Saturday, 18 March 2017

‘If I Should Die Before I Wake…..’ / Mare's Musings

My box of Love Letters to the most important people in my life

After my Mum died in 2001, I wrote her a letter. It wasn't the first one I had written her. I wrote her more than one during her life time, to tell her how much I loved her and appreciated all she had done for me throughout my life. Writing is how I express myself best. When I try to use words they often fall to the ground in a heap of mumbo jumbo and then I kick myself because I didn't say what I really felt in my heart. I get embarrassed and am not comfortable with the emotion of it. So, I write.

This might seem like a morbid topic but it is important to me and one that has been on my heart for a long time.

I write letters to my children and others that I love. I haven’t posted (as in mailed) any of them nor have I let them read them. Indeed, I'm not sure they even know they exist! (Otherwise a certain number 3 daughter would have gone snooping for them by now, not mentioning any names....or numbers!!!)

They are just sitting in a book (well hidden!!) waiting for the day they will be read.  I imagine that day will come after I’m gone. I plan on tearing each one out and placing them in envelopes and putting them in a box. They have been written at different times, during different circumstances. Perhaps after watching a movie that moved me, or a milestone has occurred in their life, or simply while waiting for one of them to finish soccer practice or dancing as I sit and watch them and am moved to write what I see and how I feel. It’s a little snap shot of history as it was that day for them to remember but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to remind them of what they mean to me. I've written them cards and letters expressing how much I love them already, but these are for after I'm gone.

From time to time, I read back through some of them and it never ceases to amaze me the almost palpable need I have to convey to them how much I love each of them and how they have each, in their own way, enriched my life beyond words.

I remember how my Father, struggling to come to terms with losing the love of his life, his wife of 50 plus years, went through every draw and cupboard of their house looking for a letter from Mum. He was sure she had left one for him and we couldn’t convince him otherwise. I saw how desperate that need was for him to connect with Mum, one last tangible thing he could hold onto in his grief, words of love from his beloved wife.

It heightened in me a deep need to ensure that I left messages of love and comfort and encouragement to each of my children so that they would never be in any doubt how treasured they are. Sometimes I think I should let them read them now but instead I try to tell them in different ways what they each mean to me through my words and actions, and save the letters for when I’m gone, because, I too would have loved to have something in Mum’s own handwriting, telling me the place I held in her heart. I’m sure I was loved, but in my time of grief I know it would have helped me endure the pain of loss a little easier to be able to open the pages of a letter, written just to me, and be reminded when I needed it the most. Even now, after almost 14 years, I wish I had a letter to open and read and find comfort in.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I'll love you Tomorrow!!!!!

It’s so easy to think that we will always have a tomorrow. We tend to think that we are immortal and that bad things only happen to other people. We are lulled into a sort of false sense of security that we have plenty of time to say and do the things we want to say and do. But life is fragile and can be snuffed out in an instant. I learnt that lesson very well in May 2014 when I had a major accident at work and am very blessed to be sitting here today. I try not to put the important things off until tomorrow anymore.

It’s incredibly important to tell your children (and others in your life) how loved they are. Each day they need to know that you love with a heart full to bursting, that you would lay down your life for them, that nothing they do or don’t do could make you love them less, but, when I’m no longer here to speak those words to them, I want them to hear and feel and know the love through the faint echo of my voice as the words printed on the pages once again convey their message so that whenever the pain of loss arises, they can read them and remember how much I love them.


Some of my crazy family that I love to bits!!!

Do you write letters of love to your loved ones?

I've often thought about making a video. How would you feel about receiving something like that from a loved one after they have passed?



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

I Hear Thunder! / Mare's Musings

Mare's Musings are Merely the Meandering Meditations of the Mind of Mare

There’s a storm brewing somewhere! I can hear it in the distance. I can feel it in the air. I can smell the sweet scent of rain drifting on the breeze as a few spots start to plop here and there from the clouds that hang on the extreme edges of the slowly moving beast. I hear it’s roar, all be it muffled, as it lopes its way across the ever darkening sky, gradually increasing in strength and volume, stirring the trees into a frenzy, until it reaches its magnificent crescendo and passes overhead, unleashing its full wrath on everything in its path and then passing on leaving the air fresh, the earth saturated and silence in its wake.
I’ve always loved thunder storms, even as a child. There is something exciting about them. The air feels charged with anticipation as a storm approaches. The usually noisy birds outside the window seem to become still and you can hear dogs barking in the distance what seems to be a warning of impending danger. The trees move with the breeze coming from the distant storm, gradually increasing in intensity as the storm approaches.
Karen and Merrion (I'm the cute one)
My sister and I used to love sitting at the back door of my Mum’s house when we were small, peering through the screen door watching the changing sky, awaiting the approaching storm with excitement because there might be hail in it that we could scoop up in plastic cups.
My children seem to have inherited my love of rain and thunder storms, at least when they were little, even though in particularly severe storms the excitement would sometimes turn to fear and panic, especially when the lights went out eliciting screams from the dark corners of the house where each child found themselves at the time of the blackout.
More often than not, especially during the evening storms, at the first flash of lightening followed by the predicable clap of thunder, we would all gather in the lounge room to sit squashed together on the lounge and watch the storm through the large window that looks out over the scenic hills and into the distance. Many an interesting conversation has taken place on those evenings when we would sit in the dark, watching the lightening with 'ooohs' and 'aaaahs' whilst screaming and plugging our ears at the booming thunder then laugh ourselves silly over the way one of us had jumped at the sudden noise.
What wonderful memories I have of those times, tucked away in the back of my mind and brought back to life simply by the distant sound of thunder as I sit here at my desk.
There is something cathartic about a good storm. Especially in summer, the way a tropical storm often clears the air and leaves a gentle breeze to dance amongst the trees and soft rain continues to patter on the aluminium roof over the veranda with a soothing rhythm, replenishing the parched ground and finally you are able to breath deeply the refreshing cool air after the stifling stillness of extreme heat and humidity.
As I sit here and watch the clouds in their varying degrees of white and grey, swirl around the sky, pushed ever forward by the eye of the storm, I find myself willing it to come this way and fulfil it's promise that it has been teasing with all morning and unleash its wares on this spot of ground. But, alas, I fear it has other destinations in mind and that we will once again only be in the peripheral of the beauty of the storm.

Do you love a good storm?  What happy or scary memories do they conjure up for you?