The Scene of the Crime, A Family Gathering & An Innocent Sleepover (13-19 April)

Monday 13/4/87

Almost missed the bus – my pants were wet [I’m thinkin’ perspiration…] & I forgot camp photos ‘n’ everything, but I did just get the bus! Boring day – walked round a lot (Lucy’s put on lotsa weight & smokes now) I tried on some formal dresses- some so gorgeous (my favourite a silver dress $499) [which was definitely mega-expensive for that era, and totally out of my reach] We went to the movies “TOP GUN” yet again. After, I finally bought some shoes – gorgeous white flats with a cut-out heel A Life in Words[and here I’d included an illustration for better clarity…see right] & punched holes [like the patterns in leather ‘brogues’ (see pic below) …which by the way were just coming into fashion in a big way.] only $30 from Sportsgirl (believe it or not!! Gorgeous! A Life in WordsLucy came to our place till her dad picked her up. Got the TV & video rental Gonna watch “About Last Night” tomorrow. Missing Mark terribly already. Wonder when he’ll ring? oooh! 10:30 I’m tired Ate so much chocolate tonight. I feel fat!! [Uh huh, you feel fat …but you are totally oblivious to the more serious damage that rubbish is doing to you inside…at the cellular level…] Another mouse this morning – sick – caught it & ‘fore throwing it down the back, Mike bashed it, to make sure it was dead. [Boys love that shit, huh? I know plenty of ‘fellas’ who’ve taken to toads like they were golf balls over the years. Not to generalise of course: I’m sure some girls may have had a turn or two as well…] Ooh! No more mices! I hope!

Tuesday 14/4/87

A Life in Words
A (marginally) better view of my scar, than in the full picture (below)

We went to the site today (after mum worked in the morning & I finished all the choc. out of my ‘show bags’) we drove to the site. I cried a bit to start with but went down & collected as many souvineers as possible. [Really, all that I gathered up was junk and ended up being binned at a later stage. I think the act of ‘collecting souvenirs’ was itself symbolic or a method of ‘processing’; an excuse to physically return (down in)to the very place where so much trauma had hid me all at once on that fateful day.] I couldn’t believe how different it was, to my thoughts[Memory. In other words, it wasn’t as I remembered it…] Then, stopped at Edmonton to see the bus- yeuch. It’s a bloody mess. [I have included photos of it at the end of this post.] Stopping at K-Mart, then once home, around 5:30 Mark rang – was cut off first & after 2nd time, didn’t ring back – but it was good to talk to him. Video tonight “Best Defense” was stupid. Is 9:40. Only just found out, on the answering machine, that Fi rang, so I’ll have to ring her tomorrow. Damn it! Rainy-Overcast weather set the scene perfectly at the site .. it was so much steeper than I thought .. & the bend less sharp, but also shorter than I imagined. Otherwise I recognised it all. Can’t wait till Mark gets back. Oh I’m tired. Boring day (strange, untalkative mood after the bus site revisit?) [Sounds like a rhetorical question to me: I’m fairly sure I knew deep down that visiting the site would bring ‘stuff’ up… even if I wasn’t exactly able to define what…]

A Life in Words
At the top of the drop (you can’t even see the bottom of the gully) my crouching pose deliberately emphasises the scar that was born in this place. Interestingly enough, this verge on the side of the road seems not to exist anymore: when I returned in 2012, the drop from the guardrail at the edge of the road is almost immediate. The road must have been widened since the accident….?

Wednesday 15/4/87

Boring, boring, boring. I rang Fi _ _ she said she’d rung to talk cos she hadn’t talked to me “for ages” ..said Jemima wanted everyone to go bowling tonite – GREAT! I thought. so I went to town & Earlville with cousins etc. At home, did very little ..sunbaked (lemon juice in hair) & started my camp/crash scrapbook. Then after ringing Fi (not home) & mima, found out they went to Green Island so I decided I wouldn’t go bowling [a reaction purely based on hurt, the thought processes behind being “all or nothing”: if I’m not invited to everything, I won’t attend anything… I won’t be missed…] ..went late nite at Kmart instead. Laughed a lot! Watched “North & South” at home. Saw Linda P & Steven- actually talked rather comfortably with him for a few minutes (shit this pen’s stuffed) [the biro I was using that night wasn’t working so well] cloudy & sunny day – Marks coming home tomorrow I CAN’T WAIT!! Want to see him so badly. Shit, so many late nights since Jo & Mike came (I can’t stand the mess & laziness they show.) Mark..!!! LOVE YOU!!

Thursday 16/4/87

Mark rang tonight – 10 minutes after he got home! (I thought that was so sweet – straight away, practically) we didn’t decide what to do tomorrow so I’ll ring him around 9:00 Woken by the phone ([our] mums were at the dump) I answered & it was for Julia. SHIT OFF TO THE MAX! [Ha! “..to the max(imum)” was a great adverbial phrase.] Watched TOP SECRET, while doing my camp scrapbook ..sat in the sun browning myself & then to to work on my scrapbook again (altogether I didn’t do much at all on it today!) A Life in WordsWent to get the video on dusk… and it was soon after our getting back that Mark rang about 7:20 I think. (Watched TV & now the new chosen video – MONEY PIT) I hope we do decide on something to do- I badly want to see him again. Mrs B visited today – and Mr. G. also dropped in – I thought he’d rev me about my assignments; luckily no! warm day Brent finally brought the typewriter back!!

