A mummy to her boy….

my happy lil' vegemite...

my happy lil’ vegemite…

It was a hot and muggy morning on December 15, 2003. With little wind and zero tolerance having hefted a rather large belly (along with 20-odd other kilo’s) around for the best part of nine months, I’d done everything I possibly could – including cleaning the windows on my hands and knees, drinking castor oil backwards and lying on my back with my feet in the air. Nothing worked, he was going to come when he was good and ready. Turns out 10 y o decided at 530am that Monday morning, he was ready to come into the world. There was very little time for mucking about. After sitting in the bath for 10 minutes, I told my private in-home doctor who was staying with us at the time (and also happens to be one of my besties) we’d better start making a move to the hospital, a 10-minute (save from traffic) trip from our home.

My late husband enjoyed a lead foot moment from time-to-time, god bless him and this was one of those times. He thought the baby might ‘pop on out’ at any moment so ambery-red toned lights were not going to get in his way. I wasn’t in the mood to tell him nothing was ever going to just ‘pop on out’. Well, not with the size of 10 y o’s head at least.

Once we arrived at Greenlane National Women’s Hospital and I got acquainted with the bed, the pethadine and a much needed epidural (that I waited far too long to accept, I might add) I’d barely had enough time to get my birth plan in place and hang my shakra crystals in the windows before little Peanut decided he wanted to make an entrance.

‘If you don’t get him out in this push, we’ll have to cut him out’ the doctor tells me. There were two things I was scared of before I entered that hospital – one was the epidural needle (those buggers are big) and the other was a c-section. I wasn’t having my belly cut open for no person. It seems 10 y o was in such a hurry to arrive, he’d gone and got the cord tied around his neck on his way out. Turns out that’s not very helpful. There was every chance he could have got into big trouble. That was the first time I ever tasted true fear. The next would be two and three-quarter years later when his daddy was taken from us.

At bang on 9.30am (he still likes to sleep in) 10 y o came hurtling into this world with a hiss and a roar. All 8 pounds three ounces of milky blonde hair, olive skin and the most beautiful long lashes with fine blonde tips. His very first milestone. Birth. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it. He was perfect. Soft, sweet and cuddly, he hardly made a sound. When you watch a father hold his baby son for the first time there is the most incredible warmth that starts in your heart and then goes around filling your entire body like sunshine. He was ours and he was perfect.

I could swear it happened only yesterday. But then I blink and a whole decade has flown by without even giving me time to fasten my seat belt.

Oh little Peanut (a moniker affixed to you in-utero) how you have made an imprint on our hearts. From the first moment you smiled at us and then never stopped, your hearty little giggle that made everyone smile to your first steps taken only hours after your first birthday. From finally cutting your first tooth – which took forever to come up, to strapping on your Wiggles backpack for your first day of kindy. From the first painting you made us (with beautiful bright ‘presents’) to learning to ride your little orange two-wheel bike all by yourself. From your first day of school – in a bag that almost came down to your ankles, tiny pins hanging out from t00-big-for you shorts and a hat that we could only see you underneath when you tilted your head back to laugh. From your first soccer game to your first school concert. From the first time you told me you loved me to wishing on the brightest star in the big night sky that was your daddy shining down on you. From when you learnt to write your name to when you squealed with excitement that you could ‘tie your shoes all by my own self’. From when your tiny little hands held my face and told me to ‘please stop being sad, mummy’ when your own head didn’t understand what happened to us, to when you held my hand in the taxi on the way to our wedding. From your own rendition of Gang’em Style to wearing your nude coloured skins on their own. From your first school award to topping your best in subjects you love. From the time you held my hand and told me I was brave, kissing my head to the biggest and bestest hugs you are still not afraid to give. Every. Single. Moment since 9.30am on Monday, December 15, 2003 has been the best moment ever.

Big 10 y o boy, I love that you’re cheeky and charming at the same time. I love that you’re not afraid to sing, dance or leap up in the air. I love that you’re happy to still be a kid. I love that your imagination sees you believe in the greatest of dreams. I love that your heart is so big and your mind is so kind. I love that you’re generous even though there’s only you. I love that you love The Vet so much that you always put him first. I love that when you smile, it takes up your whole entire face. I love those times when you tell me I’m beautiful and the best mummy in the world, not even winning lotto could beat. I love that you still let me dress you and fix your hair. I love that you’re strong even though you’ve been through a loss that’s so much bigger than you. I love that you’re honest and say things even when you probably shouldn’t. I love that you’re so very clever and witty yet humble enough too. But most of all, do you know what…? I love that you picked me to be your mummy.

