Monday, 18 June 2007

Happy 9th Birthday Bronte!! Today is the day!!

We woke her at 7am and this time she swears she wasn't pretending to be asleep!

Remember to click on the photos to see them clearly...

The photos down the bottom are the kiss-fest photos - I love to see the kids showing love like this (and YES! that includes Stan!!)

Then there is the large storyboard that shows Bronte from waking up to the end of the night. The Birthday Hat is a tradition here. It is Joyce's and the Birthday Person gets to wear it all day if they want! Everyone loves it!

She was spoilt today...

She received the following...

Singstar PS2 Game (beause I love Singstar!!)
Gameboy DS Game
Guinea Pig Beanie Kid from Samuel
Smiggle stuff from Zachary
The Young Divas CD from Joyce
Black Dunlop Runners with hot pink
Red Ugg Boot Slippers
Zachary's old Heelys that are too small for him
Smiggle $20 Gift Voucher from my friend Simone
Money from her Godmother
Money from my sister
Money from Nana
Money from Stan's sister
Money from our friend Tim

She has more money than ME!

It is sad yet exciting to see your youngest grow.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Parties are fun....

Well the party is over - thank goodness! Fun was had by all and it is one of the easiest parties I have done/organised! We got to La Porchetta 15minutes early and set ourselves up. The guests arrived and presents were opened. Bronte was thrilled with them all... Grace - PS2 Game Eyetoy Groove Anna - Two Judy Moody Books Nicolette - Hits for Kids 2 CD Kearly - a fabulous Kids Cookbook (and they have JUST finished baking horrible coloured muffins out of it now!) Ellen - Fibre Optic Lamp and some dice game Brianna - Scrapbooking things

She loved all of her presents.

After a meal of Garlic, Aussie and Margarita Pizza (Joyce and I had smoked salmon, capers and onion pizza!!), they were all ready to see the Movie, Shrek3!

It was a really fun movie - I highly recommend it - Joyce and I laughed a LOT!!

Then it was finished and all of the girls except Anna, were picked up from the cinema. Anna has come back here for a sleepover...hence the late night cooking!

Friday, 15 June 2007

Cake look at this masterpiece!!!

It is Bronte's party tomorrow and we are doing a pizza lunch at La Porchetta followed by going to the movies to see Shrek 3. She is so excited.

Here is her invite that we sent out...

and here is the cake that Zachary and I made - can you guess what it is??

Thursday, 14 June 2007

The Anniversary of Dad or Opa as the kids called him...

The 14th of June 2002, another day that started as any other.

It was a Friday morning, I had taken the two boys to school and then took Bronte to 'Bubbles and Bootees', a playgroup that I ran at the school for mums and dads with young children. We used to have Champagne and food and coffee! At 9.30am in the morning - a good Catholic school we are!

Anyway, I remember looking up at the clock at 9.58am. Don't know why but remember being startled that it was only that time.

Went on with the playgroup and finished that around 10.30 or 11am - not sure which. Headed towards home with Bronte who was 3 at the time and decided to stop at a couple of Op Shops and have a browse...didn't find anything exciting though.

Got home and saw that the Answering Machine was flashing away. Listened to the messages, a couple from my sister and one from my sister in law. They were strange. Christine (my sister) asked me to ring her at work which was a bit unusual. The one from my Sister In Law asked if I had spoken to Christine - I began to feel uneasy.

I found my sister's work number - at the time she worked at the RSPCA in Bairnsdale, Victoria. Rang the number, a man answered and I asked to speak to Christine.

He said "Sorry, she has gone home, her father died." I said (and I distinctly remember this) 'But that's MY father!' and I hung up. Shaking.

I called Joyce my neighbour - who is ALWAYS there for me in a crisis. She knows my dad she knows what to do. I say to her 'Joyce, Dad is dead' She cries out in anguish - I can hear it still - and says I will be right there. She runs to me. I am standing in my kitchen. Shocked. She says what happened? I say I don't know I rang the RSPCA and he said Dad is dead. She is confused. I say I have to ring Stan but I can't remember his phone number. I say I have to ring Christine but I can't find my phone book. We look and I can't find it. I sink to the floor. She locates the phone book somewhere, I find Christine's number. I can't remember if I speak to her or not. I think I do. She tells me he had a massive heart attack and is dead. She is upset that the RSPCA guy told me as she instructed him not to...I ring Stan and get him paged...he answers the phone and all I say is 'Dad is dead. The RSPCA told me.' He speaks to Joyce. She is crying. I am too.