Friday 17/4/87

Well, I rang ‘im about 9:30 – & as I thought, he was still asleep… so I felt really terrible- talked abit & finally decided I go to his place (& take my photo albums too!) at 11:00. Well, we mucked around (& tickled- ouch!) Looked at photo albums- I went into his room (umah) – almost slammed the door on my fingers. Was good, but the time went so quickly ..only 2 little kisses, But some affectionate moments, when we just looked at each other. Ate cheese sandwich for lunch..mum came & was talking for awhile to Mr. & Mrs W (told me later we may be going to Josephine Falls with them on Sunday for a BBQ) HOPE SO!! So I told Mark to ring me, when he wasn’t tired. I love him I know I do… I feel it all through me ..this wonderfully happy, relaxed feeling when I’m with him (ESPECIALLY when we’re alone & at night!) [Um, yeah Liss, that’s a different four-letter ‘L’ word…] Did nothing at home. boring. Watched EUROPEAN VACATION tonight … bore! [I’ve never been fussed on the National Lampoon series. Give me Monty Python any day…] Is now 9:15.. early really! (compared to other nights I’ve had) god I hope he rings me soon .. am dying to see him again soon.

A Life in Words
The last photo I have of my Nana was taken on this day. She was wheelchair-bound by this stage due to her rheumatoid arthritis. See her gnarled right hand? …and by the way, the cigarettes in her handbag? She smoked right up until she was unable to hold anything in her fingers…

Saturday 18/4/87

mmph! woke only after 7:00 (got up around 7:45) this morning – not fair – I can’t sleep in. Did nothing, basically.. watched Between the Teeth [a quite short-lived music programme on the ABC] & that was about it. (all that I did) Michael & I went with mum around 11:00 to get chicken, change the video & get Nana (saw Paul W on the way) When Auntie Thel, Uncle Ross, Michael (mum’s cousin) & cynthia (his wife) & child came, we were watching BACK TO THE FUTURE. Sharon rang me .. we talked for yonks (she did). Auntie Thel helped me make a big (solve a big problem) decision…my CAREER ..She said Libby (daughter) was booming in her interior dec. business & could (does) need help.. so all of a sudden, I’m interested..think of the prospects!! It’s an excellent idea! [That, like the few others I ever had, left my consciousness after that day. What do they say…”all talk no action”?] Anyway, Mark rang after Sharon..talked for ages (mum & Mrs W decided on tomorrow’s trip to Josephine Falls) & after (visitors left) I got ready to go to his place . . . it wasn’t quite as “touching” this time ..we did kiss now & then (not that I didn’t like that – I loved it! But, ah, somehow it was less “touching”… we watched TV, ate dinner late, during the sick movie.. mucked around mainly.. tickling not much talking ↵

Sunday 19/4/87

But, anyway when I rang a taxi at 11:15, no answer… Mr & Mrs W came home after their dinner & suggested I stay.. I thought so..Mark didn’t want me to..wonder why? But anyway, I rang mum & it was O.K. I was in Sandra’s room, with FM4CCR on her clock radio (Mark set it up for me!!) I went to sleep around 12:30, I guess woke around 7:00, but snoozed till 8:15 – Mrs W got me up (I heard Mark play “Candy” – he played it to me last night) this morning) Had brekky & finally around 9:30 mum & the gang came. I went with the W’s.. Mr & Mrs & Mark and Keith too..trip up there & swam ice-cold water (not many people looked at my leg – I wasn’t really embarrassed at all!) After lunch (BBQ) left (I went with them again) stopped in for a look at the Bus at Edmonton. Left Mark’s ..went to Nana ..BORING!! Got a video SHORT CIRCUIT after that & watch it this arvy .. then dad came (I got $15 believe it or not) ..then we watched the movie again. Mark was working 3pm to 9pm tonight, so unless he rings me soon, or tomorrow, I’ll speak to him again Monday night before school. J&M and Julia & A.H. are going to G. Island 2morrow – I’m staying home to do the work I should’ve done over the hol’s. Saw Lyn. C. at the BIG TOMATO today (working there) Ugh! Am tired… have had an unreal weekend!!

A Life in Words
The bus wreckage was housed at Edmonton Police Station for quite some time. Here, I’m pointing out to my sister & cousin approximately where I had been sitting. The window struts caved in as we rolled so the roof sheared off the vehicle as it came to rest.

 

A Life in Words
All of the deceased had been sitting on the left-hand side of the bus & mostly toward this rear corner.
A Life in Words
the front of the bus
A Life in Words
The rear righthand side just behind where I had been sitting. This is the luggage compartment: the extra weight in the rear most likely decreased our chance of staying on the road…
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Red-Eye Radio, Dead Roses & Heavy Hypotheticals (30 March-5 April)

Monday 30/3/87

Ugh! It seemed like he was avoiding me – came very late, rushed out of maths (to do a geography exam – so not ‘around’ at little lunch) Not round during beginning of big lunch – but near tuck-shop met him & Keith. Said he’d tell me in biology [whether we were still an item or not]. During bio he sat with Duane & Alan C away from me – waiting for me to come up to him .. our talk after school didn’t do much …but I think we’re still “going for it” ..just need to try harder [Again, what does this mean? Try harder to what? Not be yourself?].. phoned me this arvy- ended up talking rubbish (jokes) I don’t know.. sometimes he seemed so negative ..but [privacy omission] “did you really think I was going to break it off?”. I really didn’t know. I thought that’s what he thought was the “practical” thing to do. So my day was depressed & nervous. (stood on bus talking to Fi on the way home .. she helps me so much.) Big talk to Jules about the crash tonight – did no study for bio exam tomorrow. Will fail for sure. 9:45. OOPS!

