Today is the first day of year one for Miss E. After a minor meltdown yesterday "because the work will be harder" she is so excited to be starting!
There are so many moments to remember in each school year. You can collect and hold each piece of work that they bring home ... but does that actually tell your story? And will it be a blessing or a burden when you give it to them when they are older?
I love to create memories. I love to tell our story. These are a couple of little tips I have found along the way.
First of all I love this "School days" binder. It goes from Prep (or kindy depending on your state) right through to year 12
IT gives you a place to record those important facts such as the teacher and friends, but also allows you document things like what they were reading, favourite games, music etc. Plus their is space for photos, certificates etc
You also don't need to spend a lot of money. Each year I grab one of these plastic folders for miss e. If there is something I deem worthy of "keeping" such as certificates, newpaper articles, programs, tickets, it goes in here. It is quick easy and done. Why make things hard when they can be simple?
When school is over this afternoon I will grab our video recorder and ask her some questions about her day. I find it is better in the afternoon so not to get them worked up about the day ahead.
Oh and pictures. You know me. There will always be pictures!
All that sadness yesterday! It just isn't right for my uncle Denny!
Denny might not be with us any longer - but gee he won't be forgotten! And I truly believe the way you honour someone you loved when they go is to take a little bit of them and put your memories into action. Take the parts you loved and respected and make it your own!
Denny did that when my Gran (his mum) passed away. My Gran never forgot a birthday. Every birthday she would be the first to call, and a card would always be in the mail. It was something that left a real whole after she was gone.
But Denny took that tradition, and put a twist on it and made it his own. Every year after Gran died we would get a late night phone call from Denny. Every time it would suprise me! Especially when he would ring to wish Miss E a happy birthday long after her bedtime. He knew we were missing Gran. And he did his best to carry the tradition on.
Birthdays are NOT my strong suit. Immediate family I can remember - the rest of the world I am a mess with.
But we were blessed. Paul received the very last "denny" birthday phonecall as Denny was too ill to ring his twin (my dad) this year.
And Paul suggested we take the tradition and make it our own. Make sure Gran's calls and cards are carried on.
I spent the better part of yesterday organising. I'm not quite there - I still have some addresses and birthdays to find but we are on our way.
Together Paul and I are going to endeavour to recognise every birthday amongst our loved ones and friends this year in some way. We are going to do it in love and memory of our Gran and our Uncle Den. Sometimes it will be a card. Sometimes a call. But we are going to rememeber
I'm sure others will do the same ... the more the merrier. It is not something that needs to be owned. But something that should be shared.
Bout time I organised that area of my life anyways!
Yesterday was hard. Really hard. Quite honestly there is not much about a funeral I like. At all. And I'd like to leave it at that. But even though this blog post is so hard to write, there are words I am aching to get out. I need to remember.
Yesterday we finally said goodbye to my Uncle Denny.
Uncle Denny was a jokester. He always had a joke. Often they weren't very good - but if Denny was there you knew a joke or 10 would be told. No fear of that. Add his brothers into the mix and the jokes could go for hours. And none of them would be all that funny. But we would laugh anyway, cause that is how we did things.
Seems he had the last laugh, even to the very end. His funeral was delayed, because of floods. Twice. How many people can say that?
It gave people reason to crack a tiny smile too you see. Denny's wedding was also surrounded by floods. People laughed a little and reminisced about having to get to the wedding by boat. Or husband and wife taking two separate routes to make sure at least ONE of them got there! You see - I think Denny wanted to make sure we had something to smile about. He wasn't one for sorrow.
But beyond the normal sorrows of a funeral, for me, I found yesterday REALLY hard.
Yesterday we said goodbye to my dad's twin. His "other third" as my sister said (I'll leave you to work out the logistics of that comment - but it makes me smile as I try to figure it out)
This is the brother who didn't even need to finish my dad's sentences. They really did have a link. They could have a conversation with a few random words, and somehow it would all make sense - well, it seemed to anyway.
This is the twin that my Gran didn't even know she was having. I will never forget her telling me about the x-ray (yes - x-ray!) that she had shortly before the twins were born. She said seeing those two little spines was the sweetest thing she had ever seen, and even in her twilight years I know she wished she was able to keep it.
These are the twins who were always up to mischief. Trouble makers I hear. But in a fun way!
These two shared a love of sport. A competitive nature. A love of laughter and their families. And a strong strong love for their mum - my Gran. And yesterday - I watched my dad say goodbye. Yesterday I saw strength and weakness combined in my dad ... and I could do nothing to ease his pain but be by his side
Yesterday also made me ache for my cousins. But despite the obvious pain they were in - they made me so proud my Jason and Jodee.
I cannot imagine burying a parent. God willing it will be a long long way away. We still have a heap of memories to create!
