The one about soul 

Soul. The light from within that brightens the darkness. That filters through the cracks no matter how damaged we are. It may be brightened or dimmed through circumstance but can never be extinguished.   
Not everyone believes people have souls. In fact I’m married to one of them. But personally I believe the soul is the part that makes you, you. Not your thoughts or your feelings or your conscience or your actions. It’s your soul. 
It’s like an inner beauty that shines through no matter what the rest of you is doing. Indeed, there are some who have less than beautiful souls but they are far outweighed by the number of people who have beautiful souls. Some show theirs outwardly and some not so much. There are certain times in our lives when our souls shine and other times when they hide away. 
Then there are the old souls. The ones who you know you can feel have been around the traps a lot longer than the length of their lives. I’m not 100% how I think this happens, (I’m not really a believer in past lives) but I mother one of these old souls. He is wise and astute, profound and knowledgeable. Far, far beyond his 7 short years. I’m not sure where he gets this from but the words “old soul” describe him perfectly. 
I am a true believer that pretty much all of us have beautiful souls, some shine brightly, others hide theirs away securely, but they are all there.

As to where the soul lives, and what happens to it after we die I really don’t know. All I know is I am a true believer in souls and the massive part they play in being who you are. 

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The one about the letter to Lyra

Today is the anniversary of when I buried by baby. In a grave also containing her big brother. I thought I would share with you the letter I wrote to her and read at her funeral. 
My darling Lyra,

From the moment i first suspected you were there, you were loved. The moment daddy saw the word pregnant on the test i knew he loved you too. Because of what happened with Michael, he was initially guarded, but his feeble attempts to stay distanced from you lasted merely minutes. You were our little secret for so many weeks, hoping and praying you would stay with us. we waited, each day getting closer to believing we would be bringing home a baby. Jadis made a wish on her birthday for a sister and i beamed inside knowing you were there. 

Finally we thought we had waited enough time and had enough perfect test results to start sharing you. We told Jesse, Jadis and Charley and they could not have been more excited to get what they had wished so long for. 

A few more weeks passed and i started making and buying things for you. Daddy got out the stuff from the shed and cleaned it meticulously. He sourced replacement parts for what wasn’t up to his high standards. These were for his little girl, they had to be perfect. Jesse, Jadis and Charley tried to decide who’s bedroom you would be sleeping in and asking if they would be allowed to just sit all day and cuddle you when you were here. I couldn’t believe i was giving them something so precious. 

Then we decided to tell people you were a little girl. Charley was momentarily a little less interested but Jadis was ecstatic. She was finally getting a sister. Jesse didn’t care if you were a boy or a girl he just wanted you alive and safe, that’s all any of us wanted. 

In the next couple of weeks We had lots of suggestions of names from Jesse, Jadis and Charley but daddy and i knew in our hearts you would be Lyra Anne. Daddy picked that name for you so many years ago and i knew, like when he picked your sisters name, that i wouldn’t stand a chance against his pleading eyes once you were born. 
……………………………….
Just as unexpectedly as you came into our lives you were gone. To hear those horrible words again is something that will haunt me forever. How could this be happening? We’ve done this, we thought we’d had our turn. Our pain was multiplied because we knew we would have to tell the others. How do you do that? Have your own heart broken then have to break The hearts of three little people you love more than life itself? It’s just not fair. 

Jesse knew. As soon as someone else was sent to pick him up from school he knew. In an act of true bravery and something i will be forever proud of, he didn’t tell the others. The second i saw him there were no words necessary just a deep understanding of how the other one felt. Jadis and Charley’s hearts smashed into a thousand tiny pieces. We just held them while they let out deep sobs. The kind you know matter the most. The ones reserved for the big stuff. The stuff no child should know. 

We had precious few hours with you when you were born. Jesse Jadis and Charley were excited to meet you. Jadis even brushed her hair for you thats how much she loved you. The look on their faces when they first saw you was pure love and pride. Something i will never forget. We cuddled and kissed you, i counted your ten tiny but perfect fingers and toes. we took photos so we would always remember how pretty you were. 

