Thursday, 27 September 2012


I hope my boys grow up to be best mates. I hope they live big, real, fruitful, rich lives full of laughter and pain and heartache.

When their spirits get crushed ... and they will ... I hope they'll have each other to call on, to get through. I hope they soar.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Holding Things Together.

My buttons arrived!

I didn't know what to do with them - I can't sew and don't know if it's too late to learn. I went with my mum to her new retirement village thingy she's soon moving in to and it has the biggest, most amazing sewing room. I told her I wish I could move in with her, wish my mothering years were finished too and we could be old biddies who craft and go for long walks and sit in the sun whenever we bloody well want to. My sisters and I are taking it in turns to help her pack but mum doesn't need much help, because our mum is an absolute warrior legend woman who keeps going.

I wish I could retire with mum and my buttons but I can't. I'm in a different stage of life, my kids are too young, and there's nothing wrong with my hips yet.

So I bought these buttons and they look so pretty. I got all arty and layered them in a jar. Like Glinda the Good Witch said, "And there they'll stay."

I'm going to put this glass jar of buttons in a prominent place and every time I look at them, it will remind me that sometimes things CAN mean things. I keep finding meaning in the world, and then losing it again. It's confusing.

"Everything is meaningless." Terrifying!
"Everything is meaningless." Exhilarating!

Cate Bolt is my personal hero. She makes orphanages appear out of thin air. She does things that mean things, every day.

Sometimes I log on to twitter just so I can see what she's saying because she makes me feel better about existing, that somebody is giving a shit. I watch her fighting the good fight every day. And the bad fight. And the useless and hopeless fights. All the fighting ... she's a great fighter. Young girls can learn from these types of fighting. She created Skull Buttonry, where you can buy all of the buttons and more. Even skull ones. The ones I bought are all made out of wood. I'll admire them for a little bit, then give them away.

Then I'll buy some more, do it again. And again.

As a kid I'd go in to sewing supplies shops with my mother and grandmother and I was always drawn to the buttons. They felt magic, like I could do something with them I just didn't know what.

Cate doesn't know I'm writing this. All of the proceeds from Skull Buttonry go to her orphanage in Indonesia. Imagine if her buttons sold out, just from people buying buttons they do not need. I told Cate that I was offended on behalf of zippers and velcro everywhere ... they hold things together too you know. She laughed and told me she'd start selling those too, and I knew she wasn't joking because she just keeps doing the things she says she's going to do.

She makes me lift my game and I'm so grateful.

Do you sew? How do you find meaning? Ever lose hope and find it in an unlikely place ... like an online button shop?

Skull Buttonry
Skull Buttonry on Facebook


Friday, 21 September 2012

The Day Of The Plates.

I've been saving something quite precious in a bag next to the fridge. Sitting there patiently for six weeks, waiting to be opened. It's nice to have things to look forward to.


Dave and I bought these somethings on our last day in New York. They're fragile, and I wanted ten. I swore to Dave I'd carry them the whole way home, as my hand luggage.

(Proof that Dave ended up carrying them. They were heavy!) My helper and I sat down this morning to open all of the "presents."

                                      Is it my birthday, mum? Is it Christmas?

I told him they were special presents for all of the family. They were plates.

They were the best plates I have ever seen. Some women "have to have" shoes or handbags ... I HAD to have these plates.

Hummingbirds, bumble bees, grasshoppers, puffer fish .... and iguanas. In pairs, ready for the Ark.

It took thirty hours travelling from America to our house, with that big bag of plates. And a few latte glasses thrown in, for good measure.

My glass isn't half empty, it IS empty. But then I realised there is no glass and all of life is just an existential nightmare that I keep waking up to. Morning!

We bought a beautiful blue tablecloth from the same place as the plates, (Anthropologie) ... and today I dug out the new cutlery set we've been saving in the pantry. "For good."

I decided today is finally "for good." Even dug out the iron for the crumpled tablecloth. Rocco had never seen me iron before.

"Mum, why are you vacuuming the table?"

Decorated with the lone jonquil that Dave bought me in from the garden in this morning.

"Here ya go hon. It'll look at you all day."

And it has.

That's one of my favourite paintings, it's Mount Solitary painted in the form of a woman. I bought it thirteen years ago from local Blue Mountains artist Chris Harrison ... she is extraordinary.

