Monday, September 21, 2015

Remembering Bennet: An Invitation

Eleven months.

Today marks eleven full months my baby boy was born sleeping.

It is a bizarre concept, to be born dead. 

I should be planning a first birthday party. Instead, I'm planning a memorial. 

While Bennet was dying and we were in Hobart undergoing a multitude of tests, scans and lots and lots and LOTS of waiting, we spent a lot of time at the ocean. Mainly looking out at fishing boats and the vastness of the ocean. Not knowing what was going to happen, except that our much-wanted second son was probably going to die very soon. Trying in any way to bring some sort of calm to the new chaos and awfulness that had slammed into our lives. 
One of my journal pages.
With a note to Bennet in the boat.
The ocean still reminds us of our Ben. 

The steady waves. The deep blue. The freshness. The openness. All the time we spent looking into it, praying for his life and the decisions we might have to make.

And so we decided that, for Bennet's first birthday, we would release paper boats. 

Something we can make with our own hands. Because there is healing in doing. 

Something we can write little notes on to him, or prayers to God. Because there is healing in being heard. 

(The added benefit of it being that they have little to no impact on the environment as they will break down fairly quickly in the water)

And, since a great deal of our support, and Bennet's family, lives far overseas, we decided that we would create a page where anyone who wants to remember Bennet with us can, by making and releasing their own paper boats and sharing their photos with us on his birthday. 

And because I know I am not alone in loosing a baby (statistics are 1 in 4 will loose a baby through miscarriage. Statistics on still birth are harder to find because not every state can agree on a butt-load of things I'll not go in to here), and there is so much silence around pregnancy loss, I wanted to give other's an opportunity to remember their own babies as well. 

So I created a Facebook page for Bennet's birthday, for anyone who would like to remember Bennet with us on what should be his first birthday, or their own baby gone too soon. 

We will also be raising money for Bears of Hope. It is a non-profit organisation that supports families who have lost a baby at any age or gestation. One member in particular has been of so much support to both Phillip and me and is one of the reasons we're still so... sane. And really healing. I don't have words for what this organisation means to us, or to describe the help and hope that it has brought us this past year. So we are raising money so Bears of Hope can continue to help care for families in the amazing way they do. If you wish to donate, the link here leads to Bennet's page. 

So this is my invitation, to anyone who reads it, to remember our baby boy with us, on his birthday, October 21st.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Prayer Flag Project

August 19th is the Day of Hope.

A day meant to remember children who have died.

I remember every day. Not just Ben, but so many other babies.

But the purpose of my participation in this wasn't just to remember, but to do.

There is a lot of healing in doing.

Making the flag, for me, wasn't about a finished product. It was about the journey in making it. It was about collecting the materials that reminded me of Ben, developing an idea, a reason, a picture, of something that was just... BEN.

I found a second hand baby swaddle. White. Almost brand new. Nothing special about it. Just a plain white muslin swaddling blanket, like the kind I used when Simon was born.

So I bought it. And I cried. Because I never got a chance to swaddle my little Bennet.

Other things I found either second hand or had at home already (being a collector of so many odds and ends). I didn't want to buy anything new for this. For me it was in the looking. The finding. The scrounging through meaninglessness and silly things and finding... him. Being able to see Bennet everywhere.

I ended up with a nice little pile of things.

That lovely white swaddle. Some fluffy white yarn. An old felted scarf that was a beautiful shade of tropical ocean blue and just kind of fun to touch. Odd bits of lace and ribbon. Shells. Driftwood. Glitter. Coloured paper.

And slowly an idea formed.

When Bennet was dying, and Phillip and I were stuck at the hospital in Hobart waiting for more and more tests, we were encouraged to get out of the hospital and walk around. We ended up spending most of our time on the waterfront, staring at the ocean, breathing in salt air. Wondering what was going to happen.

When we learned, a week later, two days after we go home, that his heart had finally stopped beating, we again ended up at the ocean. This time wandering a sandy beach picking up shells and one lonely piece of brown sea glass. Planning his funeral.

The ocean is a calming place. And ten months later, it still reminds me of him.

So I tied these things in to my little flag. The ocean, some shells, some paper stars. His name. All whimsical, childlike, and ocean-y.Something that completely reminded me of Bennet. Something that makes me feel like he's still part of me. Still part of my life. He's gone from me, but not forever.

The finished flag is beautiful. I held it and wept, and imagined what it would be like to have him here, nearly 10 months old, playing with the pretty dancing ribbon.