Tuesday 31/3/87

A Life in Words
Yep, this was pretty much the quality of our technology in 1986…

MMMM… couldn’t go up to him this morning ..embarrassed – no; unsure. Double maths – I got my own computer now!! And I did very well in my programming!! [That’s about all we did with computers back in the day… or at least, that’s all I can recall ‘learning’…] Happy with myself indeed! Talked little at little lunch . . I went up to him! During bio exam (Ha, ha, ha… biggest failure out . . terrible) I sat next to Donna. He “nicked off” at big lunch . . to begin with (computer room) talked little & after school. & he rang me just before – always going on about the “in-depth talk” 2 things I’ve gotta give him 2morrow – (1) The big talk & (2) (finally I got it out of him) a big kiss. (Also [I] said about my going up to him- I thought I did well for the first day – [privacy omission]) Otherwise, boring, hot day . . walked down to the shop with Jules. (leg uncovered) this arvy -both got skint [I had hoped I’d’ve stopped using this silly word – meaning ’embarrassed’ in this particular context – by now] (swearing in front of people accidentally) [It’s quite interesting how swearing was still considered so impolite back then that we actually felt ashamed being ‘caught’ doing it.] Life is boring without Monique. All I talk about now is Mark. [Yup.] God its hot (even tho’ we’re getting low at night) Leg’s O.K. Gettin’ better (I guess!)

Wednesday 1/4/87

APRIL FOOL’S DAY I realised this is the 2nd last week before the holidays (Mark or Cameron didn’t fool me- or try to.. a guy in my bio class did tho .. said “why’s your bandage on your left leg?” A Life in WordsI looked down- just about to say “no it’s on my right” – too late! Mark [privacy omission] wasn’t in bio .. Spent rather little time with him really & it wasn’t so crash-hot.. I think I should’ve rung him tonightA Life in Words (in art splashed yellow ink all over the front of me – had to wash my shirt + put it in Home EC[onomics] dryer (wore a paint shirt meanwhile). Mum picked me up & we went shopping during recreation Mark went weight-training. Read Dolly this arvy – no news on my bio test ..not many others have done well. Brent came over to borrow our typewriter stayed for a bit of a talk (’bout the crash mostly) Mark & I have to get together [read: hook up] sometime, I feel, before everything’s right again. [Because a bit of pashing will solve everything, right?] ∗ Beautiful rainy, windy cool weather late this arvy & tonite!

Thursday 2/4/87

Good day (I mean, this arvy, with Mark, at least) I thought he was away – not at parade, or in bio or maths. In art, after periods 3, little lunch & 4 (english comprehension exam – I stuffed- didn’t get finished) Paula said she saw him come in late to the exam. Absent for lots of big-lunch, then end part -was great – we laughed so much (I couldn’t relax my facial muscles from a smile) and after school (& on the phone tonight) all mostly about Greg & what he told me [back in 1986, when I first discovered that Mark might have been interested in me.. here’s the link to it], but also about the picture I drew of Mark, that Glyn saw last year (remember?) [Vaguely…. and as a result, I unfortunately can’t for the life of me find the relevant post to direct you to…] SKINT! I should’ve done an english assignment tonight, but didn’t – too lazy (and forgot to write a note in phonetics for mark – reckons he can read it) A Life in WordsI’ve read astrology book all arvy – Cancer woman & Taurus man (by Linda Goodman) are so much like Mark & I – it’s unbelievable. [Really?] I must work harder in subjects. [Duh.] (Beautiful rain again this vary- so cool. It’s 9:35. I’ve gotta get to sleep so I can write a quick essay tomorrow… Ugh! LOVE YOU, MARK

Friday 3/4/87

Today was good, indeed! Spent more time with him than I ever have before (at school or on a school day, anyway) -before school (showed him the little picture of him- he’s got it, now.) & little lunch – (I “unpicked” my jumper band – and he kept it!) Big lunch & for a few seconds after school (I thought it wasn’t too cool so I wanted to ring him- at 8:00 he wasn’t home – at work – his newly acquired job [privacy omission] when he rang me at 8:45 when mum finally got off the phone to her cousin Michael. (sweet phone call, from Keith’s – has to work tomorrow nite so can’t go to Bramston Beach – is coming over 2morrow! Beautiful!!!!) English (Mr Grossetti realised he made a date mistake) is deadline next Friday not today – so I’m off the hook (for the time being!) Cool day…wore my jumper most of it (rainy & cool esp. this arvy & now) spent after school listening to FM radio 4CCR – Mark listens to it you see! I feel Mark is all I have – Fiona is Jemima’s [how’s all this ‘ownership’ business?!]– all that stuff she wrote about wanting to be my best friend is crap. I think at the moment she’s “fighting” me for Fiona – thinks I’m taking her or something. [Great assumption, Liss.] That’s STUPID. [Uhuh…]

