other, it can be a long time between visits & the deep & meaningfuls & we just pick up where we’ve left off. Maybe we were sisters in another life. ‘Friends are medicine for a wounded heart and vitamins for a hopeful soul.’
I like this quote that I found on the Internet about families. ‘Family is made strong. Not by the number of people you share the dinner table with, but by the memories you share together and the commitment of love and support you show for each other.’ I think this quote encompasses those two words that our family came up with 😊 this is a photo of our family 3 years before Jacob passed away ♡ this is another favourite family quote ‘our family is a circle of love and strength with every birth and every union the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love, every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger’ all because two people fell in love.
Week 11: ‘outside’
Don’t think we’ll be using the pool and spa much now as our weather has begun to change as the next season approaches. We will have to wait till later in the year to be invited back into the special spot in out back yard. We can heat up the spa in the cooler months but by the time you’ve ran from the spa to the house wrapped up in a towel you’ll want to go back in the spa to be warm again. This is a space where I can relax, collect my thoughts and recharge the batteries after a busy working week all outside in the fresh air during the day and night. I’m going to stand outside in this space right now ~ if anyone asks ~ I’m outstanding! (Just kiddin’) 😉
Week 10: ‘cords’ What a coincident that I received my bracelet in the mail today that is made from a high quality military grade paracord & this week’s theme is cord. Another beautiful mum that I’ve never met before has been voluntarily making these bracelets in honour of her son that she lost to Rhabdomyosarcoma. I belong to a few Facebook groups specifically for sarcoma families, patients and parents can connect and share their fears, hopes and dreams from all over the world. We all want to hear the success stories to keep us motivated in our own struggles. I received a heartfelt letter from the mum accompanying the bracelet. It gave a brief description of who her beloved boy was and I learned that he loved the outdoors & survival gear. The bracelet’s cord can be unwoven and used to get me out of a jam out in the wilderness or a concrete jungle too. A symbol of strength in a simple cord. I will wear it proudly for Jacob, Dan, Ash, Mitch, Kailem and Rhys – the warriors still fighting, the superheroes we’ve lost and the brave survivors.