Mum, can we go swimming now? Now? How 'bout now?

Dave rode home on his bike ... he hasn't ridden it in months. I told him to come inside, check out the surprise. (He's been telling me to unwrap those plates for ages.)

He loved it. The table has never looked so good - I kind of fail at homemaking. Always get distracted.

I'm so in love with these plates. They're alive. I know they're just "things" but they made me feel really happy.

This post was brought to you by nothing more than the meaning I found in this guys hair this morning.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

God Checked Her Twitter.

God has had ENOUGH. She doesn't know what it all means anymore. She wonders if she's even real.

I told her to look at this lizard.

This lizard doesn't believe in itself. It's just sitting in the sun being a lizard.

God said she hates her name. I told her it was just a label.

I told her all the crap about the sun being behind a dark cloud, soon it will shift, darkest before the dawn etc.

God checked her twitter and rolled her eyes.

"Get back here when I'm talking to you! Don't make me come up there!"

She said she'd try harder, if I did.



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Grieving As Fast As I Can.

Halfway through share-crying in a meeting today, I realised that I am "in" grief. Like, grief is a state, a place to be. You don't walk around saying, "I'm in anger." Or, "I'm in happy."

Grief is more than a feeling. It's not even constructive. Just .... monstrous waves crashing on sharp rocks. My grief over the death of Jim feels like vultures in tattered coats, perched in my chest. I can't get them out. Sometimes I get a respite and it's ok, then it comes back again. Harder and more vicious than before. Grief is the price we pay for love. My sisters and I already had pre-existing dead dad issues. So, we could never get insurance against any future dead dads. We have a unique, painful journey here. And confusing.

Thank you, thank you for the comments here. And the good thoughts, the emails. I made myself accountable with that post ... kept myself honest. I keep waiting to "be over" this so then I can write all about it, tie it all with a neat bow. PHEW! Starting to realise that it's going to take a long time. Emily wrote in the comments: "Grief is a journey. A wise woman once said: "Nothing wrong with grieving, it does a body good. It's important, sacred, and healing. Take all the time you need to pass through that country, but don't build a home there."

Don't build a home there. 

I don't want to build a home in all the broken things. It's too dangerous and it never lasts.

This morning I supervised my boys brushing their teeth, and then clipped Roccos toenails. MY GOD his nails. I'll never get used to that part of parenting, being responsible for all of the bodily things.

Then I went into Leura to buy ingredients for BabyMacs Famous Chicken Soup. (KNOB of fresh ginger! HA!) I stood in line next to an old guy telling the cashier all about the cow his mother used to milk when he was young. And how that milk made the best cream. And the apricot jam she'd make, from their apricot tree. It was the best conversation snippet ever. Nourishing. And I didn't even feel angry or jealous of him, for being allowed to grow so old.

The spring blossoms still haven't bloomed. Not one teeny bit of popcorn can be seen. Come on! Hurry up!

But the seasons cannot be hurried.

These trees *probably* won't be stuck in a perpetual winter, even though it feels like it. Something's got to change, be renewed again. I'll still be "in grief" long after the bloom falls to the ground.

Last night I came across this article. Wise men and women were asked their thoughts on the meaning of life.

"We are here to notice each thing so each thing gets noticed. Together we notice not only each mountain shadow and each stone on the beach but, especially, we notice the beautiful faces and complex natures of each other. We are here to bring to consciousness the beauty and power that are around us and to praise the people who are here with us. We witness our generation and our times. We watch the weather. Otherwise, creation would be playing to an empty house." - Annie Dillard

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us." - Charles Bukowski

My favourite is from a barber, Frank Donofrio.

"I have been asking myself why I’m here most of my life. If there’s a purpose I don’t care anymore. I’m seventy-four. I’m on my way out. Let the young people learn the hard way, like I did. No one ever told me anything."

Tonight I'll find some meaning by cooking a nice meal. By looking at the faces of the people I love the most. Might even have a warm shower, read a book in bed. There's a lot to be said for honouring the simple things.

Yesterday was dreadful, today is better. I have no idea what tomorrow will look like. Maybe tomorrow will take care of itself. Like it always does.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Nothing but the truth. So help me God.

