Saturday, 31 July 2010

Stealing time, freaking out, and taking off.

Stealing time to write this blog post. Pretty much every blog post I've ever written, I have stolen time from my family to write.

I'm so glad I did.

Dave's mother is here, I'm slowly teaching her the Chez Riley ways of living. Vital things like .... when you open something for Rocco, he always, ALWAYS must hold the wrapper in his other hand. If he doesn't he will scream out "MY LID! MY LIII-IIIIID!!!" And you will forage deep in the garbage bin for a piece of plastic wrapper from the cheese stick, and it will be the most pressing, important, vital thing you will do all day. Or at least until the next crisis.

Dave and I leave in two sleeps. I have been counting down from six months ago ... and now it's two sleeps. Milk at the grocery store now has a due date of when we will be away. On Monday, we will drive down to Sydney, park at my sisters house, kiss her and make her take photos (because they could be the last photos ever taken of us, and printed in next weeks paper under the headline "COUPLE DIE IN FIERY MID-AIR COLLISION.")

And this is after we kiss our boys goodbye. The longest I have ever been apart. I'm driving Max crazy, cuddling and gazing longingly.

Yesterday was Dave's birthday. He turned 44, which I'm pretty sure is a master number in numerology. He thought he was 43 all morning until I sat down and actually showed him the maths equation - "Look, hon, see? Born in 1966 = 44. You're welcome!"

I gave him an extra year for his birthday.  I am SO thoughtful.

Yesterday, I spun out so badly that at the supermarket carpark I climbed into the back seat of my car and cracked open the biggest block of coconut rough chocolate ever made. And sat there, on my own, freaking out, munching. Looking up into the clouds, how pretty they were! People driving past looked in, expectantly, waiting for me to move my car. I was all, seriously dude - does it look like I'm moving? I'm sitting in the back seat eating chocolate! Freaking the hell out! Move along, nothing to see here!

We tell people we're going to New York, and they can't believe it. We can't believe it. It's outrageous. Ridiculous. Miraculous. Who does this? Why are we going?

For many reasons. I keep getting full-on flashbacks of two years ago when I was heavily pregnant, spending that last weekend with Dave, when he was bent over in pain from his tumours. I knew that life would never be the same again. We were going on a journey then too - a terrible, heartbreaking journey.

And here we are, two years later, a journey of a different kind. Everything Dave and I have ever gone through in our lives, has led to this moment right now. WANKER ALERT: I think every journey is actually taken inside yourself, not how many miles you actually travel. We've had to overcome a lot of darkness to get to this place.


Last night, after we all sang happy birthday to Dave three times (it's Rocco's favourite song) ... and ate the lamb and the chicken and all laughed together, I gave Dave his birthday present. A helicopter sightseeing tour of New York. He LOVED IT. Later on, I dragged my brother Cam into my bedroom, telling him I had the hugest dream about his father (my 1st stepfather, aka Dead Dad Number 2) .... and Dave walked in, interupting, telling me he had something for me.

He dragged me over to the table, telling me to keep my eyes closed. I glimpsed a red bag, I said what - a tool box for yourself? (Dave is not known for amazing thoughtful gift-giving. Bless.)

He laughs and is all, no hon, keep your eyes closed. His beautiful daughter was standing next to him, saying how cool it was and she wished she had one.

I opened my eyes to this -


And I cried and cried, straight away. Big heaving sobs. And Dave cried and *NAME REDACTED* cried too, so contagious was the deep cry I cried.

It's the best gift I have ever received in my life. Like Dave peered into my Soul like an Avatar and whispered, "I see you."

When I was a girl my grandmother used to look into my eyes, like really look, and see that I was an actual person. And she always said, "You know Eden, you're a very good writer. I think you will write, one day."

Years later, in the wilderness years .... the twenties of my discontent, the rehab shuffle and the misery and the attempts to not live in the stupid world any more .... I would wonder if maybe one day I would be ok? And get better? Maybe I could write about it all one day?

And I am and I did and I have.

And if we do die in a fiery plane crash, I will die the happiest, blessed, most fulfilled I've ever been.

(Except they can't identify me from dental records because I've cancelled three dentist appointments in the past two weeks. New York, you get to see my sticky-outty strange front tooth that broke the day before I went to Bullen's Animal World when I was ten years old. It's fixed, but needs to be re-fixed ..... I would rather pat a huntsman than visit the dentist. My sister said they could identify me from my tattoos, but I said no because they'd burn off in the crash. Maybe my panic gland will be all that's left, sitting buckled in my seat, listening to its teeny iPod. Because my panic gland is SO STRONG I DON'T THINK IT CAN EVER DIE.)