You were my greatest gift ever. Thank you my baby boy. Love n’ hugs, Lady MamaGxox

flynnmama

 

Gender Bender: Girls play with dolls and wear pink…right?

'80s dolls...Sindy v Barbie

’80s dolls…Sindy v Barbie

Over my morning cup of cider vinegar and honey the other morning I started reading a newspaper column by a woman who was banging on about boys toys and girls toys. She said, as a kid she never played with dolls and hated pink. I’m not sure what it meant for her as an adult but I’m afraid to say, what you play with and the colour of your clothing has absolutely jack to do with what you had when you were little. It probably encourages the opposite.

Take me for example. I was fortunate to have a very blunt, very boyish bowl cut until I was 10 or 12, by then I was old enough to decide for myself and for some strange reason informed the hairdresser I wanted a permed mullet. I know those two words shouldn’t be used in the same sentence but the ’80s were not a kind fashion decade. To anyone.

When I was a baby, in what could be considered child cruelty, my mother dressed me in my brother’s hand-me-down blue t-shirts and romper suits, to which people would comment she had a ‘very handsome baby boy’. I wasn’t impressed. Then or now. I was a fat, bald and ugly baby but that’s beside the point, you don’t put a baby girl in blue. End of. I was never ever dressed in pink. Not even a slight shade of fuchsia instead my mother bought  me denim dungarees, stripey skivvies and t-shirts – which complemented the bowl cut rather nicely, I’m assuming.

Barbie and her big boobs were not welcome in my house. Apparently they weren’t realistic. Neither was her tiny waist. Instead I had to make do with my flat-chested Sindy doll who did have an unusually large head for her body (clearly that was a tolerable design fault) as well as Daisy, who I think may have been Barbie’s flat-chested, fuzzy-haired younger sister. I also liked playing with my brother’s Action Man in his little blue plastic undies. Trying to keep me from Barbie and her boobs, and her pink everything didn’t work one bit. I spent my late teens stuffing my bras full of padding and wearing chicken fillets to boost my almost non-existent bust. As well as wearing anything and everything pink I could get my hands on. My hair’s been at least past my shoulders for the better part of my ’20s and ’30s and thanks to the wonders of modern ingenuity, a decent bust can be afforded by a good bra with a pair of built-in gel pads.

And as a mum myself, I was never one of those who wouldn’t let my son play with dolls and as most of his friends in his toddler years consisted of girls, he was often seen pushing a doll’s pram and floating around the house in dress ups. When he would stay over at friends’ houses, it wasn’t unusual for him to wear their daughter’s pink pyjamas without so much as a hiccup of protest. He’s even happy to wear the pink t-shirts I insist on buying him, because I think they bring out the blue in his eyes. But like his Daddy, he’s certainly a bloke’s bloke. Hard-wired from birth.

A child is only going to want what it can’t have – be that Barbie and her big boobs, Action Man or Tonka trucks. Get over it already…Love n’hugs, Lady MamaGxox

Seven years…70,353 words…two-hundred and forty-five pages

Before tragedy struck...

Before tragedy struck…

It’s done. I’ve been waiting to exhale for a long long time but now I can finally put it up on a shelf where it belongs and breathe a big fat old sigh of relief, while high-fiving myself. I’ve been on a long and winding road of love, of loss, of grief and of finding love again. I’ve laid bare my inner most feelings on The Day That Destroyed My Life. I’ve poured out the things that were inside my head and put them all down in front of me – the bad, the terrible and the heartbreaking. I’ve spent seven long years riding a journey through grief that I’ve often wanted to get off. It’s been cathartic and at times down right bloody annoying. Not to mention the pain that hurts my heart every time I relive that day.

I’ve read it, re-read it and re-read it again. I’ve lived memories and felt goosebumps. I’ve chopped and changed and cried and laughed. But now I can truly say I’ve finished. I hope it does him justice. I hope it helps someone else who ever has the misfortune to walk in my shoes. I hope my son grows up and one day reads it for himself, learning of how we made it through together. Holding hands. Mother and son.

Love n’hugs, Lady MamaGxox

Here’s a little synopsis…

The Sweetheart Widow

 

We’d only been in Australia three years. We moved over in January 2004, packed up our son, the dog and all our belongings and shipped them from Auckland to the Gold Coast.

