So are the days of our lives………

So I hate soaps. Not the cleaning variety of course, but the one’s on TV. I will admit to watching possibly even a few years of Neighbours….. Trent and I got hooked on it for a little while as Rubes loved it. But other than that, I was never much into over the top television. I recently realised however that my life would be a perfect mini series! And no, I’m not saying I want to become the next Kardashian….. nor would I like to have a camera follow me around while I swear at everything, including my children…. As Ruby says to me on a daily basis “The Child Services will hear you one day you know……” Damn that kid for knowing too much for an eleven year old! So these last few weeks have been extraordinarily tough for some bloody reason. I’m not sure there’s an exact pattern with the shit that goes down in my life, but if I were to warrant a guess, my pending trip overseas in May is probably the reason for the kids decline in behaviour. Poppy started the year off a right mess….. Bedtimes became a few hourly event, her anxiety levels went up to that of Rubes’ on a bad day, and her fear of death, or someone she knows dying went through the roof. Her lovely psychologist thinks that she’s suffering from Post traumatic Stress, as bed time is associated with Trenton going to bed, but not getting up again. So this is what goes through her mind when she gets up and down, and up and down, and up and down…….. and whinges and complains of restlessness, irritation, aching legs and strange noises in the walls….. I am trying to keep the sleeping in Mum’s room to twice a week instead of five…… it’s tough. Just like when I did control crying with the kids when they were babies (well my version of it anyway,) I am so tired I’d probably let them sleep on my face if they asked at the right time. Rubes has hit the worst phase in a long time with suicide and death being the main topics….. oh and hanging out with Bullies doing exactly the opposite of what I raised her to do. On Sunday I busted her lying to me about what time a certain kid I shall not name in fear the C word will come out of my keyboard, was getting collected. It was most certainly just a quick play date with a swim next door…… with a promise of not inviting her to stay for dinner as I was hungover as hell and tired. After the swim at six while I’m cooking dinner she walks in and says “You don’t mind if ****** stays for dinner yeah?” Right in front of the kid so I have no choice but to agree…. through gritted teeth. So I tell this kid to go and contact her family and say no later than seven…… which she promptly agrees to with Ruby nodding away. Seven comes and she says “Oh her bro can’t come till eight….. sorry!” So I kindly offer to call this man on her behalf and tell him that no, I would like the kids to get an early night seeing as Ruby always comes home from Robs tired and cranky…. They both say that they have no way of contacting him…. and I ask how they contacted him first then!? Rubes says “We face Timed him on your ipad!” Probably thought it was a brilliant idea seeing as I don’t know how to use Face Time!!! So I asked her to get my ipad and show me the name or number she face timed…. and of course I saw it hadn’t been used in days, so I asked for his face time account details. She ran downstairs to our old iPad and i-messages a girl from school saying “Quick, Give me a face time account so I can give it to Mum…. I’ll explain later…….!” Now the reason I know she wrote this, is because I forgot that I’d changed the old iPad so that it was attached to my email instead of Trent’s. And right before my very eyes what Ruby was typing downstairs was popping up on my iPad! So she runs back upstairs and over dramatizes telling me the iPad account, and then runs back downstairs thinking she’s leaving me to Face Time the visitors sister…… who’s 12 by the way. Then I sit and watch her first hand write bitchy shit to friends, be unexceptionally rude to a person she met at school holiday program whom she no longer liked (I had told her three million times to let her down easy and just tell her she was not able to talk online anymore or something……) and I swear there was smoke coming out of my ears!!!!!! So I started typing over her, apologizing to these two girls and explaining that “I” (meaning Ruby) was just being a cow as I had a mate over who I was showing off in front of…….. boy did that go down like a bag of shit!!!!!! She screamed up