I placed it on his grave and sobbed. In the process of making, doing, searching, and most of all, remembering, I found help with healing, help with connecting to my grief and to my son. Taking that white swaddle and cutting it up and dying it (food coloring works better on skin than it does fabric. I just used watered down acrylics eventually to get the color I wanted). Stitching his name. Sewing paper stars. Weaving twine together. Sewing bits of ribbon, lace, and shells together. Using my hands. Making something for him. In memory of him.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Snow Day!

Phillip took this.
He's the only consistently early riser in our family.
For the first time since I moved here, we had snow at our elevation. Snow that STUCK. About two beautiful white fluffy inches of it.

Apparently, it was the first time in ten years that its snowed all the way down to sea level.

Phillip had the day off work, and we dropped any sort of schedule we keep to just enjoy the rarity of the snow.

We started out by putting on boots and coats while we were still in our pyjamas, before breakfast, and ran around outside enjoying Simon's enthusiasm over seeing snow for the first time he can remember.

After breakfast, we bundled up and were outside right away again. We were outside as long as we could stand. Snowballs were thrown, snow was piled up, we practised running and sliding on it, and Phillip even made a little snowman. We enjoyed every moment outside until little fingers and even big toes were red and nearly too cold to feel anything.

Inside again, warm with our roaring fire, I made the boys some hot coco to warm up. Simon's first introduction to "hot choc".

It is REALLY coming down!

Even Ippo wanted to come out and play in the snow
Side note: This is a really awesome cat
We have no snow shovels. Simon made do.

The beginnings of a snowman

Simon's snowman.
Or snow-pile.
How many snowballs can you hold?

Phillip's finished snowman

Warmin' up with hot coco

Oh yeah, that's some good stuff!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Unexpected Pauses in Life

It seems that every time I make a new commitment to blog more regularly something happens to prevent that.

Early in July, Phillip sprained his ankle. With a warning that it might be a stress fracture (SPOILER: It wasn't).

Not a bad sprain. But since he works as a furniture removalist (aka a mover), it pretty much put him out of commission as far as work went for the last month. It also put him out of commission as far as household duties and taking care of the toddlerino went, too. (Also, the fear that it might be a fracture and it took a few weeks to get an MRI for it).

Now, I do the bulk of housework. As in... nearly everything. Because I am good at it. I am the best at running our household. I will brag about this because I seriously kick butt at running our household. It's just my thing. Most of the time, I honestly enjoy it. Phillip helps out by playing with Simon when, at the end of the night, dishes are being washed, counters are being wiped, floors are being swept, food is cooked or put away, and laundry is hung up to dry (we have neither a dishwasher nor a clothes dryer).*

(Only, lets be really honest here, it's not helping out. Simon is HIS child too. He's not giving me a hand, he's having some much needed one-on-one time with his son, They BOTH love and need it.) (No this is not insulting him, it's a simple truth about being a parent).

But that still means I'm not chopping meat and veggies and using a hot stove with a busy and curious toddler under foot, afraid I'll slip and chop off his fingers, or something will fall off the stove and burn him. Or I'll trip on him or his cars and stab myself (I can't be the only mom who imagines that happening, can I?).

The last month, with Phillip incapacitated and not able to play with Simon in the way they are used to, nor help out with anything around the house, gave me approximately zero time to do almost anything not deemed necessary. On top of that, we had several "special" days (his birthday at the very end of  June, then my birthday, followed by our wedding anniversary) that passed, and, because we're still heavily grieving the loss of our son, made for some super fun weeks of emotional messes.

Basically, I was an emotional wreck all month and just exhausted, physically and emotionally.

But, Phillip is now doing well. Ish (Sprains take a long time to heal). He's back at work on light duties and able to do more with Simon, though I'm still doing all the heavy lifting chores I wouldn't normally be doing (I actually really enjoy hauling in wood for the fire) on top of my regulars. And I'm setting out some self-care plans so I don't just... loose my mind. But THAT is all for another post.


Assuming nothing else prevents me from writing.

Because I actually have a list of things I want to share. An actual in-real-life written down LIST.

*Phillip DOES help around the house with more than just watching Simon. But I'm not taking the time to list all the jobs each of us do, and sometimes we switch some of them. He'll actually admit that I do most of the "house stuff". Just be assured he is an awesome husband who helps out, and he reads and edits everything I post. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015


"What do you want for your birthday?" my husband has been asking me for the last few weeks.

I will turn 30 on Monday.

