The June long weekend marked six years since Mick died.
Two thirds of our daughter’s life. About the same percentage for our son.
We didn’t celebrate the anniversary but we did acknowledge it.
Through conversations and quiet gatherings, we paused with family and friends to
- remember Mick,
- acknowledge our loss and that challenging time and
- be thankful for each other and how our lives have unfolded since then.
The weekend coincided with the completion of several weeks of painting of the entire interior of my home. Every cornice, skirting board, architrave, window frame, cupboard, ceiling and wall has been cleaned, restored and painted.
It has all been renewed and it feels wonderful.
The change in energy is palpable for not only the kids and I, but all our family and friends who visit.
Previously when visitors would arrive I would watch them tightening and inhaling deeply as they approached the front door. Preparing themselves for memories of bittersweet visits laden with gravitas.
Now our front door has been painted a fuchsia pink (it used to be a dark grey) and our visitors can’t help but laugh and smile as they walk in. It reminds them of my love for bright lipstick and colour. As they make their way into the house, they see changes a plenty, in each room. There are traces of Mick but it is evident that the kids and I are growing and changing. Connected to life.
We had two gatherings at our house that Mick would have loved.
The first was our weekly dinner with my in-laws. Their dedication and commitment to regularly visiting us is inspiring. The round trip to Sydney is more than three hours drive. We talked about their holiday plans for the following week. They were supportive and enthusiastic about the changes that I have been making to our home. We briefly discussed Mick’s memorial and that the headstone and plaque needed a polish. We celebrated the kids recent successes at school. We nodded at the nearby photos of Mick. The conversation was light despite some of the levity. Full of love. Mick would be pleased and proud of the five of us. We were all comfortable with the conversation topics. We are committed to nurturing our relationship and supporting each other. We are all enjoying life despite deeply missing Mick every day.
The second gathering was with some of our local friends who were part of the care team in the last few weeks of Mick’s life. Some of Mick’s best friends and their families. It is never lost on me that most of their children have been born since Mick died. Everyone loved the changes we have made to the house. Even the pink front door! As the adults sat on the deck catching up and raising a quiet toast to Mick, my children and theirs ran amok through the house and garden. Just the sort of informal barbeque and banter that Mick relished.
After they left and the kids went to bed, I sat quietly reflecting on the long weekend and the weeks leading up to it.
Reading messages of remembrance from some of our dear friends.
Looking at photos of more rainbows that were spotted by our loved ones in recent weeks.
I felt blessed and gently held. Gently held by our love for our friends and family, and their love for us. Gently held by our love for Mick and his love for each of us. And gently held by my love for the mystery of life itself.
(So much paint! The painter is now a good mate of ours. He wasn’t sure at first about the colour scheme but now he loves it and he is so pleased to have worked with me to rejuvenate our home … for the kids and I … and all our family and friends who visit.)