the stairs saying “Stay out of my business!!!!” So I told her to get her mate, give me her iPad and get in the fecking car! I drove the kid home, giving her and Rubes a lecture on lying and how disrespectful it was etc etc….. and when we got home, Woah…. SHE LOST IT…….. From seven thirty till nine thirty she abused me in every way she possibly could….. cutting words, tearing her room apart, telling me how she was going to “show me” by hanging herself in the cupboard when I went to bed. She told me she was going to call child services so she could live in an orphanage, and I told her to come and google some stuff with me so we could find some help……… She wouldn’t come too close as she had a knife to her wrist and threatened Pops with it at one point causing her to run out the front of the house into the darkness. Poppy was pacing in and out of the house, she was terrified, I was trying to calm Ruby down but her eyes were like pins and she literally looked like a rabid animal……. Ruby’s meltdowns remind me of the exorcist. I’m not joking, I watched it recently, and the shit that flies out of her mouth and her insane strength would be terrifying if she wasn’t so tiny….. so by nine thirty I’d called a mate who arrived in three minutes flat. She sat on the kitchen floor for God knows how long trying to calm Rubes down while Poppy and I cried hysterically (To Ruby’s surprise actually) on the couch using the tissues that Rubes had spread from one end of the room to the other! In the interim I must have taken a call from my sister who became extremely worried and drove the hour with her hubby to come and support me….. of course by the time she arrived I’d allowed Ruby to be bundled off to the mates for the night, and I’d popped Poppy in my bed where she promptly fell asleep crying to a Roald Dahl talking book……. I picked up the pieces of my life that were dispersed all around the house, did the dishes put a load of washing on and waited for my sis. Whats so sad about this scenario is not the obvious pain the kids are still so going through for Trenton, but my utter numbness to the situation. I didn’t flinch when she screamed at me that she didn’t want to end up like me in any way, with a husband who left, a husband who died and a fat gut that I clearly couldn’t get rid of because I was lazy and couldn’t stick to a diet! Hey…. I left the first partner, her birth father (never a husband) and Trenton did not want to die…… not for one minute of his life on Earth. I do have a fat gut, but I don’t diet, I do yoga! And one day it may be less fat! So none of this really affected me…… but when she cried and hugged me on her way out the door to Rach’s house and she said to me “I just wanna be happy again Mum, like I was when Daddy was here…… and I can only be happy if you get me a phone.” Yes, that did get me thinking a little that she was the shallowist person on Earth, or just a typical honest Aspie…… but I believe that it was like a break through in a way….. she never talks about life when Trent was alive. So even though the added “get me a phone” part was a little over the top….. I really think she does just want to be happy like when Daddy was still here. I also realised after getting calls today from her teacher and the vice principal saying she had had a falling out with most of the kids at school, and had said she wanted to die and be with her Dad forever……..and then received a text from a fellow parent about her behaviour and how her beautiful daughter didn’t want her at her party anymore this weekend ( I totally understood this however) that man it would be hard to be Aspie/ODD and Adhd AND have lost your Dad. This kid has a triple diagnosis, the inability to see the world any other way but her way, can’t hold down a friendship, can’t stop herself from saying and doing shit she regrets all the time……. and then goes to school to kids that tell her not to blame her Aspergers on her rudeness anymore… oh and why doesn’t she get over her Dad’s death, it’s been 19 months already!! God, it’d certainly feel like an extra couple of burdens to bare…….. So as my Dad once very intelligently said when I wasn’t doing particularly well with my Ruby one day ” It could be worse Emm, you could be her……..”
It’s resonated, as it must be exceptionally true…… Enough bitching about my soap opera life, I’m going to spoon with my sausage dog, the one girl in the house that doesn’t talk back to me and loves me unconditionally!!!!! Night all. xxx