Saturday 4/4/87

A Life in WordsGood! Although he didn’t come over >sob< I woke around 7:45 (to mum’s voice) my haircut – short fringe (eyebrows) looks so cute! when I leave it brushed down flat – page-boy style (almost grown into full bob!) [I’m thinkin’ it would’ve looked something akin to the ‘do in the picture to the right…] Julia got a perm! (Bodywave) [yes, perms were still very trendy back then] looks cute, too! I cleaned out my drawers what time I didn’t spend on the phone to Mark (or watching TV/listening to music) – that badly needed doing .. not enough sun to sunbake or even bleach my hair. 1st phone call was muck around – neat? The one I called at 4:00 (woke him up – said he wasn’t allowed & didn’t think he needed to call me to tell me – hmph! I was waiting for him to arrive!) lasted 1 hour. Near the end we got serious ..something led on from my “living in a dream”…on to us being married etc . . our future together (I told him how I fantasise (dream) about possibilities & he was asking me “hypothetical” (dream) questions [privacy omissions]  (I didn’t realise!) But it’s certain we’ll be together “for a while, yet” (at least this year, I think!) ♥ is this [puppy] love? YEP! [YEP!]

Sunday 5/4/87

I got to sleep around 4:00 this morning – listening to 4CCR FM Stereo 12-4 Party & Dance music – I was so tired – so restless. bored – but I kept listening in case something I knew (liked a lot) came on. Not really good. I tidied off my desk today – being a handy woman … nailed  (put hooks) in the exposed beams & hung up the basket of dead roses & my fern. [A basket of … DEAD roses? Sounds morbid I know, but it was a Monique thing. She loved dead roses – used them in some of her artwork – so they held a great deal of sentimental value to me …even though I can’t recall where I would have gotten them. Something tells me her parents may have bequeathed me hers?] Cute! A Life in Words(Funny thing is I’m not tired after such a late night!) Think I’m getting a stye. My leg’s great – fading (slowly) but quickly!!?!! Mark rang (dunno what time, but) after lunch & we mostly joked – no more serious talk (except, I think, when I told him about my day’s “handiwork” – he said “so you’re going to build our house?” I think.) I didn’t do any HW this weekend. STUPID Wasted day. Wasted weekend – rainy, even more today. . cool weather is beautiful!! I should get to bed soon -or I’ll be too tired. I love Mark so much. (what’s new?!!)

A Bittersweet Return to School (16-22 March)

Monday 16/3/87

My foot did not swell up too much today (But the fact is, it did swell) Well, I thought I did well, walking round – doing stairs at a great pace (ha! wattabout your sore feet & knees – the pain?) [Go easy, Liss! You’ve hardly used your feet and knees for almost 6 weeks; of course they’ll suffer after your first 8 hour day on them.] Well, ..it’ll get better! (Bloody rags today) Dressing- painfully took off the dressing from where the skin was taken looks like a big graize. Euch! Generally good. I was abit nervous this morning. At school, Mark did not talk to me, look at me or come near me. At home, I rang mima tonight (Fi’s run out of things to say- I needed a new opinion) she insisted I ring him. I had a shower -talked to Jodie on the phone, and, after a lot of deliberation, finally dialled. It was a ‘sad’ phone call.. uncomfortable – probly lots more for him (I cried – I couldn’t help it) A Life in WordsHe hadn’t read the letter …wasn’t thinking about me. Angry at my ‘attitudes’ [?] .. finally apologised (made a real mess) … “I really stuffed up this time didn’t I?” [Really? How? By being yourself?] He said “I love you” .. I said “I love you too and you know it & never forget it.” [oh purleeease…] With that.. I rang Fi & told her .. I’m nervous again. It’s like we’re starting all over again… I’m going to be rather unsure tomorrow. [Such deep insecurity…] I’m glad the worst is over though. [Is it?] Euch! I felt confident (in a way) today- felt slim, pretty & flirtatious. [I’m sorry, what? How ironic: insecure, needy and self-deprecating on the one hand and yet….self confident on the other?]

Tuesday 17/3/87

It didn’t go too smoothly .. we didn’t talk before school, during double maths or after art ..at little lunch he came up & talked to Fi .. I stood by. In bio. he sat next to me. we got on “famously” and ..he slipped a note in my bio book. Big lunch-mucked round a fair bit. In art curiosity killed me- I read a beautiful letter of forgiveness & ‘repent’.. [privacy omission]. Still doesn’t think I have total trust in him. But, that’s it! (I also finally got the photo of us in hospital back from Fi!) Good day, all told! I did HW from about 5:00 till 9:50 …now it’s 10:25 – I had to have my shower ‘n’ everything – I knew I’d lose track of time (only doing biology HW, too! mozzies bad!) There was interruption- Justine McP. visited. Cool weather now (not hot at all really- my leg’s good- kept it “up” [elevated] when not in use – and it stayed “unswollen” all day!! Hopefully.. it’ll stay that way!! A Life in WordsMr P. rang tonite ..saying how soon as Monique got home from Brissy – dropped her bags & rang me. And of course, when she finally got on to me, I got to her place in ½ hr. B.F. Always. I LOVE YOU MONIQUE.

