It is just over 3 weeks since my husband Pete lost his 5 year battle with his cancer of an unknown primary.  This grief journey is not new to me as 18 years ago my first husband took his own life.  I never thought I would ever find love again, but I did.   I was so lucky to find Pete and we had 10 special years together.  However, half way through that he was diagnosed with cancer.   I feel so cheated, but at the same time I feel blessed I was given another chance.   I know that many people do not get that, so I shouldn't feel sorry for myself.  AT the moment I do, but I know that will pass.  Every day the tears come and I try so hard to find comfort in the good times.  But at the moment the thoughts of the good times are what bring on the tears.    As someone once said to me, "you will never get over this, but you will get through this."  Thank you for listening.

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Hi Enza

Your summer was like our summer earlier this year:  wet and flooding.   I think climate change has a lot to do with this? 

We are into the 4th day of Spring and it is cold and raining again.   They say we are in for a wetter than average spring and possibly summer.  We are all hoping it isn't a repeat of this years devastation with the floods.

I'm proud of you for going on that bus trip with your daughter.   I honestly understand your trepidation as well and how hard it was for you.   Being able to have your independence in your own vehicle is special isn't it and being able to go where you want to at your own pace as well?

I totally understand your anguish at having to let go of Claudio's beloved car.   When I read you were doing that I thought of what Pete said to me.  He made me promise if I couldn't care for this property and it became too much for me, that I would sell it.   I tell you what, if I ever had to do that, it would cripple me, I would have to be really struggling to make a decision like that.  The same with your car, I guess you have realised it would be a sad thing to let a beautiful memory just rot like that.  I think Claudio is gently nudging you into the direction of selling it.  As hard as it is, even though you hate doing it, you know what must be done.

It has been 6 years since I had contact with either my younger sister or brother.   They basically took my children's side in this whole mess.  But life experiences and other facts I have divulged to them since I went to my mothers party at Easter time, has improved things a lot.   I'm closer to my sister than my brother to be honest.  She is 7 years younger than I am.  I often wished I had an older sister.  My mother suffered a still birth 12 months before I was born.

I have had a terrible week, feeling so sad and crying lots.  My youngest daughter has visited her sister this weekend.  She text me saying she wanted to meet for "an honest conversation", which I think is a bad idea.   I denied her access and told her my grief had escalated the past few days and I was in a bad place.  Her simple response was, "ok, hope you are getting support."   That message showed lack of empathy on her part and it would have meant so much to me if she could have simply come over, put everything aside and just given me a hug.   I haven't heard from my older daughter either and I know full well she would be told how I am feeling.  Their main worries all along have been what they will get when I die, they basically don't care in the least what makes their mother happy while I am alive.   Any honest conversation will only increase my anxiety levels and I simply can't cope with that as well as losing Pete.   Including my sister and 2 friends I have spoken with in recent days, they all say the same thing, it is mind games and is not in my best interest.  I have to agree.  I want to put the past where it belongs, in the past and move on. It seems they can't do that.

Your children sound lovely, they care about their mother.  In that regard you are blessed.  I know what you mean about not showing them your true feelings.  I did that when my first husband died.   You are a strong woman Enza, your kids must be so proud of you.

So sorry to burden you with my woes when you have enough of your own.  Do take care and I wish I could give you a hug.   I would be honoured to be your sister from afar if that is ok with you?

Take care

Ros

Ros, I've just sent you a message to your inbox, in the profile page.
Hope it went OK.

Hi Enza

Yes, your message came through, thank you and I am honoured to be your friend and your sister too!!

My sister is coming to visit me for a couple of days at the end of this month.  We seem to have reconnected ok, I hope it continues.  Whereas with my children, not so good I believe.  I haven't heard from any of them or my grandchildren in over 3 weeks now.   I simply don't know where I stand with them and I'm over pretending I'm good in their company when I'm not.   They didn't care for Pete and that to my mind is their loss.   They didn't give him a chance.   Strange when I think of it, but my family were the only people I ever knew who didn't like Pete, everyone else we ever came in contact with did and that was obvious after and just before he passed away.

I keep reliving the weeks leading up to his death on November 5th.   That is what I'm finding hard to cope with at the moment.  I know it is part of grieving, but I'm finding it hard.  I've been working hard mowing and pruning to help me through it.