Publicly Grieving………

I was never ever one to really show the “other side” of my emotions to the general public. Not ever really. I once found a diary from year nine in 1992 where I’d written an entry complaining about the fact that if I’d just decided to be one of the people that wore their heart on their sleeves from the beginning, then life would now (then) be so much easier. Because instead, by choosing the class clown as my role in life, if I wasn’t being silly and whacky for five seconds in a row, then people would assume immediately that there was something horribly wrong with me. So there it was “set in concrete.” Clearly my closest friends have learned over the years that when I say I’m fine, that it’s possible that sometimes I’m not. But I’d rather lie, than actually say what I’m much more able to write. Hence the blogging. I started in the September of 2013 after I lost Trent in the July of the same year… And although you can go back and read all my posts, post by post, month by month, I didn’t start publicizing them until recently. And now I will tell you why. I have had to be the strongest person on Earth since I lost my man, and my kids lost their Daddy. I mean not just really strong, unfuckingbelievably strong. To the point where there is a slight chance my honesty has become brutal or even abusive to some. This kind of happens when your beautiful and happy life is ripped from beneath your feet all in a 24 hour period. My baby Pops, has coped so little with this shitty transition, that her anxiety is almost surpassing Ruby’s, who actually has an official anxiety disorder for God’s sake. I cannot cry in front of her anymore or she becomes hysterical and then I have to pull my shit together quick sticks to even hope to calm her in the hours that follow. For a month now it has been work, work work then hours and hours of up and down, crying, howling and general abuse towards me for not allowing this or that, which in her head is the cause of all the issues. But of course she doesn’t even know why she’s howling half the time… She just wishes I never left her side, that neither of us had to go to school or work, and that we could curl up on the couch together forever, never to be disturbed again. If only. Her psychologist today called it “reliving that night” each night she goes to bed, and that even her new bedroom is associated with Trenton going off to bed and then never really getting up again….. She doesn’t understand for a second why I need time off from my girls….. or my utter exhaustion, she finds it very offensive and thinks I’d always prefer to spend time with other adults than other children. She may be right on a lot of account, but of course this is not true. If I didn’t get some time per week to regroup before heading home into battle, I don’t think I’d be surviving this time at all. But that’s where needing a blogging came from. I needed an outlet, I needed to blog. I have always been able to write my feelings out better than I could say or yell them….. so it seemed only natural to get it out, onto a laptop, day or night, and just release the pressure somewhat. It felt great for the fist year……… then I got sick of saying “fine thanks, plodding along…..” every day when someone new asked me how the girls and I were going, I’m pretty sure they were asking to be courteous….. but none the less, they didn’t really want to hear the true answer…. so I began allowing my blogs to go public. And by doing this it has prevented me from having to go into grave detail with family and friends about how I really am. Shattered. Okay….. but shattered. Some of my beautiful widow support group have given me amazing feedback about reading what they cannot write….. but finding some comfort in the knowledge that they are constantly reminded that they’re not alone on this journey is sometimes enough. Although I will go back to counselling (again and again), there are times for me where this is better than trying to find words at a pre specified time. It’s been my biggest release, my greatest support, a comfort I know I can go to any time of the day or night, and it’s something that I can back into and re read many times, to see where I was at, how far we’ve come, and maybe even how far we still have to go. So thank you for all the kind words of support, and encouragement to keep blogging. I will, and I am, and I have to. Until next blog. x

Some little gems from my man……

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to Alexis, Alexis, Drew, Drew, me, Andrew, Little, mr.kanebryant, Ruff, Stephen, kathleen.kassen, kate.bryant, mattvoigt, ang.hopkins, jaspauluca, sonya.rankin, david.sharyn
Yes it is that time again that the fat man brings presents forth (and
I don’t mean me, I’m a stingy fat man), oh how the year flies. Now
since everybody tends to do their own thing over the festive season I
thought it may be nice to all have a catch up for a bit of a chrissy
BBQ and drinks. Details are below:

Date: Saturday 22nd December, the year of our lord 2007.
Venue: The tranquil hills of Tecoma (yes our place)
Time: 11.30am
BYO: Meat & Drinks (Salad, bread, etc supplied)

Limited beds are available for those wishing to stay, though you will
need to bring bedding. Beds are on a first in best dressed basis,
though there is always the option of pitching a tent out the back.
Probably not a bad idea to pack an esky if you have one as I’m sure
fridge space will fill quickly.

Look forward to Jingle-Balling you all!!!!

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to me
Hey babe,

Well I’m sitting here typing to you Saturday night at 9.20. I’ve had a
great day with the kids, albeit a tiring one, so am naturally enjoying
a few beers. Have just finished watching ’50 first dates’ and sadly
can say I have spent the whole second half of the movie shedding many
a tear, aren’t you just glad you married such a macho fella!! Well
really missing you, every time when we spend a little time apart I
really struggle, therefore to spend a life without you would be to
waste away into pointlessness. Funny how a little time away and a
soppy movie can do that to you, I pretty much just substituted us into
the movie. Have to say though it was me with the amnesia, what with my
awesome memmory and all. Anyway I know this is somewhat posthumrously,
but just needed to spill what I was feeling when I was feeling it, and
if you had reception would have called to tell you so. Anyway I hope
your having an awesome time and can’t wait to see you tomorrow.

Love ya very inlove hubby!!!!!

Trenton H-C

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to Alexis, Alexis, Andrew, Kane, Cam, Little, sharyn, sharyn, Drew, Drew, me, kassen, Matthew, Ruff, Stephen, russell, Sonya, jaspauluca

T-Dogs 33rd Birthday Bash

WHEN: Saturday 4th April

WHERE: Pig & Whistle (Mt. Dandy)

TIME: 1.30 PM

That’s right folks, am having my Birthday Bash once again at the Pig &
Whistle in Mt. Dandenong,
and have booked the same outside area where we partied a coupla years
back. Everyone is more than
welcome to drop off any bedding/grog to our house at around 1pm, as
after we are kicked out of the Pig
we will be heading back here to continue drinking long into the night.
By the way I’m sure you will be
relieved to learn that Ruby & Poppy are staying away for the night, so
no kids jumping on you in the morning
while trying to sleep off hangovers, WOOHOO!!!!!

