Weekend Coffee Share – 6th June, 2021.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

I don’t know whether I should be apologizing for taking an extended blogging break, or whether you’ve all been grateful for a reprieve. Only so many hours in a day and all that. I get it. Truly, I do. Indeed, that’s why I’ve been missing in action for awhile and have been blogging much more intermittently this year. Real life has overtaken me, and I’m also striving towards what must be a writer’s Holy Grail…finishing a book and getting it published (or indeed, self-publishing).

My contribution to the the great libraries of the world, book shops, op shops, and no doubt recycling bins; is a compilation of short biographies of Australian soldiers who served in WWI and fusing family background, battle details, letters home and diaries where available with a focus on the psychological aspects of war and the inner man. How did they survive physically and mentally? Of course, so many didn’t make it and instead “went West” as the saying went. So, death and dying is also a significant aspect. I’ve been working on this for about 18 months now, especially since the horrendous Australian bushfires and their choking smoke forced me underground, only for Covid to send me back into my bunker not much later. Indeed, I’ve been calling this my “Covid Project.

Meanwhile, there’s been a lot going on.

On Monday, I attended my dear friend, Lisa’s funeral. We’ve only been friends for just over six months, and yet we connected very deeply and neither of us thought our friendship was going to be that short. Lisa’s been fighting a very aggressive form of breast cancer for eight years. She’d had three brain surgeries, and after the cancer started eating through her spine, there was more surgery and she had a rod put in her spine. She was married with three boys, and the youngest was only two when she was diagnosed and he’s now eleven. Sometimes, people turn to survivors like Lisa, and be inspired by their strength. After all, they’re a personification of the miraculous. They can also became what my mother calls “a case” where they suddenly become the pet project and helping them out seems to become more about people gaining Kudos that actually helping the person themselves. You can also feel sorry for them. However, when we first met Lisa, she looked relatively well and she had the most beautiful smile. We went on picnics, kayaked, saw in the New Year, the visual overrode the intellectual knowledge that she was already on borrowed time, although I was somewhat prepared to lose her. I made a conscious decision to love her, be close without holding back, even though I knew it was going to hurt like hell. However, we both needed each other and I’m glad I was there to help lift up the last six months and help her feel loved. Indeed, when a friend went to see her, she said she felt “overwhelmed by love”. A friend and I spoke at her funeral, and although we didn’t know her for long, we knew her well. At least, the Lisa she was then which is after marriage, kids, cancer…quite a lot of life.

Have you found that it’s hard to know quite what to do and where to turn after the funeral is over? That’s what I felt last week. There was a part of me which thought going back in time to before we met would be the answer. However, you can’t do that and I don’t want to wipe out our friendship or forget her. I’ve put her photo in a frame. That’s a start. I wrote a song, a poem. I think about her much of the time, and I baked her boys a cake. I can’t change the world, and as Benjamin Franklin and other before him in various variations wrote: “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”.

Anyway, dealing with my grief took me to my usual haunt…the op shops. Never knock a bit of retail therapy. As long as it doesn’t take you too far into debt, it can work miracles and if you’re going round the second-hand charity stores like me, you can save a small fortune (not that you’d be able to afford all of this stuff new.) I am particularly thrilled with my new to me fleecy-lined, purple jacket. I also managed to get my mum a beautiful designer top for her birthday.

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By the way, I almost forgot to mention that we had to buy our son his first suit to wear to the funeral. I had hope to buy him something smart from the op shop. However, he insisted on something new, and who doesn’t feel fabulous in something special that’s new? He looked incredibly handsome, and I was so proud of him, especially because he’s spent his whole life with his own serious ill mother, and the parallels to our situation were obvious. Why not me? I wouldn’t say I have survivor’s guilt. It’s more a case of survivor’s question marks.

Yesterday, Geoff and I went for a walk. Naturally, I needed to lighten my mood and walking is a true-blue healer. Moreover, we went for a bushwalk where there are some absolutely breath-taking coastal views. So, we were immersed in nature. The sun was shining, although being Winter here, it was a little chilly, but we certainly weren’t rugged up. Indeed, I think it was about 16-18 degrees Celsius. Not bad for Winter, hey?!! One of the highlights was finding a flannel flower, and it looks like there’ll be a carpet of them in about a month’s time. So, I’ll have to keep an eye out. While you’d think I’d be back at this spot at least once a week given it’s alluring beauty, I usually only get here a few times a year. As usual, life gets in the way.

Flannel Flowers

I should mention that I have two dogs up on my lap- Lady and Zac. Nothing like a drop in temperature to attract the dogs to a warm lap, and having my keyboard perched on their backs doesn’t seem to bother them – or the constant clicking. They’re also keepin me toasty warm.

How have you been? I hope you’ve been well. I look forward to hearing from you and catching up.

This has been another contribution to the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Natalie the Explorer at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

Best wishes,

Rowena

9 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – 6th June, 2021.

  1. lindamaycurry

    Nothing like a suit to make a man look good. In this case your son looks very handsome.

    A walk in nature is just what we need on these cold sunny days. I walked through our local Botanic Gardens this afternoon and it felt wonderful to see birds in the bare trees and reflections on the water.

    It is sad to lose a friend. I often wonder why their life was cut short while I live on to have grandchildren and approach old age. It is amazing to be alive right now when you consider the length of time humans have walked upon the earth.

    It was lovely to hear from you again. I may not blog again until next April. That doesn’t mean I won’t be writing.

  2. Natalie

    Good to hear from you, Rowena. I’m sorry for your loss of a dear friend. Your son looks handsome in his first suit. I’m glad you had a nature walk. Thank you for linking with #weekendcoffeeshare.

  3. Tails Around the Ranch

    So sorry for the loss of your brave, courageous friend. Having lost my mother in late April, I share in how to handle the process of loss…what it means, how to feel about it. It’s a long ongoing process I suspect, especially with someone who truly touched your life. Sending loving gentle thoughts of comfort your way. Stay well and enjoy those long walks.

  4. trentpmcd

    Hi again. Nice to see you back, though I very much understand taking a blogging break – we all need one on occasion! Sorry about your friend. Have a great week!

  5. tidalscribe.com

    It’s good to read your catch up and I don’t think it matters at all how often we blog. WordPress isn’t school, we can blog when we feel like it and when we have something to say; most of us need breaks at some time and good bloggers will be welcomed back. Your blog is timely as I was diagnosed with breast cancer this week and it really is nothing compared with those aggressive breast cancers that attack young mothers. Mine is not hereditary, good news for my daughter and is treatable and curable. I’m 68, all I have to do is have a mastectomy and get better, no worries about money, work or children – well I do worry about more stress for my daughter after my husband dying last year, but she has her brothers to help – I have three pairs of adults to help me. I am so sorry to hear about your friend, it is unbearable for children to lose their Mum.

  6. maxwellthedog

    Great to catch up and the family members sll look wonderful! I’m sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Never seems to make sense that we lose good ones so soon. For awhile we feared you’d been kidnapped by kangaroos but instead you were working diligently on your opus.

  7. Rowena Post author

    I’m back again here. No kidnapping by kangaroos here. I’m way too big for them to get into the pouch. Much more likely getting savaged by those dreaded drop bears.
    Geoff and I went on a Harbour Cruise last night to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. Our son did production and sound for the night, and did a great job. We had such a great night and it was fancy dress and so much fun. I’ve posted a couple of photos of some friends in my coffee share post who did such a great job with their outfits. It was hard to get off that boat and of course made vows to carpe diem seize the day more often.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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