Which is supposed to be a big thing for some reason, turning 30. And I've got nothing planned. I don't know what I want really.

There are always THINGS I could use, things I want.

I had hoped to maybe fly home to the U.S., celebrate with my family and close friends. Nothing big, just being together, talking, hanging out, good drinks, brownies not cake, because I don't really like cake all that much. (Well, I don't like frosting. Cake is fantastic, frosting... not so much. FUDGEY brownies, too, not cakey ones.)

But instead, I will be home in Australia, alone with my husband and one of our sons. Missing the other one. And maybe eating salmon and having a glass of wine.

I don't really want to celebrate this year, being so far away from so many people I love. The last 3 years I haven't been overly eager to celebrate my birthday anyway because it just feels weird celebrating in the winter instead of summer, and without my family and friends. But THIS year, this year is harder.

This year, I will not be having a very happy birthday.

Which might seem like a really pessimistic, maybe even selfish statement to make.

But you see, one of my biggest dreams, one of the things I have always ALWAYS wanted was a house full of little boys. Kind of like Jo, from Little Women. I just wanted to raise lots of little boys.

The moment I found out Bennet was a boy I already knew he was dying, and my mind still played through the joy of what years of having TWO boys might be like! I hated my brain for doing that to me.

So my birthday is now one of "those" days. One of those days that should be filled with more celebration and laughter because we should have another little boy with us. One of those days that should have more hair pulling, more sibling fights and rivalry, more smiles, more giggles, more belly kisses and happy good-mornings filled with two little boy's smiles. And one of my boys is not here. And I miss him more, if possible, on days like this.

Days like this, I don't want anything but to have him back alive. Days like this I would move heaven and earth if I could see him smile, hear him giggle, hell, even just hear him breath. Just once.

Days like this I hold my living son a little tighter, I smile through tears as we play together, I give him extra hugs and belly kisses, extra stories and songs. Days like this I have joyful moments, maybe even happy ones, but they are not happy days. Days like this I appreciate more what I do have, and miss more what I don't.

Friday, July 3, 2015

I Remember

I remember the smell of my grandmother's kitchen.

It smelled cold. Comfortable.

Clean, with fresh hot coffee brewing. A faint scent of dish soap in the background, because even though she had a dishwasher, she still washed a lot of dishes by hand.

Cold, and somehow so so inviting.

And her pantry. Oh, how I adored the smell of it! Spices, herbs, crackers, bread, nuts, dried fruit, and cereal. It mixed into the most wonderful homey smell. A smell that, if I ever catch a hint of it anywhere else, instantly transports me back to that pantry, where she would stock Cheerios when I visited because she remembered I liked them. And always had Shredded Wheat on hand. Where she let me try, and then inhale, dried dates and mango during every visit.

A place she kept tins of cookies, because it was usually Christmas when we came to visit. Snickerdoodles are what I mostly remember. She made the best snickerdoodles.

All of us visiting would gather in that large kitchen. Around the table, at the counter, or in the living room that had no separation from the kitchen.

It was a large, happy, loving gathering place when the family got together.

Cold, and so so full of warmth.

My grandmother was generous. So very generous and wonderful.

She taught me to knit.

I still have two pairs of knitting needles she gave me when I was young. Two of her "extra" pairs. It's a skill I have been able to grow in and use to give to others. Something that, every time I make something, reminds me of her, sitting with some project in a basket and her hands while she watched the news.

She taught me how to sew, and I still think of her every time I sit at the machine, or hold a tissue paper pattern in my hands, because she helped me sew my very first piece of clothing at a fairly young age. She guided my hands around the curves of the arm holes as I sewed, helped me pin the thick denim fabric together.

She taught me that it's ok to say "no" to gifts and requests, because respecting yourself and standing up for yourself is more important than trying to please everyone else. And she never took offence if I did tell her no to something.

She taught me that experiences and people are far more important and treasured than things.

She taught me love.

It's been almost 2 months since she died. And so much longer than that since the surgery that changed her.

I had to miss her funeral, because we live so far away. It hurt so much to not be there, to not be with my family to help pay tribute to her life and lay her to rest, to not hurt with the family who was missing her and hurting.
So I honour her in my own way, by continuing to use the values and skills she taught me.

My grandmother, my Grandmom, was a wonderful woman.

I miss her so much.

4 years ago
The last time I saw her

Thursday, June 18, 2015

But I DO have Faith

When someone breaks a leg, gets a concussion, has a cold, you never hear of that person being told, "just pray about it, have more faith, then you'll be healed IMMEDIATELY!"

