December 31, 2013

iq option download for windows For a year or two now my girl and I have been doing the “I love you all the way to the moon…” thing. You know, the tender bedtime whisper or the exuberant cuddly squeeze.

Though very soon it was clear the moon was not enough, so we branched out to the planets. We got further and further out, until eventually we ran out of planets. What do you do when you hit Pluto?

And then a few months ago, around about the time she turned five, she found a place we both love: “… the star beyond Pluto”. Surely there cannot be a greater distance in our Universe, and no greater love.

So on Christmas Day she gave me this picture. The solar system along with that precious star beyond Pluto.

“So you can remember, Mum.”

This kind of love? I don’t think I could forget.

Ashlin 3003








Ten Years

December 10, 2013

wedding day deb 6

iq option windows app Ten years ago a bride woke up on her wedding day with a bruise the size of a grapefruit on her fore-arm. It was green and unsightly, but the long Juliet-sleeves of her wedding dress covered it up nicely. She thought the bruise was odd, but she soon forgot about it because she was about to step into the happiest day of her life. And it was. It was hot, it was poignant, it was joyful. And it was bursting at the seams with happiness.

That bride was me. And I had no idea then that the bruise was a portent of things to come. And I’m glad I didn’t know. Because it meant I got to enjoy all the fullness of my wedding day. Just in time.

In the 10 days after my wedding the bruises multiplied. On my honeymoon I called my sister (a nurse) to ask her about them. I still remember her calm but serious voice. How many bruises? 35? She told to make an appointment with my doctor asap. The day after I arrived home from my honeymoon I was in the doctor’s office getting a blood test.

The next day was the day I’ll never forget. The day a haemotologist told me I had leukaemia. The day I rushed to hospital, had a bone marrow biopsy, and began chemotherapy.  The day the doctors talked about harvesting my eggs but there was no time, it was Wednesday and I could be dead by the end of the week. The day my life changed irreversibly. That day was December 10th, 2003.

So it’s been 10 years now. I can’t even begin to tell you the hours I’ve spent dealing with the disease, and how it has affected my being. My body, my mind, my heart, my soul – they are all scarred. Some are visible, but it’s the invisible ones that are the hardest to live with. The thing about scars is they jut out to remind you to be gentle with yourself. They are not reminders of weakness, but signs of healing and hope.

A few months ago I made a desperate phone call to a support worker at the Leukaemia Foundation. I was sick of feeling sick. He told me about recent studies flooding in regarding the late-effects of the specific cocktail of chemo I received (which were unknown when I received it). In the longterm the chemo affects the condition of the heart, lungs and tissues. It affects stamina and causes fatigue. It affects how nutrients are stored in the body. It affects memory, mood and ability to cope. The list continued on some more. Validation from science that the last 10 years of struggle were real. I had not imagined it. And so I wept on the floor next to my desk as the information sank in. I wasn’t a failure for not fully recovering yet. I wasn’t a failure, I was a survivor.

The thing is, right now, you could be forgiven for thinking I appear normal. I interact in a world where everyone is just getting on with the business of working, raising kids, doing housework, and socializing. Normal things. And yet, every one of those things is not normal for me. They are amplified by physical and psychological limitations. I’m sure I’ve left many people wondering why I’m not consistent, or why I’m anxious, or why I just don’t ‘get over it’. It’s been 10 years now, right? But I don’t care anymore. I no longer measure myself against impossible standards of normality. I live a different kind of normal. And I take care of myself the way I need to.

I’ve survived 10 years past December 10th, 2003. And I’m damn proud of it. In that time I managed to hold down a job, give birth to two babies, care for my kids, and start a writing career. Bloody brilliant achievements for a person that wakes up every morning feeling like they’re walking upstream through a river of wet cement. Ten years. Every sunrise is a reminder I’ve survived another day. Every day is a fresh treasure chest of memories. Every second I hold my children is a miracle. Every breath is a bonus.

Ten years. A gift.

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Little Lion Part 3

November 8, 2013

If he was born a girl, his middle name would have been Honey. But he wasn’t a girl, he was boy. A boy with the look of an ancient soul. He was beautiful. And he arrived into the world roaring like a lion. He roared for a year. Then he bounced and leapt for another. […]

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The Epiphany of Home

October 19, 2013

I’m popping in to give a quick update. Not my usual kind of post, but I am time poor and adventure rich. Let me attempt to recap how we ended up right here, right now. A month or so back I wrote about my longing for home. It was intense, melancholic, urgent. I had reached […]

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I Won’t Forget September is Your Birthday

September 25, 2013

My grandma was like a warm spring breeze. So refreshing and always ready to caress you. She would greet you at her front door with a trademark ‘Hull-ooooh!’,  followed by a squeeze so tight you almost felt your lungs would never recover. I adored being swept up in that exuberant love. The day my grandma […]

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Early Morning

September 5, 2013

Early morning. His tiny hand finds mine across the bed. He holds it gently. “Mama”. I’d like more sleep, but we get up. Just me and him. Taking little steps downstairs. He hops on to my lap and cuddles in. I plunge my nose into his snowy hair and breathe it all in. He asks […]

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The Pancake Artist

September 1, 2013

I am married to a pancake artist. Like many dads, he likes to make pancakes for his kids on Saturday mornings. But lately he doesn’t make just your average pancake. All sorts of shapes have been adorning the plates. Cats, rabbits, dinosaurs, ninja turtles. Shapes designed to put smiles on our faces. A few weeks […]

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August 31, 2013

Today one of my favourite poets, Seamus Heaney, has died. This news may not ripple too far from Ireland, but the sadness has registered to my poetic heart all the way over here in Australia. He was a Nobel Prize winner. A poetic genius. He profoundly influenced a generation of Irish artists, musicians and writers. […]

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August 29, 2013

I moved to Melbourne 11 years ago. In that time I have gotten married, survived leukaemia, given birth to 2 children, and tried most resolutely to make a home for myself. It looks nice. The people are nice. There’s some good things about it. It looks deceptively like home. But after all these years, it’s still […]

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The Girl and The Tree

August 12, 2013

My husband and my daughter planted a tree together last year. It was her tree. It looked gnarly bare all winter long.  And then surprisingly on a late winter’s day, it blossomed. On her birthday. There was something about that girl and that tree. All synced in an intangible chord of nature. From then on […]

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