I Didn’t blog last week, cause I felt too sad. I went to a funeral on the Monday it was my mums birthday on the Saturday and both events left me feeling a bit lost. The funeral was for a woman I met in a writing group earlier this year. When I think back now I’d only met Jenny six times. But there was just something special about the way she encouraged me to take risks with the group that made me feel especially close to her. From the first session I knew Jenny was on my side. I told her I was new at this teacher caper and at every opportunity she tried to spur me on. Jenny was determined that one day our little group would continue. That we could form a community of writers and learn and support each other. As I left her funeral I felt sad that Jenny wouldn’t be there when we get the group back together. I felt sad for her family that christmas without Jenny at the table, wouldn’t be the same.
As the end of the week drew closer I couldn’t stop thinking about my mum. Her birthday was the fifteen and it’s been five years since mum died. I used to love mum’s birthday. Used to love the fact that to her the simplest gift was like treasure. Mum loved ornaments and stuffed toys and flowers and her little unit at Nagambie was like a shrine of birthday presents. Giving mum a five dollar nick nack from the reject shop was like giving her the world. After she died my sister-in-law and I went over to pack up the unit. Putting those ornaments into packing boxes was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
My mood didn’t budge till the Sunday when I went to see my grandson Jake sing at the carols by candlelight in Wodonga. As my bride and I drove up I wondered if I was in the right frame of mind for christmas songs in the park. But when Jake walked onto that stage my sadness left me, my heart soared and I found my christmas spirit. I watched him. Watched my wife and daughter watching him and thought to myself, life is good.
On the drive home I thought a lot about the people we share life with and those we miss. I thought about Jenny and her gift of encouragement. About mum and her nick nacks. I thought about Jake and his grin as wide as christmas and for the first time in a while realised how blessed I am.