Not so long ago I was faced with boxes and boxes of oxycodone. I was Jesus, and the oxycodon was the devil, and for one whole night all of that oxycodone and me were in a delicious dance of temptation.


I had a cup of coffee with Tim Costello yesterday. When I first sat down, he looked at me apologetically. "I'm so sorry ... I have no idea who you are."

I laughed at his utter candour. More people need to be like Tim Costello. Why are we all so intent on pretense? Why do we all care so deeply about what other people think of us?

Tim and I sat talking about Africa, World Vision, extraordinary living, social issues, life, death, Spirit, redemption, how hard life is. I told him exactly who I was. Because I know who I am. Thing about Tim is, he knows who he is too. There's a certain power and strength when you arrive at knowing who you are. You're able to move forward, get shit done.

He asked me what the turning point was, to get my life together and stop going into detoxes and rehabs and psych wards. He asked this not out of a voyeuristic, pass-the-popcorn way ... but in a genuinely real and beautifully curious way. Like somehow my answer could add to the collection of things he knows in his head, maybe help somebody down the track.

Telling our stories to each other is important.

I answered his questions truthfully. I wasn't even embarrassed. I told him that statistics of recovering people aren't great, which was why I don't bother about statistics. I told him a lot of my people are dead, or back out there again. There's the same seed of potential in all of us. We either grow up, learn and evolve ... or we don't.

There's a real power in owning who you are.

Tim thanked me, and hugged me really hard when we said goodbye. He gave me his personal business card, told me that next time Bono was in town he might hook me up. I walked up the street and cried at that possibility. It will never happen, but there's now potential of it happening. It's enough. U2's music means so much to me. It's the soundtrack to my life .... my shitty, fucked up, extraordinary life.

I bought Tim's book on the way home. Hope - Moments of Inspiration in a Challenging World. 

It's a really good book. I really need to read it. I'm feeling really lost and dark at the moment, and I just don't know how I'm going to get through this, Computer.


I didn't have any of the oxycodone, that one night. That forty days in the desert night. It was so sad, holding all of the boxes. Because I didn't realise that my beautiful stepdad with the crinkly blue eyes was in such deep, dreadful pain. This whole year. Cancer you thieving beast!

I sat on Jim's bed. He was over in the cancer ward, dying. He had his own morphine pump in the end. A junkies' wet dream! The last few days of his life was horrific. He looked like a kind of breathing corpse. Death is as ugly as life. I'm completely traumatised, bereft, sad, in grief every single day and it's getting worse.

Everything is hard. I don't mean to complain. I've been withholding myself on my blog. I'm not even entirely sure what my blog even is anymore. Forgive me if there's a bit of sponsored content here. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't necessary. I'm sorry if that offends you. I'm still here, right here, breathing on this page like I always have been. It's hard, knowing people are logging on to hate-read. What's that crazy bitch gone and done now! How's your "blog" Eden!? I'm too tired to get angry. I finally understand why bloggers just gloss over stuff, and only show the good and unobtrusive parts of life. It's easier. Less controversial.

I like to think that I didn't steal those boxes of oxycodone out of respect. Most likely, I didn't take them because it wasn't enough. Nothing's ever enough, if you're an addict. This is how our brains work.

I was acutely aware that the same God that watched me travel to Africa was the same God watching me decide whether I was going to travel down another dark path in my life. Again. 

I just don't want to do that. But now it feels like I'm walking through life getting root canal with no anaesthetic. Normal people are allowed to have a few wines at dinner - it's socially acceptable. It's not socially acceptable to have a few wines at dinner and end up on a raging bender in Kings Cross four days later. Shitting your pants, coming-to out of a blackout, wanting to kill yourself.

So I eat chocolate instead. Laugh at Gangnam Style. Order pizzas instead of cooking. Hug my children so tightly and they don't even squirm away because they love me.

I'm continually breaking down. My husband is being beautiful and strong. He loves me a lot. And I keep thinking, if my mum can still get out of bed every single day, put her house on the market, go back to work and deal with life and her grief, then I can too. If my two beautiful, heartstrong sisters can make it through, then I will too. We will. Will we? Fistpump and swear and dance our way through? Is that how you do it?