We have a creature here called an echidna.  They can be very timid and will curl into a ball when they feel threatened.    It was only yesterday I saw one (they eat ants), and so I sat on the grass on the side of my driveway and this little creature came so close to me, I could have touched him and he wasn't at all phased by my presence.   He was busy looking for ants and I was so enthralled by him, totally made my otherwise sad day.   They have spiky quills, probably like a porcupine I'm guessing, but they are an Australian native and he obviously feels safe on this property.  I was totally captivated by him.  Marty and Joel think that Pete has sent this little creature to me to bring me some happiness.  They could be right.  Marty jokes and calls me Snow White due to all the creatures I seem to have around me.  I like that.

I can well imagine how hard it was for you to take your son to that place for his procedure.  No wonder you were upset and Claudio's colleague obviously misses him so much too.  Please let me know how your son is.  I hope all will be ok.

Yes, it was very sad to hear of the passing of the Queen.   She certainly was a lovely woman who will be missed by many.  Now we have King Charles the 3rd.  I wish Diana was still here.

Well that about sums up my news.  I really do look forward to hearing from you.  It just makes my day when I do.

Take care and a big hug to you.

Ros x

Hi Ros, just as our Summer is almost over, it's the other way round for you now, I suppose. We will get colder and you will get hotter! Wow, I just love having a friend like you and to think we're on opposite sides of the universe. One of the many advantages of Internet. Do you know that the first person I met who already had a mobile phone was my darling husband? It was way back in 1994 and I still carry in my purse his business card he had given to me which also included his cell phone number. I will treasure that card forever, he was delighted at the fact that I still kept it.

Ros, I looked up that little animal, the echidna, in Internet, and oh, what a cute creature! It's absolutely gorgeous, I know you have lots of special types of wonderful animals where you live. My husband, as a teenager, had visited Melbourne and all the countryside around there, and told me how he had been impressed by the number of different species of parrots and how he enjoyed watching kangaroos jumping happily across the country roads.
Ros,I'm happy for you that your sister will be visiting you soon. I hope you are able to keep on connecting, like you say, and spend a pleasant time with her. I'm sorry about how the rest of your family treated your beloved Pete, not even giving him a chance, so sad. November is that awful month for me too, Ros, I just don't want to think about it.
Everything went OK with my son's bloodtest, thank you, it was just an annual routine checkup.
This week's been a very sad one as I sold my beloved's car. I really had no choice, it was a shame to see it waste away like that. I'm glad that we found a good person who bought it, family man - wife and 2 small kids. He was also impressed by our family when he came to see the car and understood that he could trust us and was making the right decision, as the car was in perfect condition, almost new.
We'd only had it for two years.
Better not go on about this, I'll get teary-eyed.
I've started doing odd jobs outside as it gets cooler and the rain finally stopping. You're right, trying to keep busy working amongst beautiful natural surroundings does help us get through this trauma we're going through, doesn't take the pain away of course, but keeps it at bay, or we'd go crazy!
Oh well Ros, that's all for now, sending you hugs.
Enza.

Hi Enza

I'm so proud of you for selling the car.  It must have been so difficult for you to part with, but you did it and I believe Claudio put that idea into your head to sell it and let it go.  He probably also orchestrated just who was going to buy the vehicle too!!  That's what I believe.

We are in the first weeks of spring and already parts of the country are getting plenty of rain and flooding.  Thankfully our part of the state is ok for the moment with quite warm weather ranging from 22 to 28 deg Celsius.  The grass is growing and I've been busy mowing and working hard.   Last week was tough emotionally for me so the mowing helped a lot.

After not seeing my eldest daughter for 4 weeks she finally texted me and basically asked me was I interested in her and the kids.   I told her that after meeting up with the family after all this time, losing my husband and leading up to his anniversary I have an avalanche of emotions to process and it had nothing to do with my love for them.  I just need some time to think.  She responded saying that helped her to understand and she also mentioned how she seems to do all the reaching out.  I acknowledged that and said to be honest, I really don't know what steps to take.  Now she I hope, is trying to understand that this isn't all about her.   When my sister visits at the end of next week, I'll see if we can meet for a coffee.   It is such a difficult situation and I just don't feel comfortable at all with it..

I can forgive my family for how they treated Pete and I, because for my own mental health I must, but I will never, ever forget.  I still find it absolutely strange that they think they haven't done anything hurtful towards us, it was always us to them.   I have a lot of hurt to get beyond and it will take time.

How was your tomato crop?  Were they nice and sweet?   I'm so pleased your sons tests were ok.

I'm so glad you looked up the echidna on the internet.   Every day I feed 5 magpies wet broken pieces of bread and bird seed on one of the fields.   Yesterday they were accompanied by 3 parrots (eastern rosella's) and 2 pee wee's.  It was lovely seeing a variety of birds eating together, though this time of year is nesting season and the magpies who are renowned for "bombing" people from behind, seemed intimidated by the parrots.   My magpies never attack Bonnie or I as the birds do possess great memories and we have always been kind to them.   If you do however hurt one of them, it is never forgotten.   Nature is wonderful.