Please be aware that you will need to bring bedding and mattress if
you are staying.

Please let me know ASAP if you cannot attend though as I need to give
confirmed numbers to the venue.

Rock On and have a pearler of a week!!!!!!


Trenton Hopkins-Curry (T-Dog)
Account Manager

Ullrich Aluminium

893 Princes Highway, Springvale Vic 3171

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to Alexis, Alexis, Ando, David, Andrew, Kane, Daniel, Drew, Drew, me, jaspauluca, Little, Ruff, Stephen, russell, Sonya, Matthew
Hey There Party People,

What: Trent’s 34th B’Day Bash
When: Saturday 24th April (4pm onwards)
Where: Kelly’s Bar & Kitchen
1510 Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road

Details: We will be leaving our house to travel to Kelly’s at
around 3.30pm, so you are more than welcome to drop off cars,
bedding, grog for later etc before this time. Please
note that there are limited beds, though ample floor space to crash,
so if you do want to crash please bring your own
bedding, and perhaps a mattress if you don’t wish to wake up with a
stuffed back!!!

IMPORTANT: Please RSVP if you are going to be eating, as I need
numbers to book a table!!!!!!

I look forward to catching up with all you funky mofo’s on Saturday!!!!!!!

T-Dog (aka Trenton the lost prince of Persia)

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to me
Hi Babe,

Tickets are purchased, am very excited about taking Rubes to her first
game, can’t wait. I reckon she’ll have a blast, and if she does I
definitely want to get a membership for us both next year, then we can
go to every home game (fortnightly), and admission will be free.
Sooooo hope she enjoys it!!!

Love you.

You rock

Emma Hopkins-curry

to trenton.curry
Hey babe, thought I’d let you know that when I’m in my darkest moment, or my lowest point, it’s the thought of you that gets me through. Love you. And thanks for your patience with all my negativity lately. I hate it too. Xx

Sent from my iPhone

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to me
Thanks for that babe. Just got your email. You have no idea how much I
needed to hear that…… I love you.

Emma Hopkins

to Trenton
Yeah, well I sent that last night when you were in bed. Just so you know that I actually cared before we had our run in this morning.

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to me
Well thank you.

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to Alexis, Alexis, Andrew, Andy, David, Kane, Sue, Daniel, Drew, me, info, Little, Matthew, Ruff, Stephen, russell, Sonya
Valued Friends, Nobleman, Ladettes,

You have been cordially invited to an evening of festivities and
merriment to celebrate the onset of the silly season. This will be a
golden chance for all to spin yarns, back slap, and let off a whole
years steam and frustrations amongst the greenery of Kalorama. I will
have the BarBee fired up, so please bring any pieces of dead animal
you may wish to char grill, or for the vegies….. any piece of
slaughtered tofu you wish. A BYO affair, please make sure you stock up
on anything of a groggy nature, as tea totelers will not be tolerated.
There will be room for those who wish to stay, though bedding and
mattress’s will be required, and of course…… first in best
dressed…. you don’t wanna get stuck sleeping next to Andy or Drew if
they’ve had a gutful!!!!!!

Date: Saturday 18th December 2011

Time: 5pm Sharp to Whenever

What To Bring: BBQ Stuff, Grog, Bedding, Mattress

Look forward to seeing you all there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trenton (T-Dog), Emm, and the Brood


Trenton Hopkins-Curry

Sales Representative

RTK Industries

Trenton Hopkins-Curry

to me
Hi Babe,

Well can honestly say I have never missed you as much as I have been
today. Woke up very hungover this morning and all I wanted was my
wife. We had a fantastic weekend though, and the girls were great,
though extremely tired at the minute, just like their Dad. Poor Liam
had gastro all last night, and apparently Rach had had it earlier in
the week, so I am just praying none of us get it. Don’t know how I’d
cope by myself if I got gastro or either of the girls. Hope your
flight went well, and that you and Claire are having an absolute ball.
We are all missing you like absolute mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you so much babe, really realising that without you my world
would collapse.

Your hubby….

6/9/13, 8:57pm
Trenton Hopkins-Curry
Call before you crash. Miss you babe. Always love the idea of having the house to myself, but whenever I do it’s just too quiet and makes me miss my family even more. Sure I won’t be saying the same thing tomorrow morning when I get to sleep in though!!!!

To new Beginnings…….

