Tuesday, 2 September 2014

I Hat You.

Hello my name is Eden let me tell you a story. Make yourself a cup of tea. Sit down.

A few months ago my sons were playing with each other and had a fight. My younger son, the six year old, sat himself down at the kitchen table with some paper, scissors and pencils. Got busy.

"Craft!" I thought. "Good for him." And went back to whatever I was doing - scrolling my phone listlessly, or watching some mind-numbing TV show. I was vaguely aware of some rustling under a bedroom door then my older son shouting out "WHY WOULD YOU WRITE THAT?"

Upon investigation, I found Exhibit A.

I sent the youngest on a timeout to think about what he had written. Then Instagrammed it immediately. Quickly struck by some of the comments. My friend Bianca wrote "My favourite note from my eldest girl is a drawing of my husband and I with a big heart around us. She ripped it in half and gave it to us. Only people who love hard, can feel such anger."

And my gorgeous number one boyfriend Steve Murphy wrote: "Kinda adorable. A note means he cares a lot."

And I remembered one day many years ago when my younger brother Cam was about five and I was twelve and we had a fight over something stupid. He stuffed a series of notes under my bedroom door, each increasingly menacing. I remember laughing so hard. There were four notes, in total.

I kept them for years! All throughout my twenties, in all the stupid houses I was living in, doing stupid things, I kept those notes from my brother and would show people often. They were so cute. One day I didn't have the notes anymore, finally lost. I wish I had those notes, my heart aches for those notes. So I hatched a plan, and emailed the woman who should be in charge of this country, Cate Bolt. She has lived a life. She made an orphanage in Indonesia,  Foundation 18. She's a humanitarian and a conservationist. She has lots of kids, she's suffered a few serious health problems in the last few years. Currently on a road trip in a big-arse van travelling around Australia, Cates main source of income is her etsy store called Pretty Fkn Embroidery. (Oh, and Cate swears a lot we are friends 4 lyfe.)

I email her.

"Ok so, I'd really like to commission a piece. An embroidery thing - do you actually do the embroidering? Because I don't think I have the fortitude right now. And what I want done ... I guess I could just type it up and print it out but it's not the same. I'd like it carefully crafted because it's special. Ready? When me and Cam were young we had a silly fight. Which was very rare. He got so mad at me - I was in my bedroom and the door was shut but I could hear this rustling and he'd posted me a note underneath my door, written in kid-scrawl in a black marker, it simply said: 

"I hat you." 

Fucking hilarious. Soon enough, there was more rustling with another note. 

"I menit." (As in, "I mean it.") 

Followed by: "I RILI menit." 

Omg. I was beside myself with cute and love. There was one more note he pushed through the door, consisting of a very rudimentary skull and crossbones. Cate I kept those notes for years, well into my twenties. Me and Cam would laugh so hard at them, and when we'd talk to each other we'd often drop them into our conversations "Yeah, I menit." "Smoked salmon? I HAT IT."

I lost the notes! I'd do anything to have them back. Any pieces of him I treasure. I sleep with his wallet in my bedside table. His used T-shirt in a drawer. His aftershave. The pen he used for his suicide note. All stupid fucking mementos and the WORST one of all is his eggflip. I use his eggflip all the time, it makes me so gut wrenchingly sad I fucking double over in the kitchen from pain sometimes but I cannot part with it, it was his! He touched it! AND IT FLIPS SO WELL. So, I'd love a recreation of his notes to me in embroidery form. All in black stitching (of course!)"

Cate replied straight away, clarifying certain things, she was ONTO IT. Couldn't wait. She even has her own computer-generated thingo that does the embroidery for her! She asked me about the skull and crossbones picture - so I asked Rocco to draw me one and I sent it to her.

From memory, Cams skull was more menacing. But I love, LOVE that now my own child has re-created something my brother wrote to me all those years ago.

Cate finished it and posted it to me last week. It arrived at my front door an hour ago and man, I just thought, I can't open this today. Yesterday my Timehop told me it was EXACTLY one year to the day since I saw my brother for the last, the very last time. I purposely did not want to know the date of that because there's already too many sad dates but now I know - the first day of spring was the last day. Spring is supposed to be a renewal. I've always loved the first day of spring. Stupid dates. I always hated the 1st of December because it's the date my stepdad killed himself but when I fell pregnant for the very first time, when people around me looked on in horror I was filled with so much joy. I was going to have a baby and the due date was 1st of December! IT'S A SIGN!

These days I'm not receiving too many signs. Maybe they're there, I'm just too clouded to notice. My brother ignored all of his signs. Do we all even get signs? Who's in charge here? When he was little my brother would have the ULTIMATE tantrums. Sometimes I wonder if his final act of suicide was an act of anger, his one last tantrum. Fuck you, world. My brain, my heart, my spirit are all trying real hard, real hard to work it all out. All I know is, for most of this year I have been googling Hawaii holidays, determined to take my family on a huge trip to Waikiki during September and October. I didn't want to be here, for the Hard Dates. But Dave had to suddenly move offices and work and money and stress and kids and grief and we're all still here, not in Hawaii. I'm hoping to get there maybe in November. December. January. I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHEN BUT GODDAMMIT I AM TAKING MY FAMILY TO HAWAII FOR MY REWARD.

So. Here's the parcel I received today.

Oh yes she did.

I cried. A sad cry, but when Cate posted them off she she wrote to me "they're on their way to you so you'll have something to hold." 

Which is why us grievers are so sad, really. The people we love are not here to hold, and that's that. Accept or die.

I will put my new embroidery masterpieces up on a wall, somewhere in this house. Then I'll have to explain them to my kids and husband when they get home. I'm looking forward to moving out of this house into our new house that Dave will build, because this house has been housing me at my most painful, with its grassy patch in the backyard when I got the phone call from Cams beautiful friend telling me Cam had died.

You should go to Pretty Fkn Embroidery and check it out - because you know who's going to Hawaii and who has booked her ticket? CATE LIGHTENING BOLT, THAT'S WHO. But she hasn't booked her hotel room yet, told me she doesn't care if she's homeless in Hawaii she will BE in Hawaii. She felt sick when she pressed "purchase" on the airfares because this woman NEVER buys things for herself. But she deserves this so, so much. I'm glad one of us can go - she's a big Lost fan so she'll do all the tours, probably. I can't wait to see her Insta feed of her photos. She won't be showing off she will just be incredibly humbled and having an amazing time.

(Cate, thank you. Thank you so much and um, did you know Wil Wheaton mentioned Pretty Fkn Emroidery on his Tumblr?)

So. In his last ever note to me, Cam told me he loved me. TWICE. I have that knowledge. That is very, very soothing knowledge. He loved me. I loved him. Life is fleeting. In the beginning. The end.

If I ever see him again, in whatever incarnation, there won't need to be any words. There'll just be love.

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

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