  

I feel some comfort knowing you were welcomed into heaven by your big brother, and to know he now has you to play with. I will forever wonder what you are doing, and what kind of trouble you are getting into. In fact, i feel sorry for everyone else up there, there are two Botterill kids there now!

Its amazing how many hopes and dreams can be formed in such a short time. You would have had it all, everything we could have given would have been yours. So many things we now dont want to do without you. 

We planned our life with you Lyra. But not like this. Never was it supposed to be like this. Yet here we are. 

So my darling Lyra, In the words of Winnie the Pooh, something that was on Charley’s strict list of children’s television he would tolerate you watching, how lucky i am, to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. 

  

All my love, mummy xxx

The one about my husbands wise Latin garble 

The other day Nathan sent me this Latin mumbo jumbo. 

forsan miseros meliora sequentur

And he told me to look it up when I had a chance. It took me a few hours to get the time and I had no idea how to even translate it. Good old google rescued me as per usual. And it translates pretty much to 

A better fate awaits.

Or 

For those in misery perhaps better things will follow. 

Now admittedly I’m not currently in the best frame of mind.  I’m having to have medical procedures I’m not entirely happy with shortly. 

So for him to send that to me at first I thought what the hell is he saying that to me for? The first translation I was ok with. But the second gives me no hope about the future. For those in misery PERHAPS better things will follow??? Oh yes, rose coloured glasses, or PERHAPS not. In part I wish I never bothered to look into it further as I was happy enough with the first translation and thought it was kind of nice. 

But then I realised that he had sent that to me as something I could resonate with. I don’t know if this new treatment will help me, and if it doesn’t I don’t know where to go from here.

But he recognised that I wouldn’t listen to any of that positive garbage right now. I am too angry and frustrated that yet again, I seem to be in the minority, where things don’t turn out like they should. Sending this was his way of saying I want to keep you positive but realise this is difficult for you right now. So the second translation of the words perhaps did actually lift me a little. 

  
It was like he was shining a teeny tiny candle in my black hole because he knew i would instinctively shut my eyes to anything too bright. 

So without repeating those words in an almost dead language, perhaps better things await me after my misery. Yes I hope they do, but I, and he, also recognise that this may not be the end of the struggle. We have been in positions like this too many times to be that naive. And it’s reassured me that he is standing right by my side through all this despite better things perhaps not following. But still with the positivity and the possibility that they will. 

The one about holding your tongue

  

In the couple of weeks I have been in unfortunate situations three times with people. They left me angry, frustrated and hurt. 

But as things got going i had to remember that getting angrier only leads to a worse situation. So both times I backed off by saying “I’m going to leave it at that before I say something I regret”. 

That was bloody hard to do because there was plenty more to say and all of the situations could have easily become quite nasty.

And as we often do, we regret the things we say in the heat of the moment. And that can often lead to big rifts between friends and family members.

So I have learnt to recognise when things are heading that way, and learnt to walk away from the situation. It doesn’t make it any better but it does stop it getting worse. And later when I and (hopefully) them have cooled off a bit, things can be sorted much easier, and with much less hurt for everyone. Obviously there are plenty of situations (and I’ve still got one on the back burner) where the conversation won’t be sorted any time soon or even at all but it’s still better to hold your tongue than have regrets over what hounsaybuoull 

So next time you find a conversation getting heated, walk away. Say “you’re not saying anything more now or you’ll say something you regret” the other person might be temporarily more upset but in the long run it’s better to wait and think about how to handle a conversation than to make it worse. 

The one about the girl who didn’t

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This day last year I birthed a tiny yet silent baby. One who was so perfect and beautiful, I could barely believe I had created her. She had the most perfect little feet, the same button nose as all my other children and the same wonky little fingers and exact same hand prints as Jadis. Perfect in every way except she was silent. An eerie silence that should never be heard in a birthing suite. 