So. New York in two days. I'll be writing about it, oh yes.


  1. Love the typewriter! Coolest present ever. Good job Dave :).

  2. Dave...dude...did you get her an extra ribbon?

    I absolutely cannot believe you will be on my side of the oceans and I won't be able to see you.

    You absolutely positively must by a Flip video camera if you don't have a pocket sided one. They are awesome and you can capture all the sights that you will hardly have words to explain to the boys.

  3. Awesome typewriter! God, how I hated the manual typewriter that I had in my junior year high school typing class. But I loved my teacher because he said I got an automatic B just for showing up and if I actually did any work, I would get an A! (I got an A)

    So, for the identifying information, all you have to do is 1.) Get a Q-tip (cotton swab) and an envelope - one for you and one for Dave. 2. Put your name on one envelope and Dave's name on the other. 3.) Take the Q-tip and rub it around the inside of your mouth/cheek - kinda rough. 4.) Put the Q-tip in the envelope and seal it. 5.) Repeat for Dave. Instant DNA identification kits. But I recommend not dying in a fiery mid-air collision. It will make the trip much better. :)

  4. Beautiful post Eden. I cried when you opened the typewriter too. Have an awesome time in NYC. I know you will. What an adventure. See you when you get back. Big hugs Sam XXXX

  5. BROZONE - I too cried when you opened that typewriter - how could he get it SO RIGHT (WRITE) Good on hon ey, and on his own birthday!! Am I the sister whose place you'll be at on Mon or the other? I always knew you'd be a writter too - always, thats the one thing that has stuck with you your whole life man, it got you through! Love you broze, see you tomorro xxx

  6. Your Dave is a super awesome dude. Lucky girl!

    Have a safe trip,

  7. We both have 44 year old sweethearts, but you knew that -- and its those guys who are the sleepers -- the ones you think aren't paying attention -- and when they show us they've been paying attention all along --

    Have a wonderful wonderful trip my lovely...I am heartbroken you'll be on this continent and we won't be meeting -- but that just means I will make it to yours one day.

    You are a writer, have always been, will always be...I feel that.

    Bon voyage and, as my dead father would say, push the happy buttons --rewind that mind tape when it gets all 'fiery-crashy' on you...

    Lots of love -- and I CAN'T WAIT to read about blogher,


  8. Eden...I forgot to tell you...please don't be afraid to venture out into the inner recesses of NYC while you are there. Go to the Village and stroll the side streets...wonderful little shops. Just talk to the shop owners about where the locals eat, relax etc...they will help you see the REAL NYC, not just the touristy stuff.

  9. Looking forward to your updates from NY.

    Good feedback from your friends.

    Get a Flip - don't need HD if you want to save $ for bagels. Mine was about $100 and I adore it.

    I dont see you sticking to the tourist lanes, but I agree with OHN.

    How do you spell with a typewriter?

  10. roccie- good thing i sent eden a flip last year- she better use it!

    eden- what a beautiful gift! i am so proud of dave for doing that.. men usually just dont get it.

    cant believe you will be in ny and i wont. i so wanted to have you dave, heather and mike over for sabbath dinner... i guess i will have to cook it wen when we visit you in australia. if i'm not too busy watching home and away.

  11. Happy Birthday Dave!!!
    What an awesome gift too.
    I hope you have a fabulous time in New York.
    Dentists suck. I'd rather go to the gynecologist once a month for a year than go to the dentist once a year.

  12. Man are you a funny bugger. Found you via some article somewhere in the blogosphere. I grew up in the Blue Mountains, but the 'other' side eg in I guess you're a loop lou like me from all the fresh air.

    After living next to the on-ramp to the Harbour Bridge for 10 years, my husband and I moved our kids to the Central Coast in 2008. I write about it, my times travelling overseas for work and other stuff at

    Look forward to hearing more about your tales from NYC.

  13. happy trails E and happy belated to your Leo man. enjoy NYC, hope you love it and come back again. have a fab time at blogher.

  14. What a great husband you have! That typewriter is the greatest gift I've seen in forever.
    Safe travels. And please don't die in a fiery plane crash. I will kill you if you do! What will I read with my horrible impression of an Australian accent then?

  15. You are going to have a wonderfu adventure.


Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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