Mum picked Jim's ashes up last week. He finally made it home. Just not in the way we thought he would.

                             On their wedding day, 1992

I don't know how to end this post. I know I shouldn't publish it. I've been blogging long enough to know that a lot of themes repeat themselves, in a personal website. One of my main themes has been overcoming hard things. I just don't know if I can this time. It's getting dark. And I'm tired. 


Monday, 17 September 2012

Tim Costello: Superhero.

There's a glitch in my computer that I'll never fix. Every single time I look in my photos, this is always the first one I see:

I don't think it was ever downloaded properly, so the boy in the orange singlet keeps popping up in my screen, again and again. It's jolting. No matter what's happening back here in my world, he makes me remember his world over in Niger. Is he still in the camp? Does he live with his parents? Is he sick?

World Vision gave me the gift of being changed by Africa forever. I can never repay them. Being there seems like an age away. I'm in close contact with all the wonderful people at World Vision Australia. They were bold enough to choose me to represent them, and I was bold enough to go. (Instead of a sympathy card recently .... they sent me a blanket. Best idea ever!)

The long and winding, bumpy and dusty road. My African comrades: radio host Steffi from Germany, me from Australia, blogger Kim from Korea.

Today I'm going to Sydney for a meeting with Tim Costello. Tim is a minister, a lawyer, a teacher. A huge voice for social justice issues, he's worked as an advocate for the homeless, reconciliation, and spoken up against gambling and gun control. Tim has raised awareness and public discourse around drug abuse, alcohol awareness, and rehabilitation. Victorian of the Year in 2004, Officer of the Order of Australia in 2005, and Australian of the Year in 2006, and so much more ... the guy is a LEGEND. One of the best humanitarians this country has ever seen.

Tim Costello has been CEO of World Vision Australia for eight years now. He's a dedicated, passionate, intelligent man. It's going to be a huge honour to meet him. (We were supposed to meet two months ago, but I had to cancel. I'm sure he understood.)

We'll be talking about the good that social media and blogging can do. There's been so much talk in the press lately about the scourge of the internet age, especially TWITTER TROLLS! It's going to be really nice to sit down with an accomplished, extraordinary man and focus on some positive aspects of what can be achieved online.

I'll tell him about Queenslander Cate Bolt .. all of the incredible work she does for her Foundation 18 orphanage.  And how two of her own children, Ailish and Ash, are environmental superheroes with their own Planet You. I'll tell him about twitter causes, blogging for social good, real issues that this online community tackles and raises awareness around.

Things that mean things ... that's what I like to see in my life, on and offline. Things that have value and meaning.

Tim is not only all of those important things ... he was also on a boat.

Not sure I understand the penguin reference. 

The first thing I'll ask Tim is about his own recent trip to Niger, to raise awareness of the West African Food Crisis Appeal.

The second thing I'll ask Tim is ....

..... what was he thinking as he sat on the couch looking at the singer of the best band in the world? What happened during this meeting for the Make Poverty History campaign in 2010 ... any gossip? Did Bono smell nice? When's he coming to back to Australia? Tim, did Bono say anything about me?  (I had JUST met him.)

We might talk a little bit about World Vision, too.

                                                  Sponsor a child

There's a whole heap of World Vision buttons and banners HERE

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Suicide Is Painless! (Except for the rest of us.)

One really hot day in the summer of 1988, my stepfather of eleven years bought a hosepipe and gassed himself to death in his car. When we found out, I misheard his mode of death, thought he'd doused himself.

So that whole hot, terrible day ... I pictured his flesh burning. Later that night when I was finally told the truth around how he killed himself, I was visibly relieved. YAY! HE WASN'T BURNT ALIVE!

Suicide tears a hole in a family that can never be fully repaired. In those days, there was no therapy or family counselling. It just got swept under the big, dysfunctional family rug. We dealt with it by not dealing with it.

Today is Australia's second annual RUOK Day. The motto is, "A conversation can change a life." It encourages people to support each other through life's ups and downs, by simply asking somebody if they are ok.

I keep seeing people being cynical about it, but it's the truth. A conversation really CAN save a life.

You know what else can save a life? Being absurd. Wearing the world as a loose garment. Life is too important to be taken seriously .... it's going to be over one day.

A few months back, I wrote a post that I never published called, "The Secret Answer."