It is pretty much a blur but Stan comes home straight away. Joyce calls friends of hers and ours - Joan and Les - Joan is Bronte's Godmother. They look after Bronte I think?

I talk to my brother Stephen who lives in Olinda. We decided to drive to Bairnsdale even though Dad died in Neerim South. We meet at Christine's with my brother Michael and I think Mark comes down from Sydney. We meet with Dad's girlfriend Marina. She is devastated. She tells us what happened - he woke in the morning not feeling well and got up to go to the toilet and had a heart attack as he got up. The Ambulance guys worked on him for 20mins (I think) but no good.

My friends from the kids school rally around to look after the kids and help Stan. I am away for a few days with my siblings and it is not so bad. Not too many arguments about things - everyone is hurting in their own way. They want to bury dad on the 18th of June. That is Bronte's birthday. I ask if we can do it a day earlier or a day later but no one wants to. Thanks for that.

So, all arrangements are done. Stephen and I come home to Melbourne. The school community rally around - send meals to the house and offers of help.

I had already organised Bronte's party for the 18th. A Fairy Party at the Fairy Cave. I rang my friend Sue and asked her to talk to the people who were running it to see if I could cancel and shift it to the Friday. No problems. I gave Sue a list of the invitees (the list was in my head). She rang them all and told of the change of plans and the reason.

There was a viewing on the night before the funeral. I decided to go. Stan didn't want to so I went with my siblings and Dad's girlfriend was there too. All I can remember is that he was in his pyjamas! Why was he in his pyjamas I asked? Marina (the gf) said she chose that because he loved his pjs and he looked so comfy in them. He also loved to chew PK chewing gum so she placed a packet in his pj pocket. He looked peaceful yet different. His nose looked big. I remember thinking that over and over - that his nose looked pointy! Funny the things you think about.

I was happy I saw him as it helped me realise that it was final. That he wasn't just a 4 hour drive away.

Anyway, the funeral was lovely. I would not speak but my sister did. It was nice. Samuel who was 7 at the time wrote something about his Opa. I think it was nice but can't remember. He read it out at the Church. Zachary and Bronte did drawings of Opa - the three stood at the altar in front of the coffin and laid the writings and drawings on top. It was a special moment.

When I look back on such defining moments - I can see humour. I giggle slightly when I think of what I said to Stan 'The RSPCA told me dad is dead.' I mean no wonder Stan was confused!

I think of how people came together for his funeral and how it was the day of Bronte's birthday. How she got presents in the morning and then we went to the Church for the funeral. Of how at the wake - everyone sang Happy Birthday to her and she had the best fun. How she thought that it was a wonderful day. How we had the Birthday Cake and the Birthday song.

How, on the drive home to Melbourne the next day, we saw the most SPECIAL sunset and Samuel said 'Look mum! Opa has sent that sunset for Bronte's birthday present - isn't it beautiful?' and he said 'I bet Grandma is happy to see him and I wonder if she is mad he had a girlfriend?' - how kids bring things into perspective is amazing!

I miss my dad, I was not close to him but I miss him. I was a bit upset at him for a while after mum died so didn't have much to do with him but he knew I loved him. I had emailed him photos of the kids just a few days before he died so was happy that he got that.

I miss you dad. I love you.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Went out to a meeting the other night...

came back to this...Zachary and Bronte sleeping in our bed - Stan was sound asleep too but he didn't look as cute...

I just LOVE looking at photos of my sleeping children - there is just a pure sweetness about them - an abandonement that is inviting...

While You Were Sleeping

by Tara Simms

While you were sleeping,
I sat by your bed.
I watched you
as you smiled through your dreams.

I traced your perfect shell ear,
Touched every curl
On your little head.

I tried to sleep
But the sound of your breathing
Drew me back to your room.

I couldn't resist
The magic which tugged
At my heartstrings
And brought me to your side.

I settled on the floor
Once again.
Back against the wall,
Holding your tiny hand in mine.

While you were sleeping
I fell in love with you all over again.

While they are not tiny anymore, I just love looking at my children while they are asleep. Here is a great one of Bronte and Zachary in our bed just last month. How peaceful they look and how angelic. It does make me realise how lucky we are!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Time marches on

and June is speeding by... June, the month of death and birth. The month of celebration of life and the month of introspection of death. How final death is.
We are nearly half way through, thank God.