Wednesday 18/3/87

My foot’s O.K! Even after bushdancing tonight! Unreal! (Swelling, that is ..not ‘pain’) Yeah, well .. it did ache for some time, but, I’m doin’ extremely well! (Bandage slipped last night.) (Mima gave me a note today about monique etc. I cried.. was so sad.) Mark ‘n’ I did O.K. again… esp. beginning of tonight.. I gave him a kiss when I’d said something bad.. [‘bad’ meaning something that had the potential to be taken the wrong way?] he gave one back (YUM) But later during dancing .. he went off on his own .. I went up to him (outside) but left him alone (he wanted to be .. I’d asked him) that worried me. (wants to cut my hair tomorrow.. has $20 riding [betting] $12 me, $2 mima $2 Julie H. $4 Fiona. Lose, Mark!) I love him & I hope it’s not me he’s upset with (again). [I] Caught up in computers this arvy.. dunno too much though. It’s 10:25 – need to go to hosp. for dressing tomorrow, before school. Wonder if Mark’ll miss me? (Didn’t do bio HW – got marked down & didn’t do tonight’s either ..great -another against my name. I love you, Honey. HOT

A Life in Words
A Google search for “Henry Scott death” generates many links to this poem, so I can only assume that this was what upset Mark. Given all we had experienced in the recent past, it is very pertinent.

Thursday 19/3/87

I can wash my leg now, change my dressings myself. I HATE my leg. It is so ugly. IT IS NOT FAIR .. NOT FAIR .. it’s deformed – I’ve lost my nerves [the wound included some permanent nerve damage; I have no/minimal superficial (dermal) feeling over/around most of my knee and extending part way down my inner calf] .. It’s fat & swollen. I cried for Monique today again. in art. I am a lot more lately. Found out, through Cameron that Mark was given a note “A few words from Henry Scott” or something a quote on death ..and he was upset about Monique..that’s why he was as he was .. he came at little lunch (I came at 2nd period after “dressing” & seeing Ms. DeJourdan) End of big lunch, talked, mucked round – ID. card is revolting I wrecked it tonight cut it up!!

A Life in Words
Yeah, not the best pic…

After school [Mark] tried to cut my hair I got a bit violent in “defence”.. but OK. Brent cut Fi’s instead. I am so angry about my leg ..happy this morning but looking at it open depresses me so much. It’s ugly- I’d rather be dead. I’m only living for Mark ..I’d miss him too much if I went to Monique. Like now I miss her too much .. I’m with Mark. [It’s quite bizarre to think I’d’ve given up my life up for some bodily scarring, and even more so that one random human being was my sole reason for not. I’m fairly sure I knew deep down that Life held more than that…] Is. 9:45. Night.

Friday 20/3/87

Puritty good day!! Sayin’ goodbye was good, but at the time disappointing – a smack on the bum! Double eng …bore! art .. my painting sux – A Life in Wordsbut I’m going to work it and call it “the freaky memory” in remembrance of monique’s & my coincidental experience (concerning Cameron, last year.) [If you missed it, see Wednesday’s entry in this postUnreal! chem. prac boring… lunchtime Mark tried to make me shitty (was funny!) Did no HW in arvy- ready for Ms. Marsland’s CAD dinner party, at 7:10 mark rang! Talked for ages! Finally arrived at ∼8:30. Drank a whole bottle of apple cider (alcoholic) FUN! Boring for me ..dunno ..Monique missing..seemed incomplete (& kept thinking of Mark) Had a go on the video recorder (didn’t eat much dinner – not fussed on Italian food) Trina & me veged! Most left around 11:30.. I, Michelle & Nev (me lift home with Nev.) watched the video after they’d gone. Mark on my mind. (Went to Terry’s – Terry rang Astia there ..Mark didn’t talk to me..) I was under-dressed! Home at about 1:45 (thinking of mark)

Saturday 21/3/87

Woke 9:20!! Got ready – spent morning at Earlville buying undies – 4 pairs!! [Woo!] At home (after visiting Nana – feel sorry for her) Michael B came round while I picked dead skin off my wound. (Kept it ‘open’ today – this arvy – drying – did yesterday arvy too – “paraded” up ‘n’ down street showing neighbours!!) Mark rang. Then wouldn’t speak – Cameron did. Mark “hung up”. Didn’t ring back so after ∼10mins I did. Mark talked ..Cameron did then M. hung up I rang back immediately. I thought he was shitty – wanted me to decide what to do tonight (I watched TV arvy) & he rang back 5:00. MOVIES ..Colour of Money. I was worried – he’d mentioned something about a “TALK” – rang Fi – made me feel better [as she always did…]. A Life in WordsGot to Odeon [cinema] Just 4/5 mins ‘fore him …walked round ..Glyn & Hayley were there! During interval – he came back & (through joke) I think he had “the talk” .. I’m officially his girlfriend!! During movie – holding hands – [privacy omission]. Soooo nice. We dropped him home (mum, after ringing her) I’M IN LOVE!!

Sunday 22/3/87

Woke 9:30!! Slept in yet again!! And, with dressing off all day ..noticed changes compared to yesterday! I can see differences already!! Well, I went down to Amanda’s place with Julia watched the video GODS MUST BE CRAZY silly/funny ..mostly silly. Walking home after, Polly & Mrs B. stopped in the car, invited us up. A Life in WordsDid nothing much at home -not one scrap of homework. . . shit, then went to Brewers .. had a ‘dip’ (very quick) did nothing much- watched Young Talent Time. Rather boring day, really. (Altogether) Can’t wait till I have enough time (on the holidays??) to clean out my room & make my CAMP/CRASH/MONIQUE scrapbook. Rather warm today. Ugh . . 3 weeks till Jodie & Mike (& Lucy) come!! I wish I had more spare time- wish my leg would heal even faster!! I love Mark. I’ll say it yet again. Can’t wait for BBQ on Wed nite (interschool – seniors only! UNREAL!)

