Lets take a wee lookback over this year. See what I actually did rather than feel the emotions which have me sleepless at 3.a.m. It looks like my friend in Sydney is also awake at 3 a.m. I can see her on FaceBook. Tonight, a severe backache woke me. That’s not something I often get. I have put my doonahs on the floor and as I become sleepy again I shall lie flat and see how we go.

In the meantime, I am awake with a freshness coming up from the Lagoon and the glory of silence which I love in the middle of the night. I did dream of a shack like this over the last few years. There was an ad on TV with an old surfer and his beachshack and I rather fancied it. Its my upper back that is hurting and I think its because I am carrying loads which are not mine. Worrying uselessly over my adult children and sadnesses and pressures in their lives.

And once again, in the meantime – lets see what I have done this year – the first year after losing Izzy and being in the Coma. The first year and start of the second. This is the reflective last week of the year when I do not have to achieve anything. Just look back over the past 12 months and wrap it up.



IN January, I began to set up the Beachshack with the trappings I love. I do believe I need to fish now with some strength seeming to return and hold its place. Donna D told me that her father healed that way. Fishing at the  Lido and she said it took him 2 years following major surgery. I moved in December of 2o14 and January was pretty much about settling in. My first place alone since 2007. My first place back in Urunga since 2001 – but this time with all the people and all things dead and gone. No parents or sister, no small children. No family life. No teaching. No Izzy. And severely damaged by the pneumonia and coma and lacking in strength and mobility. BUT I DID IT.


FEB 2015

Then I began to move a few metres outside the boundaries of the Shack and down to the Lagoon. Its late tonight. Middle of the Night and I would like to be down there now. I can smell it from my open window here and feel the lift of the cooling edge. In February it became the walk I could stretch to on occasion. Maybe 20-30 metres. It seemed a very long way to me and the weakness was staggering – BUT I DID IT. I watch it still. In its many moods. One time , I saw a kangaroo swim across it. Well, I think I saw it as well as all the people who told me about it.


MARCH 2015

It rained a lot. Weeds grew and things went crazy and I wept a lot and mourned a lot and weeds grew in me and I went crazy. It was the time of great pain and cramping and I found an acupuncturist and was put on Chinese herbs and treated by a German Lymphatic Masseuse and they did what Western Medicine entirely failed to do. They stopped the spasms and the crippling pain. And I did not pick up drugs or alcohol. I do not move house or give up entirely. I waited through the rains.

Its best I sleep a little now. Before the dawn comes and with the back pain eased.Then I shall consider the other things I have done this year.


APRIL 2015

By April, I had bought a kayak and Sandy and I had been paddling. I can paddle better than I could walk at that stage. It was heaven.

IN April the Eden people came to stay and we were out on the Lagoon. Tied to one another and floating free. We had birthday parties and decorated the outside living areas.

And I saw my 11 year old granddaughter again.


MAY 2015

I went to the Bellingen Show. That was achievement. Driving confidence has not returned and confusion about where to go and what to do has remained with me amidst grief and fear of what happens if I ” come over all queer” from the illnesses. Iz had done almost all the driving and we had both done the Shows together – but this May I DID go. I met the Kids there but I drove and I walked around. I DID IT.


JUNE 2015

I Went a -wandering into Fairyland with the Little Girls. Along the Lagoon between the Shack and the Lido. We saw fairies and talked and dreamed and walked. I allowed the Joy and Love of the Little Girls to do a lot of healing of me. I still had doubts about surviving but I lived on each day and went to Fairlyand.


JULY 2015

In July, I did what I truly thought I would not be able to do. I flew to Eden. My head was still muddled and my strength minimal. Fear , on the other hand, was kicking my arse bigtime. Nonetheless, I booked tickets on 2 planes and flew to Merimbula. My brother met me and had lunch with me till the second flight and then I was there. One again I loved the flights. Hadn’t been on any for a long time because Iz would not fly. I saw a seal while I was down there and we all cruised around the area which I love. I saw the places where my son works. On the return flights I even saw mountaintops covered in snow. It was wonderful.

It was also the first time in this period since the few weeks after I came out of the coma, that I was simply taken care off and didn’t have to work out how to drive, shop and cook etc.

I saw trawlers and did meetings and and went to Candelo Markets. July was a wonderful time for me. I even enjoyed the Cold.




This doesn’t look like I am doing anything.Remi and Oz from next door were doing all the physical work. What was big for me was that I accepted their help and opened a door between our properties and gradually, over the months, a door in my heart.

I also turned 28 years clean and sober in August.



I SPENT weekends on Facetime with Eden and sometimes, The Girls were here as well and we  were all together despite the 1000kms separation. I did a lot of computer activity all year and started the SilverBird blogs to work my way through everything that has happened. I truly made this shack into Home. I put my desk by the window which looks out to the Lagoon and over Buster’s bromelliads. I even olive oiled the wooden floors. I got the gas heater connected and I stayed put. I stayed.




In October , I turned 66. There’s an achievement for you. 66 years old. I had a  party and Remi from next door prepared a Malaysian Feast. My mood was flat as it has been for most of the year but I was aware of the blessings and of the beauty. It was a good day and I did know that.



November came and I began to swim again. I did get put in hospital for a night but I also did a lot of salt water wading. Sometimes with the Children. I got myself in for swims even when I wasn’t so inclined. Its beginning to look to me as though I have achieved far more than I thought I had in 2015. Most of the time I was struggling against the massive fluid overload and the staggering grief and still – I have continued . Even though the Alfa packed it and the remnants of my money went on a new car and other odds and ends. I have been in the salt water. Cela suffice.

I have also watched my daughter’s house being built.


december 2015

And in this last month of 2015, I have done even more. I went to Sydney where my brother and his partner and I had a lovely time.We travelled my home city and I go to city meetings. I also saw the Liver Specialist as planned and got a thorough checkover. He adjusted the fluid tablets and for the first time in so very long I have had weeks of relief. Plus he spoke of the obesity causing a lot of the problems and it startled me into cutting out bread and chocolate and cakes etc and beginning to introduce decent food. The trip to Sydney meant that I flew again. I was so much more at ease this time and able to make my own online bookings.

We went to many places we had known as children.

Now December is ending. Xmas is done. New Year is coming. I have $4000 left and a pension and 2 cars.

Ah yes – I also bought a car this year – all of it done through the muddled head, illness and grief.  I have remained clean and sober. I have stayed in the one house.

I haven’t done what I had hoped I would.

I haven’t done as well as I am sure many people would have done .

But – all in all – It has been an amazing year.

As Marian once said.

” Just do your best even if its a lousy last.”

I surely have done my best.



TODAY I need to break Life down into very small edible chunks.

Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. The Lot.

The day is done and done as well as I could.

One meeting. One small party for my Girl. One visit with a Friend.

That is enough.

The rest will be whatever it will be.

One More Day

Sadness flies away on the wings of time.
– Jean De La Fontaine

When we’re sad, it’s hard to believe that time will heal all our wounds. An old family-practice doctor used to call it the TOT Treatment — Tincture of Time.

Our sadness may be due to a change in living patterns or even in the weather. It might be due to loss of a loved one, of good health, or even of a cherished object. And our grief takes time.

Whatever the reason for our sadness, after a self-imposed period of time alone, we begin to venture out once again into our world. We work our way, ever so slowly, back into some pattern of normalcy. TOT has done it’s work once again. Laughter surfaces, and we know we have put enough time and space between us and our sadness. We are whole again.

A time of sadness is natural, just as natural as the rediscovered joy that follows it.