A flurry of happenings make life a joy

From left Samuel, Josephine and Angus - my grandchildren in Brisbane

From left Samuel, Josephine and Angus – my grandchildren in Brisbane

Some days simply need to be endured, such as today which is my late husband’s birthday – the third since he died two years ago last month.

Yes there is sadness on such an anniversary, but it is also important to acknowledge that simple things have become pleasurable again.

Yesterday, for instance, my friend Sheryl and I took our three dogs for a walk in Belair national park and here I found many mushrooms thrusting themselves up amongst the green winter grasses.

My mind was filled with such pleasant memories of how Olivier would take me mushrooming to his favourite spots, that I feel the sadness of grief is behind me. He is with me in every activity, but he dwells in my thoughts as a warm presence rather than a well of despair of the past two years.

When people say “Time heals’’, 2014 has brought a flurry of happenings to make life enjoyable once more.

An exceptional Australia Day, for instance, where Sydney friend Jane and former Adelaidean, Sue Mapp and I watched the celebrations at Sydney Harbour from the corner window of the Contemporary Arts Museum.  There is not a better spot in Sydney to watch the ferry race, or the flotilla of yachts, or the parachutists floating down into the water, or the sky-writer above. A marvellous hot summer day celebrating our marvellous, democratic country with women friends brought such joy.

However, nothing brings as much joy as the grand-children. Joyful after the birth of grandchild, number 5, grandson Zachary, I flew to Brisbane to attend Grandparents’ Day at Redeemer College, where my three older grandchildren attend school.  This was such a special experience as the school children presented songs, musical performances and skits to reflect their lives – and also their thoughts on their grandparents. I had lunch with my oldest grandchild,  12-year-old Samuel and my other two, Angus, 10, and Josephine, 7, escorted me around the campus in the afternoon.  They made me feel very special, showing me their work and introducing me to their friends.  I was elated for the whole five days I spent with them.  My daughter, Serena, has a busy life, too, and I was happily deposited in coffee shops to read and write while she went to the gym or conducted her own deadlines. Son-in-law Jon was away in South Africa – so my daughter and I managed to snatch some mother/daughter time each day.

Returning home to Adelaide when your adult children live interstate is never easy when you are a widow. However, I step into my garden and listen to the birds who seem to rejoice in song at my homecoming.  Finally, after a few days of “adjustment’’ (loneliness) I embrace anew, my independent life with my dog, Oscar.


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