Here is its essence:

I saw my brother last week. I never know how much time will pass before I see him again. When it came time to leave I followed him outside, hugged him, and didn't want to let go. My mind raced with inspirational shit to tell him. How do you give the world to somebody, hand it all on a platter with a nice bow, fix everything? You can't. I cut all of my advice, my teachings, my truth ... into a few sentences for him. Like, EXTREME ADVICE. 

"You can do any goddamn thing you want, in this world. It's all the unseen things that drag us down. Live your life with an open heart ... tell your brain to shut up. Your brain is not your friend. Pretend for a second that you don't know everything ... and listen to things you can't see. The answer to everything in this life is Spirit. Give more attention to your Spirit - it's the secret answer that not many people know. It makes heroin addicts not use heroin anymore. It gives suicidal people other options. The depressed among us ... something to hope for. It's all in your Spirit, man. I swear to God. It's hard - it's why a lot of people don't do it. But fuck me, it's worth it." 

He smiled, hugged his earnest sister, and walked off. I threatened all of my Angels. "You better bloody well look after him." They will. They owe me.


So. I hope you are ok. You, the person who needs to be asked the most. I'm not ok either, so we can be not ok together. I wish I could hold a NOT OK Event. But nobody would come, we're all too fucked up.

Here's a few things in my near future that could possibly help you:

1) Chocolate and a Modern Family marathon.
2) Double-shot lattes with cream.
3) A ridiculous conversation with somebody who loves you. You just need ONE person you can be honest with. That's all. That's enough.
4) The third series of Nurse Jackie.
5) The sky. Looking at the sky can help.
6) Being an inappropriate dipshit on twitter.

And I saved the best for last ... watch this. It's how I want to go through the rest of my life, until I'm old and grey. I love it so much it hurts ... it's like, PSY and I are actually the same person, living alternate lives in a parallel universe. He is actually a red-haired blogger from Australia, and I am actually a 35-year old Korean subversive rapper who has just made the world laugh. And we are you, because we are all one.

No toy gets left behind. I hope you're ok. And if you're not, I hope you're managing as best as you can.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Things From My Google Machine.

It's a big information superhighway out there. It's such a pleasure to find meaningful, well-crafted things on the internet.

Just yesterday I sat having my usual panic in Penrith Plaza Foodcourt ... always have to choose a seat based on making an easy getaway when a crazed gunman goes loose during lunchhour. Pretty sure I was the only person silently summoning all of their Angels to get through just ten more minutes of life.

I scrolled through my phone and somehow, miraculously found Rufus Tower.

Watching Rufus Tower made my heart ok again. The world needs more of this indefinable stuff.

Another thing that gave me some respite ..... Fuck Your Shit, I'm In A Bear Suit. Words can't express. I now think the words "Fuck your shit, I'm in a bear suit" to various people throughout my day.

How To Make Ice Cubes. Make sure to read the comments.

On a serious note, this incredibly inspiring and honest post by Naomi from Seven Cherubs has stayed with me all week. Speaking The Unspeakable is the essence of what blogging can achieve - sharing our stories, reminding us we are not alone. Owning who we are. Naomi is a beautiful Aussie blogger and wrote this in honour of the recent White Balloon Day. (Every day should be White Balloon Day.)

For budding artists and writers, Storybird is artful story-telling and next-generation publishing. You, your kids, maybe even Rufus the cat ... can make, share, and print your own stories. SO COOL.

Do you suffer from Painful Internet?  Helen Jane has some answers for you, in Solutions For A Painful Internet. 

"Our internet is barely ten years old. Its current mobile-visual-branded version – less than five years old. Would you be as judgemental and mean to a five year old in a tiny lab coat .. as you are to some other bloggers? I didn't think so. Sharing news through a personal lens, this experiment is barely five years old yet we consistently judge people as if they should know better."

Lastly, do this. I dare you.


Monday, 10 September 2012


A few weeks ago, a small robin flew inside my house to say hello.

I live in a place surrounded by snakes, spiders, wallabies, possums .... if they all stay outside it's fine. I do not like intruders, no matter how cute and red their breasts are.

I've never seen a robin before. Only in picture books. This guy flew around the kitchen, then the windows. It batted repeatedly against the glass at one point, I was all DUDE YOU ARE FREAKING ME OUT.

