Ramblings of a Ringless Wife

Ringless Wife, Messy House, Cluttered Brain. All in a standard day.

June 26: My books

Ok, I know, I lied.
I had every intention of catching up yesterday, thinking I could easily knock over my blogs. I didn’t even open wordpress to start.

Things in the last three days have been a blur of midnight sales to get a jump on Christmas, Christian Grey, Tournaments, Anastasia Steele, getting my home organised, and Christian Grey. Yes, he is in there twice.

I’m the first to admit, that when it comes to books, if I like it, I will cleave to it. Whether or not the book is regarded as “badly written” I will still read and love it. When it comes to books, I have been always been ignorant of others’ opinions of them. I don’t care who thinks what of it, I like it. And while some people are likening 50 Shades of Grey to an extended Mills and Boon trashy read, I have been blissfully submerged in the novels for the last three days. It has given my brain some much needed space.

I  have been told that I read books of poor quality, that reading a book designed to stimulate you in places other than your brain is a literary faux pas, and that I should be looking for harder reads. The thing that is frustrating me is that I read “harder” books. I have spoken before about my favorite authors, and I have always insisted that I have an eclectic taste when it comes to the written word. Just because I choose to dive into a novel with a mindset to block out the world doesn’t mean that I am an ignorant, trailer-trash reader.

I don’t always read to be stimulated. Sometimes I read to escape – that’s when I read Harry Potter. Sometimes I read to give my brain space – that’s when I read Mills and Boon. Sometimes I read to remember – that’s when I read Anne Of Green Gables. And you know what? Sometimes I read for my enjoyment – and that’s when I’ll read 50 Shades of Grey.

Yes, there is sex in 50 Shades, Lots and Lots of sex. There is also terror, and mystery, and love, and grief, and fierce loyalty.

When it comes to books and the written word, I am no hipster. If there is hype around a book, I will read it. I won’t look deeply into whether or not the author uses too many words, when a few will do. I won’t say something is badly written if I haven’t read it. I will appreciate it for what it is: someones hard work they  have put out into a world where everyone is quick to condemn and slow to praise.

I know people who have written great stories, yet don’t even try for publishing because they are scared someone will tear them to shreds. The people who do have the guts to put anything on a shelf deserve kudos.

Even if some people think something is badly written and that I am selling myself short by reading it, I will still read it. What I read, and what I enjoy is more important to me than others opinions. Reading is my escape, I don’t do it to look smart or funny or like I have the knowledge of the world inside my head. Maybe others should try that.

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June 11: The least judgemental place on Earth

I am very lucky in that I got to the age of 21 before I had my first Earth shattering experience with death.

Today marks four years since my God Mother, Lee, grew her wings and sat at the right hand side of the man upstairs.

As I do every year, I went up and had a “brew” with her this morning, and while I was talking to her, I gazed around the Glemorus Gardens, which is where her ashes were spread. Really, it’s a beautiful place: Each marker which holds a small plaque with the details is dwarfed by a rosebush; there are trees and hills to frame the area; the beautifully managed grounds are lovely. A more fitting place for my God Mother couldn’t be found.

I looked around, and saw some amazing things.

I saw a woman with small children blowing bubbles and laughing.
I saw a small cluster of people, and heard their chorus of Happy Birthday.
I saw a young child showing the rosebush her new dance moves.
I saw a group of about 25, wiping their eyes as a coffin was lowered.
I saw a man, with a small child, tenderly wiping the head stone clean, as my God Father did for Ma earlier in the day.

I realised, as I was sitting there trying to hold back my tears, that every body here was linked together. We were all coming in our united pain, all part of a process that takes years to work through, all there to show how Love doesn’t die after death.

No one judges anyone for what they do or don’t do at the head stone. You could be dancing, as the young girl was, or you could be reading aloud, or you could just be sitting there with your coffee, thinking, reminiscing, hurting and loving, all at the same time.

And no one thinks any different of you.

I love the way that I glimpsed so many insights into peoples lives, and all of them seemed fitting. There was no judgement for someone laughing while they were there. There were no scornful looks for allowing a smile and a pirouette in what is usually deemed “A sad place.”

You could be eating a roast meal with birthday cake, and no one would think anything of it. People understand that you are sharing important aspects of your life with someone who is physically unavailable. People are probably wishing they had thought of that.

It’s the only place in the world that I have ever been that is 100% non-judgemental. As I walked away from Ma, with red eyes and a sniffly nose, a woman looked at me, smiled, and got in her car. There are no negative thoughts or fears, because we all know that to be there, to be a part of the place, we have had to walk the same path as millions before us as we navigate the rocky road that is grief.

To know that I could sit there, reading aloud to Ma, without any fear of judgement, or ridicule, is something that is invaluable.

And to the cherub, who was dancing her little heart out while her companion watched, smiling, with tears in her eyes – I hope you continue to dance for the Rose bush. Whoever you were dancing for is incredibly proud of you. I am.