That would be silly. We all know that broken bones take time to mend. Concussions take time to heal. And colds, well, chicken soup, a vaporiser, and, again, time.

For some reason, this same logic, that time and proper care help heal, does not seem to apply to loosing a child.

Or mental illnesses that may accompany that loss (well, mental illnesses in general).

A mixed media "can't sleep so might as well
be productive" piece from my journal.
Instead, the parents of the child that died are, quite often, offered platitudes like, "It was God's will", "He has something to teach you", "just pray, trust, you'll get through this."

As if loosing a child is something that can be patched up like a broken leg, and cared for like a common cold.

"Don't let it control you" is offered when you confess that you have severe anxiety about being left alone, or are constantly worried about your spouse, living child, or other family members. "Pray, trust", when you have PTSD-like reactions in the middle of stores because you see an ambulance pass by or hear a newborn cry.

I have faith. Oh goodness, do I have faith. Because I would not be standing here if I didn't. I have faith that the same God who allowed my son to die will bring me through this. Because God doesn't "will" that his creatures die. He did not make us, in the very beginning, to get old, sick and DIE. He allowed this for reasons I can not fathom, but God did not WANT my child to die. He did not want me and my husband and our oldest son to miss out on the blessing that was another child. The blessing that was our Bennet. God does not "WILL" that we suffer.

I trust that God will care for me. That yes, he may allow something like this to happen again. But he will hold me, again, through it, same as He is now. Angry, raging, furious, broken, He is, and will, hold me.

God teaches me. He CAN use this horrific experience for blessing. He can. But that does NOT mean that he's a giant bully and makes bad things happen so he can teach us a lesson. Blessing that flows from this loss are in SPITE of the loss, not BECAUSE of it.

I have pretty severe anxiety issues since loosing Bennet (I'm not saying I've been diagnosed with anything because, well, I haven't. I've only been able to see a therapist 5 times before I lost the only baby sitter I had and had to stop going). I held death inside me where life once existed. I gave birth to death. I placed my tiny, perfect, beautiful child into the ground. Any anxiety or trauma I experienced as a result of that is not because of a lack of faith and not enough prayer. It is a result of actual trauma. If prayer and reading my Bible and meditation could do away with the flashbacks, the nightmares, the constant racing heart and inability to sleep, the unwarranted fear about loosing Simon or Phillip... I would be fixed by now. They help, the prayer and reading. Because I notice a difference when I haven't had them. The anxiety and PTSD does not control me. It hurts me, it makes life very VERY difficult. But it does not rule my life. I refuse to let it.

But faith, prayer, it isn't a FIX. Not an automatic one, anyway.

It is a balm. Slowly healing, yes, but not a FIX.

We can't be fixed. We accept that most days. We're ok with that most days. Because we have no choice. Accepting it isn't bad, it isn't wrong, it doesn't mean we've given up on being happy. It means we realize our lives are different, and we will always hurt to some degree, always have an empty chair at the dinner table, an empty spot in family photos, always be missing Bennet.

It is OK to not be fixable. OK to be broken. Because God still uses broken people. God still uses us, and we still rely on God.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Life is a pile of good things and bad things"

Last weekend I got a new brother-in-law.

(I'm doing these blogs a week late because of reasons.)

My sister-in-law married someone I've been friends with for... years.

It's all a rather beautiful story of God taking two broken people and very slowly opening their eyes to each other and the plans He had for them to be together. It really is just lovely.

But that's their story to tell, not mine. And they do it SO much better than I could.

The wedding was small and simple. The couple lovely. My anxiety through the roof. I am finding it extremely difficult to be around groups of people without feeling... smothered. Uncomfortable. Judged.

7 months in, and the grief of loosing Bennet is no less than it was the day we found out there was something wrong with him. We've only gotten better at carrying it. On top of that, I lost my grandmother the same day my little boy turned 2. So a lot of grief, a lot of pain, a lot of weight to carry around.

But the thing about pain and grief is, they don't make the happy things any less happy. I am THRILLED that my sister-in-law and friend are happily married. I really truly am.

But all that weight from all that loss makes the actual celebrating WITH people... hard. Especially when you're told "be happy, today is a happy day. Cry about sad things later." Then you just feel like an awful person because the sadness, even if you're trying to hide it, is just oozing out of you, and you feel judged for it.

I am happy. More than happy. But at the same time, I am also sad. Horribly horribly sad. And that doesn't go away just because something GOOD is happening.