So yesterday, after a short three months planning like a madwoman, my sister and new brother in law pulled off one of the best weddings I’ve been to. It was supposed to be a combined 82nd birthday, (my sis turned 40 on Fri and Mozz 42 in Jan.) But that was just the cover story, as they decided mutually that they should marry each other, but to take all the stress, money, lead up and nerves out of it for everyone they knew, they decided to throw a big fuck off 82nd at a beautiful rooftop bar in the city. Some people caught on….. if you know the Siglo bar you may have assumed it a little over the top for a 40th with 100+ people invited at a “per head” rate……. but to be honest, I’d have never guessed if it weren’t for a friend pointing it out to me……! But then I wouldn’t know a popular bar to save my life…. I’m just not that classy really. A couple of months ago she asked me to sing at her 40th, and only recently having had throat surgery, I won’t pretend I wasn’t quietly shitting myself. So once I said yes, I was to find out the truth, but not tell a soul…. not my other sister, my Mum or Dad…… nor my kids! A harder secret I can’t remember being asked to keep. But somehow I did. And the expressions on the faces of our family and friends as they arrived was priceless… and bloody worth the wait. It’s the first wedding I’ve been to since Trent died. I won’t lie…… a LOT of tears fell during the ceremony….. and when I saw my sister and her boys arrive and the look on their faces, and when I noticed Mozz wearing Trenton’s ring on his thumb all day, and when they mentioned him in the speeches, and pretty much every time I opened a new beer. I could picture how ridiculously happy he’d have been to see them get hitched….. he’d have been whooping louder than anyone, embarrassing the bride and groom during the speeches….. probably haggling the speech givers. Later, a liturgical dance would have been performed possibly not at their request, but at some point either way (or many points) during the evening. For him to see his girls sing a beautiful song to Ang and Mozz, freshly married and glowing with happiness, or later when his baby wouldn’t let the microphone go and was singing along karaoke style to the music being played off Mozz’s ipod. He’d have cried……. he only ever cried at weddings……. or when he was really moved by something (like an ad on tv or a beautiful movie….!) That man was splitting at the seams with love, and he would have made them feel like the most in love couple on the planet….. he just had the ability to always say the right things at just the right time. (He also said all the wrong things at the wrong time, but that was intentional!) I remember when Mozz and Ang became a couple, I thought “she’s finally got what I have.” And it was true, they bought out the best in each other straight away….. like a mirror image of each other, they both had just what the other needed. Beautiful. And Mozzy slotted into the family just like Wayno had when he arrived like fifteen years ago when he married Miranda. Ang and I thought we couldn’t have scored a better brother in law than Wayno, and it was true! But I now feel even luckier that I’ve got two that I adore…… not everyone can say that can they? Just like Trenton’s family….. I scored again. I was so glad to have my sister in law to hug me as I bawled…. I knew she knew just why I was crying so hard, because this moment for me was over, and it was just the beginning for them. But this is what we as Trenton’s family deal with on a daily basis. 40th’s come and go, but his won’t. Weddings, births, deaths, birthdays, announcements….. they’ll all keep coming, but he won’t be there to turn to with excitement or utter sadness. He won’t be there to accompany me. It won’t change in the distant future….. 18 months have passed and there is no end in sight….. but sometimes a new beginning occurs, like Ang and Mozz have just experienced….. like it’s the first day of the rest of their lives…. again. What an incredible feeling that is, something I do hope to feel again one day. I’m sure I will, in the interim I am soooooo happy for my sis, she waited a long time for this man to sweep her off her feet. And it was well worth the wait. Love you guys. xxxxxxx