More Trauma, More Surgery, More Drugs… (23 February-1 March)

Monday 23/2/87

Shit. I slept well last night…ready to finally go home..had shower, then the nurse took off my dressing for the doctors. They came, Talked. Then looked. MY STITCHES BURST, I HAVE TO HAVE A SKIN GRAFT ON WEDNESDAY. [In other words, I had to go under the knife again: to have the procedure I was meant to have in the first place. Not just insensitive & arrogant, but also incompetent surgeons?] I couldn’t stop crying when they left – mum & Kerri the social worker were with me. A Life in WordsI didn’t realise just how much I was looking forward to going home, till I couldn’t. Bastard. Bitch. I hate my leg… I’m going to have the biggest scars & a totally deformed thigh. it’s not fair. I’ll miss out on the carnival.. wednesday night. I hate my leg, I hate that bus, I hate life. Everything’s going wrong – my health, my “love-life” (Mark), my schoolwork. [Because I was so distraught about ‘everything’ by the end of the day, I failed to mention the tortuous consequence of the failed surgery; the removal of the stitches. It was horrendous, quite possibly the most physically painful experience in my life to date. At least I was in shock whilst pinned under the bus. I was given no local anaesthetic, no heavy-duty painkillers… just a couple of pills (‘digesics’) before the nurse began tugging (albeit as gently as possible) at the sutures stuck in the raw flesh around the entire circumference of the hole in my leg. You have NO idea…] I had a few visitors ..Justine & Angela & their mums, Yru & Mr Gordon & Dad came. [Dad] Got back from Adelaide today. God, I’m hot. And pissed off & depressed. Oh life’s a shit, a bitch. Imagine my scars .. to think I would’ve liked to do modelling [I’m not sure that I had ever really desired that myself: I think this was more of a notion inserted into my consciousness by others…] Everybody’s telling me it mightn’t (most likely it won’t) be bad… [being optimistic for me] They’ll disappear/fade with time. But I haven’t got lots of that. [? What did I mean by this?] It’s not fair. And Mark…that’s not fair, either.. we need to get on better.. I want to walk & go out …SHIT I’ll be here at least another week, I’ll bet. Not fair.

Tuesday 24/2/87

I was thrown into depression again, today. After showering I went with Kerri down to her office We had a talk about the crash etc. Fiona & her mum were waiting for me outside ..walked back to my bed.. A Life in Wordsmum came with the letter from Mark. It said “goodbye” & envelope contained the necklace which he “washed”. [Thanks for the ‘double whammy’, Universe. Talk about Murphy’s Law…] He was really angry about me sending him away. I got rather upset. Fi read it … I wrote a note for her to give to him & the photo of us… I was so upset. The rest of the day went slowly. I watched TV but wasn’t ‘there’. This arvy Miss Stephenson & Mrs Connors came & talked. Mark came up, while they were here. I had a heart attack – honestly, I thought you could see my chest pounding. When they left, we (or I) talked (mostly) He’s coming back tomorrow. We have quite a bit of sorting out to do. He can’t understand that I “don’t trust him”- ANYBODY. I’ve got to explain, but I’m afraid he won’t understand & will say goodbye for good. [Actually, I’m not even sure now what my reasoning was…] Had lots of visitors tonight. Is 9:30. Big day tomorrow – skin graft. Huh. Great. And bloody carnival I’ll miss out on.

Wednesday 25/2/87

A Life in Words
I’ve no idea why I decided I needed to keep this bottle of ‘Hibiclens’ pre-op soap…

I am rather ‘happy’ compared to yesterday & Monday. I slept badly last night – I mean, I couldn’t get to sleep to start with. This morning I had my pre-op soap shower & put on my lingerie (ha, ha!) (op. costume) about 10:00 I think, they started wheeling me away – but I stopped them: I wanted my pre-op needle!! [Junkie!] I got it. Waited less time this time, outside. [By now an old-hat with the pre-op experience, I had decided it was time to try to fight the grogginess and remember everything I could.  The wardsmen had stationed me right beside a tropical fish tank in the surgical waiting area and with my head lolling to the left for better focus on the aquatic life, I remember thinking “gotta count the fish”. Did I remember how many there were? LOL] At 10:55 they knocked me out totally. I remember being put back into bed.. When I woke, Mark was here, with Jules, Leanne (J) & mum. We talked well. He came up during lunch. .spent rest of the arvy with me. said he’s coming tomorrow too! YAHOO! He left me a letter, you see, telling me just how much he loves me. It is a gorgeous letter. Few more visitors today. (Jaque & Trina!!) BLOODY SWIMMING CARNIVAL on TONIGHT I’M MISSING IT. SHIT. NOT FAIR. I’ll be laid up in bed for “about 5 days”. Great. Huh. Little hot. I come out of anaesthetics pretty well, pretty quickly. [Like I said, I was a professional by now…] Am feeling slightly more confident about my scars now. Have a feeling I’ll get rid of them rather quickly! [Hmmm, seems I still didn’t understand the extent of my injury?] Hope so. Damn missing the carnival. Damn. G’night!