Big occasions like holidays, birthdays, weddings, make me miss my baby more keenly than every day. Because he should be part of the celebration. He should have been crawling after his big brother, complaining about missing his nap, begging for milk, snuggling up on my lap, meeting all the long-distance family members. His dark head of beautiful hair a contrast to his big brother's curly blond locks.

The thing that, well, thrilled isn't the right word, but felt extremely special to me, was that my father-in-law mentioned Bennet in his "welcome to the family" speech. To hear my child's name mentioned, in such a public forum, and in such a meaningful way in that he is STILL part of the family this new person was entering, was so so special to me.

Hearing your dead child's name spoken aloud, having them counted, is priceless.

I did not make this.
But thank you to whatever Whovian did. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Two Years Old!

My little boy turned TWO! I no longer have a baby on my hands, and honestly, haven't for quite a while. He is a full-blown high-energy INSANE and wonderful toddler! I have survived nearly 2 full weeks of super-real toddlerhood! And, tantrums aside, this is one of my favorite ages.

Learning lessons from last year (where I went all-out for the family party we had while pregnant and very very sick), I supremely toned it down this year. Mostly because last year, for Simon's 1st birthday, we announced that he was going to be a big brother. So we weren't sure if we could emotionally handle having people over because it is, this year, anyway, one of "those" days, that might trigger extreme sadness (read: more than the every-day sadness) that Ben isn't here. I don't care about showing my sadness in front of most people, but people are EXHAUSTING. Parties more so.

But Phillip and I decided that, since we'd skipped the family Mother's Day celebration (it being another one of "those" days that just... hurt), we'd invite the family over to kind of say "yeah, we can't handle some things, but we still want to be around you when we can because we still care about you all."

Apparently several of my text invites never went through though, so two of four families never knew we even had a party (I apologised profusely and they're all happy), along with some other... upsets... about us missing Mother's Day... it turned out to be a very very small family party.

We had fun, though, celebrating our crazy kiddo. The weekend before (the day before Mother's Day), we took Simon to Ag Fest, as part of his birthday treat, to look at all the tractors, trucks, and other farm equipment that makes his little boy heart so happy.

Excavators are his FAVORITE

Something I learned from one of my cousins, who throws quite beautiful themed parties from time to time, is that it is best to simplify things. Pick the top few things you really really want to do, and do those. Otherwise, there are so many cool ideas out there to try, it gets VERY overwhelming and you end up only half doing any of the things and have a party that looks half as well put-together.

Thus, my focus for this little party was the table. (And what Simon loves, of course). Simon is, like a lot of children his age, absolutely in LOVE with trucks and tractors. So we made a "Farmer's Market" table for his food, and John Deere colors because, well, it was easy and we had leftover yellow stuff to decorate with. Phillip designed a quick a cool-looking sign to bring it all together. I cleaned out his dump truck VERY thoroughly, and we served sausages in it, and put a small tray in his wooden tractor and had "farm fresh" hard boiled eggs in it, and had plenty of fresh veggies and potato salad on the side. With the John Deere colored cake with it's little tractor on top, I think it all came together nicely. And the two-year-old looked about as impressed as a two-year-old can be with food.

I would probably do just about anything to get that smile to stay on his face.

He got a LOT of books from Grandma, Popop, and Mama
and Daddy.
And insisted on reading each one before going on to
the next gift

Our big gift to him this year was a ride-on tractor my sister convinced us to buy him because he tries to ride everything from soccer balls, to his toy trucks, to the cats (the last one is problematic). And of course he got books. He LOVES books. WE love books. Like my dad said, it's never to early to start your own library. He likes his tractor quite a lot, and didn't want to wait for it to come out of the box and get assembled before he rode it. 
So many ways I can see that my little man has grown so much in one year. He walks, he talks, he launches himself off of every possible surface that is more than one inch above the ground (the higher the better). He has a head full of curly blond hair! And, he cuts up his own food. Quite a big difference from his decapitation of the dragon cake last year

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Six months in...

The 6 month-iversary of Bennet's birth and death was last week.

For some reason, half a year felt like a really big deal. Somehow, we have managed to survive half a year without a piece of our hearts. Without a piece of our family. 

I had been hoping to be able to write down his story by then, do something sort of big for a date that seems, to me, anyway, big. But I still can't get more than a few snippets down. It's just too much to handle still, putting it all out there in black and white. 

Instead, I visited Ben's grave for the first time. Alone. 