Life after Death……………

I’ve discovered there is life after death. But not in the way that you’d hope for. Life after death is what’s left behind when someone dies….. my life, the kids life, Trent’s families lives…… they are broken pieces of a wonderful life that once was…. and I don’t think they can be put back together the right way. We will all make do…. fake it till you make it right? Today I discovered that maybe my faking it is not quite “making it.” I was given some challenges in this lifetime, and to be honest I’m pretty amazed with myself sometimes that I cope at all….. I am not comparing my first world problems to that of someone who has been forced into slavery, born into poverty, sold in the sex industry, or beaten to a bloody pulp on a daily basis…… I am fairly certain that even I would not survive such horrendousness. But I copped my fair share, and sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in it. For the last 18 months since my old life ended and the new very unwelcome life began, I have sought refuge with friends and family, during my shifts at work, once a week when my dad comes to let me out for the night, and most recently in yoga. Not many things can make me forget what’s at home at the end of my day….. but it sometimes helps me prepare to go back into it. Truly, I have to force myself to go back home some days to tackle what’s coming….. as I never know the state of the kids, the state of the house, the state of my mind and it’s coping limits. But home I always go, because there are two beautiful girls here that do not realise that I bare the brunt of their anxieties, their abuse, their tantrums, their meltdowns, their desperate questions and demanded answers. I realise now that kids don’t really think about others…. not as much as adults do. They are loving and forgiving, and wonderful to be around, sometimes knowing just the right thing to say….. but they are self absorbed like teenagers, which is why they talk to their “annoying” parents like pieces of shit from their shoes. I cannot tell them yet that I am sad and I need help, that I want to be alone to howl in a ball….. and that their words cut through me and only add to the pain I am already feeling. Because that’s not what parents do. I can ask them to try and treat each other with respect, to talk to me nicely, the normal parent child conversations that are supposed to occur….. but chuck a few extra needs and three disorders into the mix, and then you got yourself a whole other kettle of fish. Today I didn’t get a permanent job that I really wanted at my work because apart from the fact that my “Widow Brain” prevents me from really finishing anything properly, causes me to stop many times a day and ask someone what it was I was actually doing, it stops me from retaining new information, and even blocks my memories of the training I once received in order to do the job in the first place. Couple this with the fact that I have a child with severe anxiety, high needs, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and the need to call me at work multiple times a shift (even though I have begged her to stop) to ask such things as ” Will I die if I stick my hand in the dogs ear then I accidentally lick my hand?” “I was on the floor and some fluff came off the carpet onto my pants, will I inhale it and choke to death?” “I’m sure I took my tablets twice this morning Mum, now I can feel my heart trying to beat out of my chest and my legs are going pins and needles’y…..” How do I stop these calls, when I beg her to call me after work, or I try and do the quick “you’re going to be okay Rubes, no you can’t die like that, yes I am leaving work soon, no you can’t download a horror movie, stop telling me everyone you know has a phone and you would die of happiness if I surprised you with one soon like your friends have….. you are not going to commit suicide because we adore you and can’t lose one more person from our lives…….” Then I’m supposed to hang up and go straight back to the reality of work (which I do try so hard to do) answering questions about the council, trying to explain why you need a planning permit or a $3000 geo-technical report for a five thousand dollar deck……. whatever is thrown at me, I can hack it, because at home I have a dead husband buried in a memorial garden, a 7 year old that takes hours to put to sleep and I constantly have to counsel about her daddy, and an 11 year old that behaves like a 15 year old. And demands to be treated like one. I have lost friendships from her language and poor behaviour choices, now I have lost the opportunity at a good job because my husband died, my brain got fried and my daughter has to call me twenty times a day to ask seemingly ridiculous questions. When does the teeth kicking in stop I wonder?

Sleep…… and Death.