Mum's anniversary of her death has gone by, today is the date of mum and dad's Wedding Anniversary.

Only have dad's anniversary of his death, Bronte's birthday and my brother Stephen's 50th birthday to go.

This month is difficult.

But I think just for me.

The kids have not much of an idea...Stan doesn't really either. I think he is of the mind to just get on with it. I am of that mind too but really it is easier said than done.

I love the cartoons and writings of Michael Leunig - his writings speak to me and he is profound and sometimes dark. Suits me to a tee at the moment I think.

The above cartoon is fantastic...sorry that the words are blurred - they read...

When the heart
Is cut or cracked or broken
Do not clutch it
Let the wound lie open

Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt
And let it sting

Let a stray dog lick it
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell
And let it ring

and I also like this one...

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Check out this short Movie that my 12 year old made

for his maths project. It is about Water Wallies and Water Saving... I think it is very very good but the second half may not make too much sense to you as he has to talk over the top of it....but I still wanted to share...comments welcome.

Oh and you need to have your sound on....

Saturday, 2 June 2007

"If you learn by your mistakes, how come

you aren't a genuis then Dad?"

This was said by my nearly 9 year old daughter, Bronte, this afternoon in the car when Stan and I were having a little 'discussion'.

We looked at eachother and burst out laughing! What a great question - especially to ask of her all-knowing and always-right father!

That kept him quiet for a bit!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Nine years have gone by without my mum...

and you know, it doesn't get easier - it is just different. Really different.

This day, 9 years ago, my mother died and in 17 days time, Bronte will be 9.

June is a difficult month for me...mum died on the 1st of June, Dad died on the 14th of June 4 years after mum. Bronte's birthday is on the 18th of June - we buried Dad on her 4th birthday...

I wanted to share this letter that mum wrote to us a while before she died. It isn't dated but I can tell that it was amended not long before she got ill as she inserted a reference to my 'wee girl'. She knew I was having a girl and loved the name Bronte.

In it she mentions names - Bert is my father, Christine, Stephen, Mark and Michael are my siblings, Catherine is me (Kate). Joseph, Alicia, Patty and Leonie are my brother and sisters in laws and Stanley is my husband.

Her 'special little ones', Christian, Daniel, Morgan, Imogen, Samuel, Zachary and Caitlin are all her grandchildren. Then she came along later and added 'Catherine and Stan's wee girl' that was Bronte as I was pregnant with her.

Anyway, the letter was read out by my sister Christine at mum's funeral - none of us knew about this letter until Christine read it out - she kept the secret to herself and it really made me cry. Here it is in full but if you want to read it in mum's original handwriting, click on the two photos below...
To my dearly beloved family, I thank my God for each and every-one of you and I am grateful for the time He has given us together.

He has blessed my life with the gift of you my darling Bert, you have been with me through thick and thin (mainly thick!) you have always been my anchor, you have given me love and support all our years together. No regrets Bert, we have both done the best we could. Remember, I have always loved you.

Christine, Stephen, Mark, Michael and Catherine, how I love each and everyone of you my precious children who have been a joy and delight to me, each of you have given your own pleasure and pain as I am sure I have given to you all. This is family, this is life, this is love.

Through you, my children, you have bought to our family an extra dimension and diversity which has enriched us all or could if we let it - Joseph, Alicia, Patty, Leonie and Stanley who have tried to adapt to the Geikowski way. (I myself am still trying) keep on perservering my extended family the rewards will be worthwhile.

Now to my special little ones, Christian, Daniel, Morgan, Imogen, Samuel, Zachary, Caitlin and Catherine and Stan's wee girl. I cannot find the words to express how much I love you all and treasure the joy of holding and kissing each of your beautiful faces. I thank you for your unconditional love. How blessed I am.

Be sad, grieve, be angry, but most important allow yourselves to feel, do not block out whatever emotions that are with you at this time or in time to come. I wish I could be with you physically to help each of you through this time. I pray that you come together as family and love, help and support eachother especially your father which saddens me the most.

I love and bless you my beloved family and thank God for all He has given me. Know that if it is possible, I will be loving and watching over you all and praying to my God to draw you closer to Him and to eachother.

God Bless

Your loving Pat, Mum and Grandma
And that, folks, says it all.... I miss you so much mum!