Thursday 26/2/87

Mark didn’t come up today. But I wrote a letter for him this morning. Numbness of my leg wore off at 2:00 this morning – I woke – my leg was ‘burning’ – stinging so much it felt on fire. I got a needle & my leg hasn’t hurt too much since. I wrote a letter to Roger [my cousin]. Got a letter from Lucy- she’s coming up at Easter. Nothing much happened … Keith came up! So did some others – mima – told me about some notes [privacy omission] had written in [privacy omission]‘s biology book – something like “I heard Elissa & Mark have broken up- I feel guilty but I’m so happy.” Ha, ha! He loves me! She’s skint! I gave Julia my letter to give to him tomorrow. I wish he’d come up today. I might be out Monday according to the doctors & “how I feel” A Life in Wordsso hot ..have to have washes in bed ..no more showers – & bloody bedpans – I did a poop tonight – hate doing ’em in bedpans. SKINT [privacy omission]! mark – I love you!! Conversation mostly about carnival- I missed one hell of a night DAMMIT!!

Friday 27/2/87

He came this afternoon ..no kisses, but holding hands.. yum, yum, yum ..I’m in love! Julia said she gave the letter to Lynette C to give to him & Sharon told me he got it. (Mima, fi, justine, megan, sharon came at lunchtime) I did a little bit of work today, listened to music, watched TV … all the same boring stuff. Oh, he’s coming tomorrow, too. Can’t wait till I’m out of here. Longing. A longing to be with him as much as possible. My leg’s annoying. Needed a needle last night again . . woke 1st – got digesics (??) [oral painkillers] 2nd time given the needle. Wowee! Police Academy’s on TV now UNREAL!! ♥ Mark. Trina visited. I’m getting used to the food – I eat most of it now that’s how long I’ve been in hospital. Oh dear. All I can think about is Mark. I’ll bet he liked the letter. I hope. YUMMY – hot afternoon. Pain-in-the-arse leg. Oh, I wish time would fly. Am sleeping badly. Lucy’s coming for Easter hol’s – so are Jodie & Michael & A. Hilary & Delanie should have moved back up here my then too! WOW!

Saturday 28/2/87

mark spent about 3½-4 hrs with me this arvy- left at 5:30. (Although Andrew J & Martin J interrupted for about ½ hr – I think I gave them the hint … I didn’t know what to talk about – so didn’t say much… Mark mucked around with the stuff on my bedside table!) [How completely uncomfortable, but inexcusably rude. I am retrospectively embarrassed.] It was funny… affection now & then, (no kisses, though … not even goodbye) but mostly “buddies” …Crabby came up tonight and, believe it or not, Marney & Nola R! But I kept talking to Wayne I don’t believe how well we get on! He gave me a goodbye kiss, cos it’d be the last time I see him for a long time. They’re leaving for their leadership camp tomorrow afternoon. I want to go home Monday, for sure. I want to get better really quickly so I can walk & dance, at least. Even if it’s a limp. I want to go out & get with Mark; something I haven’t down for nearly a month now. I think, in a strange, twisted sort of) way, this crash has made me more “well known”….people being more friendly ..and perhaps (guys) noticing me. But I’m for Mark. I know how [privacy omission] feels now .. heaps of guys you’d love to flirt with, get with for a night – but the one guy you love and want forever. No one will ever replace mark. I wish we could have a future together – I mean life-long, you know. But it won’t happen … I’m sure. [A fairly safe prediction, that one: teenage romances burgeoning into lifelong partnerships are as rare as hens’ teeth] HOT again. Can’t wait to have a proper shower again!

A Life in WordsThe diary I used in 1987 was a generic one (not specific to the year) so it had a page for 29 February (perchance the owner happened to use it in one of those). Since ’87 wasn’t a leap year, I had extra space to write for Saturday… but underneath this very important notation:

Sunday 1/3/87

He didn’t come up today. In fact, besides Justin, Mr McKenzie & his family and  (of course) mum & jules, no one did. Boring! I watched TV, read magazines .. that’s about it. God, I hope this is my last night here. I really don’t think I could stand much longer – one more night. NO! I need to get out ..get better quickly.. I’m dying to go out & do things again. I wonder when I’ll see Mark again . . . would he come to our house? I wonder! Talked about the crash with Justin- I’d love to find out what happened- when. Wouldn’t it be great if we could put back the hands of time. But, no, I shouldn’t think that. What’s done, is done. [Nice little hint of Wisdom there] I hope it doesn’t hurt me to walk on crutches again… I want to be able to do it so I can get out. God, I want to go. I’m still in a bit of pain… but not near as bad as thursday  I still need tablets (digesics) but I can roll over at night again. I’m looking forward to a shower again, too (wash my hair!)

 

Life is a Creek

A Life in Words

Life is  a Creek. There are countless analogies out there but one of my clients mentioned it last week and it really stuck with me.

You see, I’ve had a pretty interesting few months. For someone who likes to think she “gets it”, who has perfect faith in her spiritual/philosophical belief system, I’ve had one hell of a big Awakening.

It started with a physical ailment; some serious back pain. It’s not like I’ve never had ‘serious back pain’ before: this was different. This didn’t actually involve the disc bulges or neural pinches I’ve typically experienced in the past. No, this was just plain old muscular seizure. My physio was a bit puzzled. My yoga teacher wasn’t.