And my cousins are just about my age. I ache for them. But you know what? They did their dad so so well. I am just bursting with pride. They created a beautiful service for their dad. They were gracious hosts and hostesses. They hung in there - even though circumstances and delays would have made things so much harder than usual.
And when Jason farewelled his dad with the eulogy I was almost bursting with pride for the man he has become.
It made me realise that we are all growing up. And has we say goodbye to family and friends in the coming years, it is time for the younger generation to stand up and take the burden from our aunts, uncles and parents. I pray it will be a long time before we need to come together in sorrow again. And in the meantime, I pray I will be up to the task of easing the burden and help carry the load.
Somedays I feel I still have a lot of growing up to do.
I remember yesterday morning walking out to my front yard with an armful of household junk praying for God to bless our "stuff" and make someone want it!
Well, just like the loaves and fishes he took what we had and multiplied it for his glory.
I wish I had a photo. Honestly - I was too busy. Unlike typical garage sales people can from 6 am (yeah - so much for not before 7!) and kept coming till after lunch.
Really - what we had to sell was nothing too significant. Kids clothes, some very old prams, books and kitchen stuff. Just things. A friend and her 5 year old came and added some helping hands and some beautiful clothes to the party.
By the end of the day - we had made over $600 - and every single cent is going to the floods. We only had one cynic all day ... almost everyone was overly generous and many gave us extra!
I had put out into facebook land a request for someone with a ute to come and help us cart away the "leftovers"
I was blessed with more than that. I discovered news of another garage sale happening on the Sunday - again with all funds to go to the flood appeal! A quick chat later, and he turned up with a flat bed truck and took every item we had left to give it a chance of selling again! So NO clean up! What a blessing!
I am very tired. I even had a nap. How lucky am I to have somewhere clean to nap and rest ... my prayers are with all those suffering and every volunteer knee deep in mud.
Our local council has a call out for blankets and sheets so I am off now to get a load to drop down this morning.
A friend who is a rural firie (God bless them!) is in Goodna cleaning up. He wants cleaning supplies. Gloves, bleach, tissues, discinfect etc. We are blessed in our town to have everything we need so I think this is my next step - working out how we can do a fast collection and get it down to him.
You can ALL do SOMETHING! I promise!
Aussies don't stand by the sidelines. We are there in the trenches with our mates!
At lunch time today we decided we had to help the flood appeal anyway we can. By 12.30 we had decided to have a garage sale ... all profits to the Qld Flood appeal. And by all profits I mean every single cent.
By 1pm I had the weather forecast and all looked fine to go ...
By 1.30 a I had told a friend and she and her 5 year old had decided to join forces with us.
By 2pm we had a float and an add in the paper.
By 3pm we had started to source the masses of stuff we could sell (much of which has been waiting in our shed for several months waiting for a free sunny day when I wasn't working to have a sale!)
By 4pm we had a mess. But a workable one.
By 5pm we had completed a letter box drop advertising our sale to the neighbours
By 6pm we had signage all ready to go.
By 7pm I had a ute ready to take whatever is left to charity shops for them to sell on when our sale is finished
My five year old is excited. THIS is something she CAN do.
Who knows if we will make much? But every cent counts. And we are raising awareness and the ability for EVERYONE to do something.
Make a donation. You can even do it from overseas my friends or interstate.
If you live locally go and help. If you can't clean up - how about donating food for the workers? My friend Adrian who is working in mud thigh deep in Brisbane worked till 2pm before food was found.
Think about sourcing school supplies for students in flood hit suburbs.
Go find someone hit by floods and ask them if you can do their laundry.
We can ALL make a difference. They say this flood will take over two years to recover from.
I don't know who "they" is - but they have never met a Queenslander.
All around the state real Qld men and women are in there helping out already. My husband went to volunteer and wherever he went he found out the neighbours had already been in and got a lot of the jobs done.
The oldies at work told me they thought this spirit of mateship and "can do" had been bred out of our young people by selfishness, materialism and computer games.
Finding it hard to post right now. When you see the devastation these floods are causing first hand - my little life about here seems not worth blogging about.
I do want to let you know that we are all safe, as are my family.
There is some cleanup to be done - but nothing that we won't deal with. A lot of my town is a mess so we are hoping to help out in some way when the devastation dries up a bit.
Right now - my only organisational task has been going through our closets to find blankets for those who are stuck at the evacuation centre. Daddy is holding the fort at home (bless him!) and I am working any shifts I can fit in as our hospital has been struck with a staff shortage. So many of the nurses are flooded out!
Life is so fragile and unpredicatable guys. Hug your family tight tonight. And keep safe please. That's all that really matters.
This is my journey! I am a 38 year old aussie mum of two beautiful little girls!
I am a part time nurse just finding my feet in acute care, and I love my family with all my heart and then some.
I am passionate about our family. I love to preserve memories and make our life together FUN!
Journey with me as I learn. Maybe we can share some tips along the way