My husband was running a large earth-moving machinery company on the outskirts of Brisbane and motor racing in the weekends. I used to be a magazine editor but had given that up when I gave birth to our little boy. Ours was a strong marriage built of stone – we’d been together since we were 16.

I didn’t go to Bathurst that weekend. Our son was two and getting too fidgety to be kept in the confines of a pit garage so we went up to Noosa on the Sunshine Coast instead. When the phone rang that October Friday two years later, I thought it might have been to invite us to a weekend barbeque or a play date with the kids. It wasn’t. It was a call that made my whole world stop.

It’s taken seven long years for this story to take flight and there’s been a lot of heartache, love and happiness peppered throughout the days, weeks and months that have slowly made up that time. Being a widow isn’t something you get to choose. There’s no gate where you take a ticket or exit left. Especially not when you’re a mum. I’ll be forced to make decisions I don’t want to make. I’ll have to turn his life support off. I’ll donate his organs. And put the pieces of our life back together without him.

People have said I’m strong, brave and full of courage. I’m all but none but of these. I’m just a girl whose story started out like something out of a movie and then went terribly horribly wrong. I was thirty years old and left on my own to raise our little boy who will never know his dad even though he’s exactly like him in every way.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have expected to have a child, lose a husband and find a new one all in the space of a decade but this is a tale of love and survival…because you can’t have one without the other.

 

Mourning for the Daddy he’ll never know…

Blissfully unaware: the day tragedy struck…

I remember exactly where I was on Friday, October 6, 2006. I could tell you everything about that day piece-by-piece. Painting my toenails Chanel ‘coral’. Reading a gossip magazine. My pink and white bikini strapped under my shoulders so I wouldn’t get strap marks. I remember it like it was yesterday. This picture was taken on that very same day. My 8 y o was just two-and-a-half in that photo. Look how happy he is. Look at that cheeky little smile. Look at the chocolate smeared all over his face. He is a typical toddler. Chubby little squishy arms, rounded cheeks and his too-long fringe tickling at his eyelashes. He is young, innocent and sweet. Just like a little boy should be. But he is also utterly oblivious to the world of horror unfolding thousands of kilometers away in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.

This week will mark the sixth anniversary since we tragically lost his Daddy and I will always get shivers through my spine when I look at this photo. For so many reasons, most of which that I wish I could protect him from a world of pain and sorrow but also I am glad that on the worst day of both of our lives…he is happy. He’s not in the ICU unit of the RPA hospital watching his Daddy hooked up to machines helping his heart to beat, his lungs to breathe. He is not surrounded by people we know and love all praying that his Daddy will come out of his coma. He doesn’t have to watch as his Mummy keeps a bedside vigil, hoping and praying with each passing hour that the broken man beside her will open his eyes. He won’t have to hear the screams and cries as the doctor’s tell her it’s just no good. He’s not coming back.

He was too young to remember that day. Not even old enough to go to school, or to ride a bike. And sure not old enough to understand that his Daddy was never coming home. Ever. It was my job to protect him from harm, from grief and from sadness. I left him behind with a friend when I flew to Sydney to be beside his Daddy as he lay dying. I’ll never regret that decision because that is what a mum is supposed to do. I couldn’t bring his Daddy back to life but I’d make damn sure I spent the rest of mine shielding him from the grief we would both have to live with.

As he gets older, he wants to know more. He wants to look at pictures of his Daddy, wear the same clothes as he did and even likes to listen to the same music. He is almost entirely made up of the genes of his Daddy and I see it more and more with each day. He wants desperately to be around anyone with any link to his Daddy, as if trying to keep his own faded memories alive. There will never be a time when I don’t look into his eyes, the exact same eyes of his Daddy’s, and wish I could change things. Wish I could bring his Daddy back. There’s never going to be a time that I don’t mourn for the Daddy he never got the chance to know. All I can do is be grateful I have my strong, courageous and cheeky 8 y o to remind me of the beautiful soul his Daddy left behind.

Oh but we are lucky. We are lucky that his Mummy has found the most incredible man to fill our lives with happiness again. A man who respects the shadow that is left behind, while doing a mighty fine job at standing in – for us both. While we may have seen great sorrow and sadness in our lives, we will never ever forget to be grateful for what we’ve got.

Hugs, Lady Mama G x