I was aware enough to recognise it was due to Stress. Work stress. I’d taken on a fourth job… for a variety of reasons, but in all honesty, money was the ‘deep’ motivation. I thought this opportunity might also lead me in a new direction, widen my scope for ‘Success’ because it involved one of my passions.

Suffice to say, I was wrong. I’d had what I thought were rose-coloured glasses on. I’d ‘pushed’ myself under the belief that I was being pro-active, but I came to realise, I was actually being driven by a deep-seated ‘desperation’. As always happens, the awakening came in a series of realisations.

Firstly, on the physical level, I realised the culprit muscles seizing in my back were only doing what they were ‘taught’: in the Past, the physical treatment for my injuries/pain required me to be in a specific postural position for relief, release & recovery. Five or so years of this particular ‘rehab’ position had trained certain muscles to respond (that is, created a new pattern or ‘habit’) to any Stress, by immediately contracting to ‘protect’ that area that I had led myself to believe was inherently weak.

I knew what I had to do; from my philosophical/spiritual point of view (to which neuroscience is now alluding also, incidentally) it was simply Common Sense. My Yoga teacher didn’t really have to tell me. I knew it. And my Physio agreed. I had to Stop. Rest. Meditate. As much as possible. So relaxation/healing meditations were added to my daily routine.

When the root of my Stress was elicited by my acupuncturist (he didn’t actually have to dig it out of me – it seemed to be a case of just being ‘the right time’ for the words to spill out of my mouth) he gave me some more focus for my meditations and breathing that addressed my physical as well as emotional pain. And I practiced.

I had also been reading a book recommended to me by my yoga teacher (even better; she had presented it to me in a pile of books and I had been the one to choose it from the stack… another perfect example of “cosmic timing”) It had taken me awhile to get through because I simply had so much other stuff to attend to, but I had caught glimpses of clarity as I worked my way through it.

The kicker came towards the end of the book.

Dammit, I know this stuff. I’ve read heaps of ‘new age’ literature and it all makes perfect sense to me. How could I not have seen this and more importantly lived it until now?

The author – himself a yogi – wrote of his own ‘Illumination’ and his three simple words struck a huge chord with me.

“I don’t know.”

What? This:

My whole life has been plagued by these words, with respect to ‘Purpose’. What Am I Here For?A Life in Words

I have struggled with this forever. It’s the deepest source of my Depression.

Describing the weight that lifted from him when he spoke those words out loud to no one in particular, and moreover, the revelation that it didn’t matter – none of it mattered – Blew. Me. Away. Forget the light bulb, I had a hundred floodlights in my face.

The source of my deepest struggle instantly dried up.

I always knew I was the master of my life: heck, I have read enough to know that. But to strike at the heart of one of your most dominant Concerns is totally liberating.

I can fully practice what I have learnt now. In one fell swoop, my Fear of the Future has gone.

So now I’m focusing on being a Leaf.

As my client put it, if Life is a creek and we are all fallen leaves being freely carried by its running waters, we are bound to be washed up against debris, pooled & eddied. Most of us get stuck: trying to fight, resist or control. What leaf ever moved a rock or fallen tree trunk out of its path? These struggles and challenges are an absolute and unavoidable part of Life. I’m ready to let go of resistance, to let the waters carry me where I’m meant to go.

I am finally ready to really Trust.

I have found renewed Faith. And god, it feels amazing!

Surviving Mother’s Day

This time last year was a completely different story.

I went for a surf with some girlfriends early but it was cold & quite heavily overcast. And I was wearing a brand new steamer (full length wetsuit) for the first time.

I could barely move in the thing. Turns out adolescent boys’ steamers ARE a different cut to women’s (that’s what you get for trying to save some dollars). So catching waves was difficult, which put me in a bad place. And that’s where it went awry.

There were a few hot tears…. then actual sobs. Yep, I was bawling in the ocean. I told the friend nearest to me, “I can’t do this” and left. Somehow I must’ve calmed down enough to get to my car, pack up and leave without anyone seeing (or commenting) on my state, but at home I lost it again, having a shower in the very place where Mum had had the fall that put her in hospital for the very last time. I kept seeing her laying in that contorted position, helpless, painful & pitiful on the shower floor.

I put on jeans, a purple woollen skivvy with light woollen vest over the top and my ugh shoes and I lay on the couch. I don’t know what I was doing, but I couldn’t stop crying. At some stage, a charity collector came to the door and I was entirely unashamed with my swollen eyes & tearstained face to turn him away. He didn’t seem offended in the slightest.

Another girlfriend came by to check on me, trying to convince me to get out of the house but I wanted to wallow. I needed to.A Life in Words

They say the ‘first’ of everything is the hardest. I have to agree. In fact, apart from the first 24-48 hours after her death, nothing compared to that day, in terms of grief. Not my birthday, not even her birthday, nor Christmas or the anniversary of her death. Mother’s Day 2013 was my most intense experience of grief.

Today does not compare.

It’s warmer, it’s sunny and I had a better time in the surf. I can thank her – or the Universe (or whatever) – for these circumstances, but the important thing is really that I have found Peace, myself. I still miss her and it really doesn’t take much for my eyes to well up (hey, it’s happening now…) but my heart is not aching because I know she’s with me. She always will be, now that she’s free of the ‘meat suit’ the rest of us are trapped in. This is Comforting. And Comfort naturally allays Grief.

I love you, Judi. But we both know you know that.x