So apparently control crying is not just for babies…… I know this because it is currently being used unsuccessfully in my household on a nearly eight year old girl. And my patience is wearing thin. Let’s not bullshit, sleep has never been my friend. I have been a light sleeper since my teenage years….. and even when dropping into bed at 5am after a truly disgraceful night out….. I’d be up by nine or ten. What the????! I used to wake to a pin dropping at the end of the house…… and found it difficult to sleep over my Dad’s snoring from across the hallway with both doors shut. In fact I used to stay at a mates in Sunbury who insisted on having a trillion non digital clocks around the house, and after Trenton, myself and the kids would sleep over, she used to have to go on a clock hunt in the garage the following morning to find them all to put them back around the house!!!!!! I’m sure it’s no surprise that I now have a complete addiction to sleeping with a fan blaring in my ear….. yes, even in the middle of winter. I even have a battery operated one I can take camping…. in fact I have three in case the first two run out! Ahhh….. the weird things that children do to us. I mentioned in many posts prior to this one that it took years and years for Trent and I to get Rubes to sleep quickly, and the years of it taking up to four and five hours of going in and out, screaming and yelling and threatening her with her life nearly killed our relationship…. that was before we discovered Melatonin of course (Mother Nature’s answer for kids on the spectrum who can’t wind down at the end of the day..) Well now I’ve got a seven year old who hates going to bed, more than life itself it seems. And shit, if I thought Rubes could throw a tantrum, I sure was in for a treat from kid number two. I know there are “other issues” going on of course, and I can be as sympathetic as the next person…. she is afraid of me dying every time I leave the room, let alone the house. But it doesn’t give me more energy to deal with the fighting at the end of an already long day, so what do you do? I literally have been doing control crying!! I let her howl it out for as long as I can… then I go in and soothe her for a second……. then another half hour to an hour of letting her scream and yell and throw shit around…. then I go in and try and talk sense into her…… which is followed by yet another however long tanty that usually gets me to the point where I want to punch her, but of course I go in and cuddle her till she stops. Then she starts saying she misses her Daddy…. (which she always ends up saying once she’s cried for a bit, as he would probably have gathered her up and soothed her) and all my anger disappears, and we talk about him for a while….. She’ll tell me stories about funny things he did with her, and I’ll tell her stories about how she was with him as a baby…… (it’s always the same stories and the same questions….) and then I’ll finally leave again…… with my fingers and toes crossed that I’m done again, but for the night this time. I’m a little over it…. it’s getting closer to midnight each night, and although I’m always up at this time, it’s usually because I need my “me time” which can’t start till the kids are in bed! Grrrrrr……. Anyway, I have had her in my bed the whole time Rubes has been away at camp, and I’m a little exhausted. Is it terrible to start counting down the days till May 11 when I fly out of the country kid free for three and a half weeks? I do feel awful leaving them behind, but with it then being close to two years of dragging these beautiful and tainted girls through their horrendous grief, with my grief being quite often unable to be felt…… I am just a tiny bit ready to be a selfish cow, and pretend I’m 21 and backpacking again…. with not a care in the world apart from where my next round of beers shall be drunk and with whom I shall drink them. I wonder how I shall fit my fan into my suitcase? (I am not joking about this of course.)
This week, we lost our most beloved family dog Oscar. He was a giant white American Retriever who reminded me of that Luck Dragon from The Never Ending Story, with the most divine of personalities to go with his extremely adorable looks. You never got far walking along with him because he seemed to smile with his entire body, so wherever he went people had to stop and talk to him. (A little similar to the man I married I think.) He came along when I was pregnant with Rubes, 11 years ago via my sister Ang, and we think he was already a few years old then. He got bad arthritis in his joints a few years ago, and has waddled around, without a grimace or complaint ever since….. until the last few months. Ruby had this affinity with Oscar…… they adored each other. She has always had an incredible ability with animals, and it wouldn’t be strange to get up at three am to find her curled up with Oscar, covered in his thick white hair, with them both tucked up tightly under her doona, both heads on her pillow. She adored him…… I found out just after she’d left for camp…. and I have fretted about telling her all week. Turns out I needn’t have worried….. she ran into my Mum’s next door neighbour’s daughter who ironically was also on Grade 6 camp from a completely different school, but both at the Anglesea Camp, and she went straight up to Rubes and said “Gee, wasn’t that sad that Oscar died?” I literally couldn’t believe my ears when she called me at work on Wednesday, because who on this damn Earth would have thought she would run into Oscar from Ascot Vale’s next door neighbour in Anglesea?! Only in my strange little world, I’m sure of it sometimes. Anyway, the first thing Poppy said when I told her after we’d had a massive teary together, was “At least he lived a long life.” Everything since Trent’s death has been about how old they were when they died, and if they had kids, then how old where their kids? She asked a mate recently after his father passed away, and when he said he was 42 years old she said “Well at least you weren’t six.” Which is true, but unfair none the less. It doesn’t really matter when you lose someone, the pain is still raw for everyone. Rubes called me back after her meltdown on the phone to say that she was okay, wished she’d been able to say goodbye, and that she wanted Oscars bed to keep in her room, in memory of him (which she’ll probably start sleeping on.) So maybe their pain threshold for losing someone/something that you adore has risen. What a sad thought….. At six and ten, and now seven and eleven they should not have experienced so much death let alone seen it in all of it’s hideousness….. but alas they have. And what we saw can not be unseen…… I can only hope it does not fuck up their little heads for life. But this is something I will not know for sure until we can look back on it all in twenty years, and they are still able to look me in the eye and talk about it……. I guess it’s one of those “only time will tell” scenarios that we’ve all become only too aware of. Night night. xxxx