Today is a really hard day in so many ways but I also feel like celebrating that she was here. She still is my baby. Still born yet still born. It was still her birthday, it’s just the only one she will ever get. Pretty much all she ever got except a funeral. No first steps, no toothy grins, no first Christmas, or Easter, no kinder or school, no boyfriends, weddings or children. Nothing but those few months we had with her safely tucked up in my tummy. 

Do not cry that I am gone, celebrate that I was here. 

So today, in memory of her, hug your children a little tighter, notice those little things about them which you so often over look, and be thankful for everything they do. Because they are here. 

   
  
  
The only picture with both my daughters. Jadis devastated the sister she longed for so desperately wasn’t coming home with her. 

 
Jadis giving Lyra a high five. 

The one about strength through adversity. 

Adversity, (noun) A difficult or unpleasant situation. 

Synonyms

Misfortune, hardship, distress, torment, crisis. Basically life handing you a shit sandwich and expecting it to be eaten. 

My life has had many cases of adversity. Mostly in the last 6 or 7 years.  

I’ve always had the mindset to learn as much as I could from every adverse situation in the hope that it doesn’t repeat itself. Mostly this has worked. Occasionally, not so much.

On this day one year ago, we found out our precious daughter Lyra had passed away. Despite all I had thought I had learnt from our son Michael passing away, history repeated itself. In the most devastating way. It had made no difference what I had done, the positivity I had tried to find in the awful situation, the gratefulness for the lessons my children had learnt, the added gratefulness I had for my other children. The new friends I had found, the fundraising i had done. The counselling and words of wisdom I had given others in the same situation. 

It had not made one damn bit of difference. History repeated. In the most devastating way. And it wasn’t my fault. 

I hadn’t been able to prevent the same situation from reoccurring. And that was foreign to me. Which coupled with what we had just learnt was about the worst thing that could have happened to my heart. Almost like a double whammy. 

I lost my daughter and I lost my philosophy on doing my best to preventing life repeating itself. 

That awful day, I posted on Facebook “when life gives you more than you can stand, you have no choice but to kneel”. Despite literally only a handful of people knowing I was even pregnant let alone what had happened, something I can’t explain in anyway other than magical happened. 

People started typing that they would kneel with me. Literally hundreds. Over half my friends list offered this support despite not knowing what had happened. And I was lifted. My broken heart was lifted knowing people cared about me in any possibility, in any situation. And in those hours I sat crying my eyes out for my lost daughter, having just broken my other children’s hearts and watching Nathan deal with the news himself the number supporting me grew. 

And my heart gained strength, despite, and through adversity. For all of you on that day who supported me, and all those who were not, but would have been, I want to say thank you for helping my heart gain strength through such tragic adversity. 

  

The one about the semi colon. 

Yesterday i participated in a fundraiser for beyond blue who provide support and education for people suffering mental illness. It was run by my favourite tattoo shop designer ink and my friends Ryanne and Matt Reid. 

I had the pleasure of helping them ensure the day ran smoothly. 

Over the course of the day, I saw couples getting matching ones, a family all getting the same one in the same spot and quite a number who for them this was their first tattoo. People were getting them for themselves, and people getting them to support others. The emotion behind the whole day was just beautiful. 

The idea was to tattoo as many people as possible in 12 hours with profits going to beyond blue. 
  The catch was the tattoo had to be a semi colon of some description. There is a movement beginning around the world of people having semi colons tattooed as awareness for all kinds of mental illnesses, but in particular depression and suicide. 

 A semi colon is used by an author in a piece of writing, when they could have chosen to end the sentence but instead choose to pause; (good example hey?) and then continue.  
 
In the sense of the tattoo it represents a time in a persons life (or support for someone else in this situation) when they could have ended their story but decided not to. 

The appearance of these tattoos on people around the world is helping to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and showing a growing support to those suffering from it. 

 I am proud to say that by participating in this particular event yesterday, I have contributed to raising around $1500 for such a great cause and want to congratulate and thank all those involved for such a wonderful day.