Perfection can’t be beaten. You always came out on top – I used to think of you every “once in while” – but for the last four years, I have thought of you every day. I love you.

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March 19 : Family Grudges

In every family, there are grudges. Some are over little things, some are over big things, and some just shouldn’t even be an issue.

I’m not above it either: there is a family member who is in my immediate family whom I haven’t spoken to since October.

Grudges happen for a variety of reasons. It can be jealousy, meaness, words said that can never be taken back; it can be a difference of opinions or it can be over who got a better Christmas Present.

It’s how you deal with it that makes or breaks the family.

I know in my instance, it was easier for me just to wipe my hands of this person, and realise that her thoughts and opinions don’t influence me or my future kids lives, so I can live without them. That is not to say that I don’t miss her, or her baby, because sometimes I do. I just acknowledge that her and I will never be friends, we will never get along like a house on fire, and we won’t be close. And that is perfectly fine.  At the end of  of the day I will always love her and her babies, but we are just not able to communicate.

For some people, they manage to put aside their grudges and co-exist fairly harmoniously for the sake of other family members. I will be honest at this point and say that I wished I had this fabulous gift. In some aspects I can, but a lot of the time I just cannot hold my inner bitch tongue.

I know several people who have grudges against me but haven’t as yet told me why, and again, I am OK with this. If a person can’t even tell me what it is that I have done wrong, then obviously I don’t need them or their input into my life. I do find it sad within a family structure, but hey, life sucks! And if it didn’t, we would all fall off.

I am very lucky in that within my immediate family, everyone is aware of why someone else isn’t talking to them. There isn’t a lot of room within either side of my family for back-door politics; we are all very outspoken, and have no qualms in pointing out who is pissing us off and how they are doing it. We are also very good and hurling back whatever reasons have come to us (in my family, we are all perfect… ya get me?).

Grudges can provide an awful lot of entertainment within a family unit as well. There is nothing like sitting around a Christmas Dinner table, and going for Gold on a family who can’t look any body straight in the eye… to us, it is a very Worthy subject. And she knows we all think of it, and talk of it, because everyone of us has told her straight to her face. (That’s another thing I like about my family and its grudges – we all only say what we have already said to the person about it!)

I guess, at the end of the day, the big thing is making sure that your grudges don’t affect the people around you. I know for one person in particular, she and I will be perfectly nice to each other for the sake of our Grandmother even though we barely speak and have very little to do with each other nowadays.

And you always need to remember, that grudges can be resolved. One day, your person whom you are grudging against will be dead – and then it may be too late.

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January 13th: Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

I struggled for a long time on what to write tonight. I had all these plans but for some reason tonight they felt as trivial as a piece of rubbish on the wind.

Tonight I watched the funeral of Kristian Anderson. He has been all over the news, after his massive fight with cancer, in which the cancer ultimately won.

But this post isn’t another about cancer; it’s one about holding close to you those whom you don’t know how you would live without.

I am one who is, for the most part, grateful beyond belief for my family, my friends, and the people who I have just met within the last week but who have supported me.

When was the last time you said “I love you” to your partner, family, friends?

I tell Daniel whenever we part company, whenever we hang up the phone – even if its been 5 phone calls in 5 minutes, at night before I go to sleep and in the morning when I wake.

It is the same with my family. When I leave or they leave, or when they hang up the phone. My last words are always “Loveyoubye.” Yes, I say it so quickly it all runs together.

My Grandmother, who only says “Love you too” in the cases of extreme pain or worry, even gets a “Love You” when I hang up the phone.

Some people tell me I am silly to do this. They’re all my family, of course they know you love them. Well, Yes. I’m sure they do. But if one of them died tomorrow and I never got to see them again, I would know that the last thing they heard me say was that I loved them.

As mentioned in a previous post, the last thing I said to Nanny Middo was that I loved her. And that one little fact is so important to me, though it may seem trivial to you.

Another Grandmother drummed into me at an early age, that “There is never too much love in the world.” This is something that I hold true to as well. It is something that I will pass on to my kids, and will teach them to pass it on to theirs.

Even my best friend and I tell each other “Lubb Lubb”, because that’s saying “I Love You” but with some added awesomeness.

There are times when I positively Yearn to hang up on Daniel, my parents, my siblings, or my family because they have frustrated me so much. It is very rare that I do, and if I have been pushed that far, the conversation is followed by a text that says I love them. I am too scared to face the possibility that the last thing I have ever said to someone was in anger, and cranky, and maybe not 100% meant.

How do I know that tomorrow isn’t going to leave me like it has to so many others, alone, scared, devastated and wishing that I had taken the opportunity to tell someone I loved them just one more time.

Tonight, give your partner an extra hug; send your mate a message; send your parents an email. And if it is too late for you to do it this way, shout it to the Heavens. Heaven doesn’t have good reception for your mobiles, so your text or phone call wont get there.