I have to go into town today to do my grocery shopping.   Something I don't enjoy nowadays I have to say.   When the store plays songs Pete and I knew I just want to run out the door.

Bonnie is finally getting a groom this coming Saturday.  I've had to wait 3 weeks to get an appointment.  Poor little girl looks like a woolly mammoth minus the tusks!

Enjoy the cooler months, your summer wasn't very pleasant, was it?   Already I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Big hugs

Ros

Hi Ros, I hope you're not getting too much rain. We are yet again going through a period of persistent rain since yesterday morning and apparently will continue for the next few days. I thought England was bad! The tomato crop went OK, would have been better if there had been more sun. I was happy to be able to start doing jobs out on the land, until the rain arrived. I can't wait to see another sunny day when I can go back to my pruning and weeding. I never thought I would look forward to these tedious jobs but now they are the only things that help keep my sanity, stop me from thinking too much. Next month is usually our olive harvest month but I don't think it's worth it this year as most of the trees are almost bare.

I understand what you mean about forgiving but not forgetting. I've had to do that with my parents, the way they had behaved in the past with us is abominable but unfortunately I have no brothers or sisters, so it's all on me. Otherwise I would have kept a distance.
You may know that we've just had a general election here, but I just couldn't bring myself to go to the polling station without my beloved. We always went together, I can just imagine how we would be discussing about all this. Just so unfair.
How did your Bonnie's grooming go? I'm sure she's come out a real beauty.
Anyway, that's all for now, sending you lots of hugs and hope to hear from you soon.
Enza.

Hi Enza

This is a very early response to your email I know, but my sister is arriving today for 2 or 3 days.  I have to admit to being nervous.  First time having someone stay since I lost Pete. Plus, she will be sleeping in the bed he used for the past 2 years.  Even I'm finding that hard as well.  She came here a few years ago with my mother and as usual threw an adult tantrum then left when she couldn't get her own way.   I hadn't seen her in 6 years up until April at Mums birthday party.  So, please wish me luck.  I hope she has done some growing up in recent years.

When I'm with my children and grandchildren after all these years I don't feel as if I'm being myself.   I think I've said it before, it's like I'm playing a role in a play.   I wish I could get beyond the hurt I have felt for both Pete and I from past events, but I can't.  To make matters worse, it's like we are being blamed for everything and they come out clean as a whistle.   I find these emotions are hard to deal with at times when you have no-one to talk them over with.  I imagine you feel something similar when you are with your parents too?

Yes, I did know you had a federal election.  I believe you have a female prime minister now?  Unfortunately, over here we have to vote, it is compulsory and since Pete died, I've had to vote twice:  a local council election and the federal election.  If we don't vote we get fined.   The first time I voted without Pete was so, so hard on my own.

Bonnie looks so good since her groom.  I think she may have arthritis in one of her paws as she keeps licking it.   I wish I could send you photos.  Our house has a flat roof and we built a staircase to the roof in recent years as Pete was unable to climb the ladder to check the gutters etc.   Once the staircase was built, I did all that as his balance wasn't the best either.  Yesterday I thought I heard hail stones.  But on inspection I discovered it was my goanna from last season paying me a visit.  His claws were making a heck of a noise.  This was only a small one.  I estimate it to be around maybe 4 feet from head to tail.  They grow huge.  

We are expecting rain in the coming days, so for the past 2 days I have been busy mowing.  Marty and Joel bought me a pedometer and it is amazing me just how much walking I do every day.   No wonder I feel fit.   I'm ever so grateful though for the anti-inflammatory medication my doctor prescribed for the arthritis in my hand.   It doesn't seem to help that much but has helped my hip a lot.

I understand how you feel when you are craving a sunny day, just so you can go outside and do something instead of thinking about the what if's.    It's those rainy days that bring on the depressive thoughts I find.  I think you are the same too.   Do you think all the rain has affected the olive crop?

Do you still play your piano and sing?  I hope so.  Wish me luck with my sisters visit.  I have also invited my eldest daughter and I think 2 of her children are coming over on Friday for morning tea.  I haven't seen them for 6 weeks and sad to admit, I haven't missed them.  I know that is a horrible thing to say, but I can't help how I feel.  Maybe one day that will change?

Take care my friend, I wish you much sunshine in your day.

Ros

Ros, I've just sent you a message to your inbox.

Hi Enza

I sent you a message as well, hope you received it.

Ros

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