                            I know exactly how this feels.

I gently coaxed, tried in vain using soothing tones, to catch him.

"Mate, you've got to go. It's ok."

Rocco heard me starting to cry and asked me the same question he always asks, yelling it from the other room.

"Mum are you crying about Grandad again?"

I was. Turns out, telling a bird it was time to leave was quite triggering.

I waved a towel up to him, opened the windows up wide, finally shooed him outside. Except I didn't.

Five minutes later, Mr Robin flies out from underneath the couch and takes himself off to the laundry.

"The hell!"

I grabbed a T-shirt and caught him, could have crushed him with one hand. He escaped again and then flew INTO MY BEDROOM.

And stayed sitting above my cupboard for ages. I was SO pissed off. I don't care if you're the harbinger of spring or sent from the underworld to give me a message. Get. Out.

I caught him for the last time, walked all the way outside and let him free. Instead of flying off, he just hopped up into the nearest tree, turned around, and stared at me staring at him.

I was confused. What does it all mean? What does anything mean? Could it be? At the exact moment I leant in and tentatively asked, "Jim?"

... Rocco appeared next to me.

"Why did you call that bird Jim? Is that bird actually Grandad, mum? Did he change into him? MAX, GRANDAD IS ACTUALLY A BIRD DID YOU KNOW."

So then Max comes out and Rocco's pointing at the bird, "Look Max, there's Grandad."

We all laughed.

Later, Max asked me if it was possible for Grandad to be a bird and I said, I don't know, sweetheart. 



Saturday, 8 September 2012

I Had A Little Beetle.

I was stuck in traffic for hours recently and Rocco was being SO patient in the backseat. He was singing random songs, asked me what songs did I like when I was four.

When I was four? Well, on my fourth birthday my mother grabbed me and said, Hurry! Quick! My two older sisters rushed into the packed car and we drove to my grandparents house in Creek Street, Cooma. It was 1976 ... women didn't usually leave their violent husbands. We lived with my grandparents for a while, until mum got on her feet enough to get a job and get a place of her own.

My Aunty Mooch was still living at home. I remember bringing a finger painting home just for her, one day. She used to sing "Alexander the Beetle" to me, over and over until I knew all the inflections, all the words.

I sang it to my four-year-old Rocco and ten-year old Max last week in the traffic, and choked up so hard by the end. Just at life ... the suffering in it. Also the overcoming of the suffering.

There was an extraordinary response to my last post. It was shared a lot, and even got featured on Mamamia. A whole host of people came over to my blog for the first time. I wondered who they thought I was? Snap judgements were expected because I did take the piss out of plastic surgery. Specifically, it being a viable and normal thing for young women to do these days. WHICH IS WRONG.

I was being purposely ludicrous to highlight ludicrous things.

Anyway, hello, nice to meet you! If you define me can you please let me know because at the moment I'm floundering hard and have no idea who I am. I like cheese.


We are going to a big party tonight. My favourite brother-in-law Jonnie turns 40. It's going to be bloody unreal because we will force it to be bloody unreal. Mum will be there with all four of her children, dancing. While grieving. Grief-dancing. Girls, I bought some candy grills from America for us. You just need to crank up NO LOVE and we'll be sweet.

Just found out that Alexander Beetle was actually a poem that A.A.Milne wrote, called Forgiven. After only existed in my memory all these years .. I can google the lyrics and see it on YouTube and it's getting explained in forums. This information age is strange.

I played this, and Rocco came running in. "YOUR BEETLE SONG MUM!"

We just played it three times in a row. Now we better get out of bed because we have a party to get to. Grills to wear, tears to shed, more vlogs to think up.

A whole new day, again. They just keep coming! I hope you are ok - all of you, in this hard and beautiful world.

Hans chose Posie Patchwork as the winner of the Bunks and Beds giveaway. Posie lives in Canberra, is married to a soldier, and has four boys. Congratulations Posie! Bunks and Beds has reduced all of their prices, from $799 to $499. A further 10% off that using the Edenland voucher FF47TIV2Y23 is a huge bargain. They're incredibly strong and good-looking beds. (Hans please ignore the vlog in my last post. I am completely normal.)