Sometimes, Life is too short.

“Life is short, even if you live to be 100 years old that is but a blink in eternity.” – Kristian Anderson.

To read more about Kristian and his battle, you can visit his blog here

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January 2nd: Being asked an unanswerable question.

Have you ever been asked an unanswerable question?

I have two things that I would move Heaven and Earth to have. They’re not materialistic, such as a new car, a house, or even my midwifery dream.

Both of these things are so deeply buried in my soul that when I was asked to choose, I honestly couldn’t. I found a question to which I had no answer, and Google couldn’t even help me!
To take a quote from the distinguished Captain Feathersword, you could have blown me down with a feather! Wow… two of my deepest, fiercest dreams and someone was expecting me to make a choice. I thought on this conundrum for days; and I still don’t have an answer, but I now highly doubt I ever will.

“Hey Kloi… If you had to choose between having a baby, or having your nan back, what would you choose?”

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My Great-Grandmother, Ellen Mary, was born on 30/10/1917 and joined my Pop after more than 20 years of widow-ship on 16/3/2010. To say that my world was broken is an understatement. Few know just how deeply depressed and black I became. My life was shaken, and it will never be the same. Ever.

Nanny was a verifiable angel. She grew up in the depression, so if anything was free she took it with both hands! She never drank, but did have a shandy at birthdays, christenings, weddings and funerals… considering there is over 100 descendants of her, I’m sure you can see the funny side to that statement. She was “the Knitting Lady” in my hometown, and every body loved her. Nanny was devoutly religious, and knew from an early age that one day she would be worthy of God and a place in Heaven. My Mum said after Nanny has passed, “I certainly hope there is a God, because if there isn’t, Nanny is gonna be pi-iiiissed!”

Nanny was not just “Nan” to our family. She was, to just about every one, Nanna Midson.
But to me, she was something worth aspiring to. To my mum, Nan was even more.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I think I should have done more for Nanny. I should have behaved differently and realised the jewel she was much earlier than I did. But, I like to think that Nanny always knew how much I loved her – and I never left her company without telling her so – and that she knew how pivotal she was to my life.

For the last couple of months of Nanny’s life, I began driving to Myrtleford of a Thursday afternoon, and taking Nanny out for lunch and a “caffecina” at Heiners Bakery. When she was admitted to hospital in Early March. 2010, I realised that I wasn’t going to have my Nanny forever… I wasn’t going to have my Nanny for a few more months… I was going to be lucky to have her for a few more days.

Every second day I was in Myrtleford, sitting beside Nanny in her hospital. We would talk… or rather, I would talk, and Nanny would nod at the Angels who I believe were surrounding her bed. If she slept, I would sit quietly and read. But when she was in pain, or delirious… It was the most agonising thing in my life. I was watching someone who had kissed my booboos, made me yummy meals, hugged my hurt away, and taught me more in the final weeks of her life than anyone else ever will. And I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t ease it. I couldn’t help her.

I learnt what helplessness was. On March 15th, I had to leave the room, and I could still hear her screams and cries from inside, through a closed door. I stood outside her door, sobbing because I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t do anything.

That was the last time I saw her. If only I knew then what I do know.

I was due to go back on the 17th, and had planned to be there by 1130am. But at 7.13am on the 16th, I was woken by Daniel. I told him how I felt weird, and how I just wanted to cry. I remember him saying, “It’s about to get worse. She’s gone, Babe.”

I remember lying there for a minute, being totally stunned, but hearing this banshee-like scream in my head. And the flood gates opened. I cried myself sick.
I went out the front to have a smoke, and I could still see my Grandmothers footprints from where she came to the door to tell Daniel. And I cried. I screamed. I vomited. And I hated. Hated, everything.

Realising that Nanny was gone wasn’t happening for me – and it still isn’t to an aspect. I remember her funeral, and I remember doing what I know she would have wanted me to. But in reality, the weeks and months passed afterward in a vale of tears. I only found out much later how worried so many people were of me.

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I even now have bouts where I can’t stop crying. Ask my manicurist, Rach! She copped it the other day, unlike any one has in the last few months.  And I posed to her the question asked of me. Rach gave me the simplest answer, and one I hadn’t even thought of… “I wouldn’t choose.”

I ended up answering the poser just as simply. “You can not make me choose between things like that.”

On reading back over this blog, I have deviated so far from what I wanted to say. This seemed to write itself, and as such, I don’t think I will change it.

Inside every persons life is a jewel. Cherish it, Polish it, Take better care of it than you do of yourself. One day, your jewel will be gone; your heart will be broken; and your life shattered.

In Memory Of,
Ellen Mary Midson
Born in Young, 30/10/1917
Died in Myrtleford, 16/03/2010

Good Morning Nanny. I love you.
I miss you more, today, than yesterday…
But not as much as tomorrow…

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