well, they've gone now

Well, sister Betty and her little family have made the move and life is settling back into a more regular kind of groove again. The last couple of weeks were so intense and although I'm sad that they've gone, it's kind of a relief too. In the sense that the actual leaving bit is over. The whole family assembled at mum's place to help convey them (and the luggage that goes with two adults and two small people) to the airport and then we all hung around to say goodbye. Except that Gerard nearly spent the time waiting in the car and being pissed of at the surly airport security because they discovered a pair of scissors in his backpack. Later I found out that my mother's handbag contained not only scissors, but a nail file and a fruit knife, but obviously she looks a lot less like a terrowist. Anyway Cam rang him and suggested he join us, without the scissors, and finally we were all together again and made our way to the departure lounge.

There was lots of passing baby Maeve around for one last cuddle, time to look at the aeroplanes and time for Grace and Ruby to go a bit nuts. When they finally boarded, I took Grace to the window to look at their plane and had a little cry. I didn't think I would cry but there it was. An era had ended and another one  hadn't begun yet. The whole time I've been trying hard to be calmly accepting, to look at the positives but all of a sudden I could only see Grace growing up without her cousins in casual contact, my mum with a lot less to do as a grandmother and me without my sister close by. And all at once it seemed to matter once again that Grace is an only child. Last week at one point I felt angry and pissed off in a kind of non-specific way and started counting other things that were lost to me now: dancing, children that might have been, friends, houses, skiing, a certain lifestyle not really desirable for a middle age woman, youth, blah blah blah. By Wednesday though, I was feeling a lot better about it all and by Thursday was sounding quite positive at my shrink visit. Because, on the whole, life really is going quite well. And I will have to have a holiday in Queensland soon, which is a lovely thought. Like it's not even as if they've moved that far away or to another country.

Still, I've come down with a yucky cold, or rather a cold that I caught when we were helping Betty and Cam pack just hasn't gotten any better. And I've been soldiering on, busy, busy, busy. Work, community (the pool may be under threat again), trying to do some work on my other web sites, gardening, life. The cold was making me super tired and I started finding it hard to breathe, hard to sleep. On Sunday, after coming home with Grace from a butterfly fairy party, I just fell onto the bed and stayed there, awake but unable to move. I didn't sleep well that night and lay there feeling panicky and anxious. Anyway, I decided I needed to take a couple of days off and recuperate. So I caught the bus to a convenient but dismissive doctor (not my usual one who is lovely) who treated me like a fraud but wrote me a certificate for two days. I would have preferred three, but didn't really get a chance to explain why it is such an issue for me to stop sleeping properly. Luckily work were understanding.

I'm glad I took a lot of photos this month. It's taken me ages to sort through them and put them on flickr. There's a whole lot more I'm going to put on disk for the family and friends. At the time it seemed a bit like I should be doing other things, but now they seem more important. Grace really likes them too, she has started to notice things and relate them to what really happened, like in the top one, she said, but we were at gate six mum! I think that's a funny thing to notice, but seems important to her. She also recognises that she took the photo of me and Ruby. I think that's where a lot of the future photos with me in them will come from. Cute.


Anna said...

I rarely regret taking photos of even everyday things really - more often I wish I'd taken more... Catching those moments in time and being able to visit them again is something I really value. Hope you feel you've got your balance back again soon.

suse said...

Dancing? Lost to you?

Laura said...

What a lovely photo of you and Ruby - Tell Grace that she is a clever clogs!
I understand the grief and panic of losing a sister to another state - my closest sister moved to Melbourne from Perth for 4 years while her daughter pursued ballet at the ABS. She was widowed, so it was just the two of them, and although she was brave and coped admirably it was a real sacrifice for them both. They never felt at home (but that may be the ABS)and as much as they enjoyed living in a new city, their trips home, and returns to Melb were always anguished.
They have returned (for good) this last summer and are infinitely happier surrounded by family and friends of a lifetime. They are still pinching themselves with pleasure at being able to be present for things like birthdays.
I hope things are positive for them. Young children are a great entree into a new community and I am sure they will settle well. And, like you said, holidays in Queensland....not too shabby!
I think of you often, missing Frank, and what might have been. I always mentally hug you when I do.
Hope things get over the hump soon

Michelle said...

I'm sorry you were so sad at your sister moving. But yeah - holidays are great, and you get the added adventure of seeing their new lives!
Hope you feel al lot better soon. My last virus took 4 weeks to clear, and I still don't feel right. Like, I've started snoring again. Urgh.

Stomper Girl said...

Absolute Beginner Tap Classes Tuesday Night 7.15 North Fitz starting in a week or so!
Hope the cold goes and you start to feel better. Funny how physical illness can bring you low emotionally too, I felt the same with the bronchitis.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

That certain lifestyle may not be suitable for a middleaged woman ....but desirable ? Hell , yes ! Anyway , who's middleaged ?
Chicken soup for the cold and good music for the soul . I hope you feel better soon .

Alby Mangroves said...

Sorry I'm late Janet, been feeling a bit low lately, and only interested in beating the living shit out of people in Mafia Wars. I hope you're feeling better xx