There have been people who have silently and sometimes audibly questioned why I haven't done it until now. It made me feel like I am somehow failing him as a mother by not visiting his grave regularly. A week after he was buried, someone told me "it's so lonely up there." 

I know. He's dead. It's a cemetery. Not a nursery, not a home, of course it's lonely. 

I couldn't bear the thought of visiting the last place I left him though. It hurt. It wasn't just my child I put into the ground, he was literally a piece of me. He had my nose and mouth and chin, his daddy's eyes and hair. He grew and lived inside me for 34 weeks before he died, he was a part of me and I knew him. He didn't care too much about music, but loved when I read out loud. He didn't like when his big brother would yell into my belly. He liked ice cream and potato chips (or at least made me like them). He was always quiet, never moved overly much like his big brother did. And I had to put him in the ground instead of taking him home. 

Visiting his grave was something I had to do on my own and in my own time. Not because others thought it was the right thing to do. 

And I sat in the car, shaking, sobbing, for ten minutes. Waiting for the old couple, who was walking up the hill to glance around the graves, to leave. Waiting for my legs to work so I could walk again. 

When I got to the grave, the smallest in this small country cemetery, I fell on my knees, clutching at the dirt that covered him, sobbing so hard I made no noise. I don't know how long I was there, but by the time I was able to tear myself away, because I didn't want to leave him again, it was very cold and getting dark. 

I know I'll see him some day again, I know he only ever knew love inside me, and went straight from me to an even greater love than I could ever give, but that doesn't make the hurt any less. It doesn't make the pain of having to leave him, instead of holding him, any less. I have hope, so so much hope, because I WILL see him again, but it doesn't negate the pain I feel of not having my baby boy with me. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

For You

My painting exhibit opened on the first of April. At Gallery Tasmania.

Three months of painting during every one of Simon's nap times, bed times, painting painting painting. I got 12 of my 20 pieces done in that short time.

There some important things learned from (finally) doing this.

Like that I am very very afraid that people will think I have "moved on" or am fully functioning, just because I can tackle a project like this. Truth is, my head is STILL rarely on straight. Grief does crazy things to you, physically and emotionally, and I find it remarkably hard to get to the end of a day and, regardless of how good it may have been, not break down and wonder how in the world I am going to muster the energy to get up the next day and do it all over again.

This started out as just "something to do" so I would have a goal to work towards and not let myself get completely sucked into my grief over loosing Ben. Because, to quote Finnick in Mockingjay:
"It takes ten times longer to put yourself together as it does to fall apart." 
It's taking all my energy just to keep moving on day to day as it is. I can't afford to fall apart because I don't have the energy to put myself back together again. This project, painting with a deadline, has kept me together. It has been frustrating at times, since during my free-time sometimes the last thing I've wanted to do is more work. But, while I've forgotten all the science-y reasons behind it, art, even just coloring with crayons in a coloring book, makes you feel good. It relaxes, and just... helps.

Slowly, I realized that the painting was more than just something to keep me together. It was something I was doing FOR Bennet. Using his memory, the pain caused by losing him, and his far-too-short life, for something good, something beautiful. Because each day that passes feels like I leave him further and further behind. Each day that passes is another day since I last felt him move inside my belly. Another day since I last held his small body in my arms. Another day further away from the day I left him in his small coffin on the side of a hill, alone. Painting, for him, brought him closer to me. Helped remind me that I carry him with me, in memory, always. That while the days bring me further from events, they don't bring me further from him.

And so, my paltry offering to his memory, for now, anyway, are these:

(To view the photos larger, just click on them)
(Due to differences in monitor settings, colors may appear different than in real life. Also, pictures rarely, if ever, do justice to paintings)
(Somehow, with both of us taking photos of everything, one piece STILL managed not to get photographed. I swear I did 20)


Poppies Ready For Harvest

Saying Goodbye

Wrong Turn Down a Goat Trail

Another Wrong Turn

To the Water

Behind the Clouds

Storm's Coming

Black Cockatoo

Fairy Wren

Digger's Paradise

Rainy Day in Paradise

Mist and Sunrise

First Date

Open Road

Mathinna Falls

Hide and Seek

His Sheep

Westmorland Falls

(If you are reading this and are in Tasmania, or ever plan on visiting Tasmania, drop in to Fudge 'n' Good Coffee, that houses Gallery Tasmania, to look at other great local artwork, as well as try some, well, GREAT fudge and good coffee. No, I'm not sponsored or anything like that and that's why I say this. I just really like their fudge and coffee.)