The Widowhood……

Yup……. I’m a part of yet another minority group. I’ve been the single parent, the parent of a kid with special needs, the parent of a six year old dachshund with extra needs, and now I’m a Widow….. and not just any “old” Widow, but a young Widow. Woohoo!!!!I wonder which special group I’ll get to join next!? It’s been the worst roller coaster ride, one I never wanted to go on….. and I’m yet to get off it, but certain things have helped along the way. In the first few years after Ruby’s diagnosis of Aspergers, the only way I survived was through stumbling across a support group in Upper Ferntree Gully for parents of kids with special needs. I walked in terrified of what I might find, of not fitting in, of not having a “disabled” enough daughter….. seriously!!!! But they were wonderful….. all the parents had a different story to tell, and in the months that followed we all told our own slowly. I admired so much what some of what these women were going through, with some kids having dual or even multiple diagnosis, some with two or three kids with disabilities, and a lot of them had been left, or were separated… and yet they were surviving. It showed me that although difficult, my daughter would be capable of living independently of me one day….. which was a massive thing compared to what some of these other parents faced. Plus, I had Trenton…….. who they all adored because he was so hands on with Rubes. It grounds you when you are surrounded by people that were dealt the same shitty hand as you, and it’s humbling when you see what they can achieve every day. When my best mate died, I wanted to be dead too. The thought of facing this life without him was unbearable….. and no, quite often just knowing that the kids needed me was not enough. Contrary to what some people would want to believe. We used to joke about who would die first and I told him plain and simple that it had to be me….. because I could not bare the pain of losing him. I meant this to the point where I also told him that if he ever cheated on me, I would mow him and his mistress down with my car and make sure that he could never do it again! I’m not sure if you’d call it ironic, but we spoke so frequently about him stopping smoking and getting healthier because I was terrified that he would die of a heart attack before he was 40 and leave me to raise the kids alone – my absolute worst nightmare. How little I knew then of what this would actually feel like. Only months after he died, I realised I needed to meet other young people that had lost their partner…. gay/straight/with or without kids….. because I know my Mother and Father in Law were going through their own personal hell after losing their child…. my sister in law had lost her brother who was her lifeline…… his best mates had lost their beloved Trenton who was the entertainment at every event, but I had lost my husband and life partner who just so happened to be the father of my kids. A different scenario all together. None of these could be compared, they were all horrendous and unspeakable. So I felt the need to talk to others like me. I did all the expected stuff, the counseling, the kids therapy, the copious amounts of coffee (or booze) with close mates who were amazingly supportive….. and truly my day to day life could not have continued without them. But when you sit down for a beer at the end of the day, and your mates are all partnered, or bitching about their exes, or complaining about mundane things…… it hits home how shit your life really is. Now friends, please don’t stop bitching about your partners/exes and mundane things! (Cause I rather enjoy listening to it now!) This was only in the first year or so when it was still all so raw….. which is why this is when I searched for and found “The Young Widows” (under 50) group on meetup. It was literally the ONLY thing that I could find that met the criteria I was searching for, and it seemed like a great idea……. unfortunately it was being run by someone that no one ever met, who never turned up to any meetings, and it ran on weekdays in the city when no one could ever make it. So it was proving to be a bit of a fizzer. After a few months of trying to get a weekend catch up organised with her, the person who ran it sent me the link to take over the group, so I happily did. Kim, one of the first widows I met and adored suggested we start a private Facebook page were we could approve meetup members and facebook searchers, and only Victorians could apply so we could meet once a month and chat face to face, allowing our kids to meet other kids that had lost a parent. And the WWSG (Widow/Widower Support Group) was born. (I never really liked the name, but because all the names we tried to think of one night after a few bevvies just didn’t quite fit, we got stuck with it. It seems “We of the dead Hubby’s,” “Widows are us,” “No dead partner? No entry” and “The lonely Widows” was not so widely agreed upon after all! All great names, yes…. just probably not too enticing for new comers. I swear the first month I was on night and day blurting out everything, anything, swearing, screaming, listening, giving supportive responses and just generally being intrigued by the other Widow and Widowers stories. They were all so horrendous and heart breaking…. and all different. At the beginning we were all so subtle and didn’t ask how people’s partners had died, because you knew when it was the right time that it would come out. It was no holds barred when we met for our first Widow night out in Sth Melbourne however, just add alcohol and the protocol goes out the window! We laughed, we cried….. we talked each others ears off…… and we felt like there was a place for us after all. Some people had insurance, some had none, some had kids, others none, some lost homes, some bought homes, some had amazing families, some were estranged from theirs….. but no matter what we were before we were widowed…. it was simply being widowed that bought us all together and put us instantly on the same level as each other. It’s a certain kind of camaraderie that I had felt for that short time that I was a single Mum, before I met Trenton. And it felt good. We had the most successful catch up today down my end of town…. the kids got along well (mostly) and the conversations just flowed so well it was five hours later before we realised it. We recently organised our first Widow weekend away for the end of Feb to Phillip Island, and quite a few people are stepping out of their comfort zones to come and just “be.” I am so looking forward to it. Nothing can replace your life long mates, your school Mum mates and your family….. but damn it feels good to throw in the mix a few people who have and still are experiencing things first hand, as you currently are…… it just gives you that little push to get you through yet another day or event without your internal organs in tact. xxxxx