Monday, 3 September 2012

Not A Fan Of Fathers Day.

Mum and me, a few days ago. She was wearing the butterfly scarf I gave her last month, I was wearing the skull scarf she gave me. That's what you do when you're waiting for beloveds to die in hospital .... buy each other scarves.

I've always hated fathers day. I will never know what it's like to be loved by your true father. Most of the time I'm cool with that. It's just, my sisters and I have had three dads and now they're all dead. What the hell?

Dave and I took mum out for fish and chips near the water but it was too cold so we went inside. I tried to give her my comfortable chair but she refused. I wish I could give her my comfortable life but I can't. I'm surrounded by noise and people, lots of busy, distracting things. My mum has lost her husband and he won't be coming home. Jim, where did you go? I can't feel you. 

We miss you. We miss you. We miss you.

Oh, it's wicked! It's awful. It's terrible.

Once when I was 23 I promised mum I'd come and visit her and Jim for fathers day but I stayed out all weekend with bikies and dealers at Blackmarket in Sydney. I was an arsehole .... this was back in the days where I'd blame every bad thing in my life on my fathers death and suicide. Back before I got sober. The drinks I would drink, in commiseration for my loss. Poor Eden and her dead dads. Pour Eden and her dead dads another drink. The no-show at mums house that weekend led to me admitting I might have a problem with ... how I was living my life. I went into a detox soon after that, so thanks, fathers day!

All of these years later I now have children with a dad of their own. So I still have to celebrate the damn thing. And we do ... my husband Dave never had a father either, yet somehow grew up to be a completely amazing one. He loves all of his children with a fierce kind of purity. It can happen ... men can be good fathers.

So. Yesterday, the wild wind creaked through my bones. I cannot try to narrate where my head and heart has been at these past few months. I'm hanging on as much as I can. But people we love, die. PEOPLE DIE. I've counted up on my fingers exactly who the people left in the world are whose deaths would destroy me. There's a fair few, and it's worrying. Times like this, I miss my rampant alcoholism because when you're a drunk you can't care about anybody, least of all yourself.

Now I care.

Back when Jim was in the stroke ward, he was in a room which had a hook on the wall but no painting. This shit me beyond belief ... who takes a painting off a wall and doesn't replace it? This is before he even made it over to the cancer ward. I vowed to one day put a painting on that wall in the room where he writhed in pain. And I did, yesterday. Had the painting in my car for weeks and it wasn't planned but I drove to the hospital where we spent so much time, parked in the carpark, and did not pay for my parking again. I never paid for the privilege of parking my car so I could go inside and watch Jim die. Fuck parking fees.

I took the painting inside and walked into the stupid fucking stroke ward and nobody said a word to me. I knew they wouldn't ... that stroke ward is hell. Nobody knows what they're doing. Nobody knew what was happening with Jim. I wanted to punch all the walls in the stroke ward and all of the associated stroke ward memories. I looked down to see if I had cowboy boots on but I didn't, just my red Gap ballet flats. You can't stomp around the world in ballet flats. 

I'm not angry all the time. Most of the time I'm just really sad, and nobody has any idea because I look and act incredibly normal.

Walking into Room 3, I looked for the hook on the wall which I knew would still be empty and it was ... except, there was a piece of paper taped to it saying "INGE'S SWALLOWING INSTRUCTIONS." I turned to see a mattress on the floor, and an old woman in it. I guess she was Inge. I don't know why she was on the floor. Stroke wards are weird. 

If I put the painting over her instructions, she could die and it would be my fault. So I propped it against the windowpane. Inge looked at me like she hated my guts, but I didn't mind. If I was ninety years old in a shitty ward with special swallowing instructions, I'd hate everyone's guts too.

The Swagman, by Peter Moore. He kind of looks like he belongs in a stroke ward. I wrote "Happy Fathers Day Jim 2/9/2012" on the back. The painting was from me, my sisters and brothers, and mum. It's probably already been stolen. That's ok .. this was just a kind of ritual thing for me to do on a day that I always hate. And to give something colourful to a ward with no colour.

I walked out of the hospital that Jim died in. I bet Inge wishes she could walk outside in the sunshine wearing red ballet flats. Got into my car, and drove off. 

Didn't cry til much later.

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