It was an early start this morning. Tuesday’s mean business. Six-thirty every morning I have a hot date....with Shane, my PT. He pushes me further than I push myself. I can wear my ugly pants and pull ugly faces as I strain to plank for more than fifteen seconds, and it’s okay. It’s good. The ugly faces are greeted with high-five’s and well done’s.
We are your average family. Mum (that’s me, Amelia), Dad (Keith), son (Will), daughter (Olivia), the cat (Puddie), and the horse (Sammy). We live in the ‘burbs, about five kilometers from Adelaide. The horse resides in a lovely paddock up in the hills, about a half hour drive away. Life is peachy, I am fortunate enough to stay at home, full time, with the kiddos. My days are spent snapping photos, baking, crafting, gardening, finger painting, and cleaning. Keith heads off to work each day in the city as a software engineer. Our weekends are filled with relaxing fun times; trips up to the hills to visit family and friends, and the horse of course, cooking scrumptious feasts for our loved ones, lazy days in the backyard pottering in the garden, playing music and exploring the neighborhood. We are simple people, we enjoy life and what each day has to offer. We believe in love, working hard, enjoying the time that we have with family and friends and getting out in to nature. Life with the two kids is pretty cruisey, it has it’s moments of utter chaos but it is manageable, and we think we are done with the breeding side of things.
Before I start with the actual love story, I want to share a defining moment in my life, a moment that has made me the person I am today. At that moment, I made a choice to be everything I thought I would not be - a wife and a mother. This moment made me understand that love is love, it doesn’t matter who you are or who you love, if it’s real then it’s real. From this point on I understood that I must follow my heart in order to survive.
I am an only child, zero siblings, just me. I grew up in a loving family, slightly dysfunctional but loving none the less. I was always very close with my parents, able to talk about anything and everything. My Mum and I were super close, I totally respected her and everything she did. A gorgeous creature, with long black hair, mum was a fiery and independent woman, she was outspoken and a little wild. At twenty eight she would ride her motorbike to work, running one of the biggest emergency departments in the country. At thirty five she was a mother and a wife, by the time she was forty she was a full time hospital coordinator. Mum inspired me to be the best that I could be. She may not have been the typical mother, cooking dinners, baking birthday cakes, she was not into that sort of thing. She loved with all of her heart and soul and she worked hard to support our little family. The fourteenth of September, two thousand and five will forever be the moment that I became and adult, the moment I realized that life was precious, the moment I realized you need to follow your own path to happiness.
“Sure ma, no worries. I have to go, it’s super busy here”
“Love you darling”
“Love you Mummy”
I carried on with my busy day, serving coffees and making food. I finished up for the evening, and headed home. I don’t know if it was a sixth sense, or and inkling, but I knew that something was not right. I had that uneasy feeling in my stomach. Mum’s light was on so I thought she had woken early. However, I soon realized that she had not woken at all, I knew as soon as I walked in to the room, she was gone. I ran, I ran so fast and so hard. I wanted to be sick, my body was shaking uncontrollably. I called the ambulance, I don’t know why but I guess it was the right thing to do. I was totally alone, Dad was on a business trip. I had no one. I laid in my bed clutching a photo of the two of us. I knew, but I still hoped for a miracle. She was 54, a mother, a wife, sister, daughter, best friend. I had to make those calls. Dad, my grandmother Bunga, Nana and Pop. Poor Dad had a work colleague drive him the five hour journey from Mt. Gambier to Carey Gully that night. My best mate and her mum arrived. They helped me with all of the formalities. They comforted me and wiped away my tears, her mum reminded me about the significance of this moment, Mum gave me life, now I was here to be there for her, in her death.
From that point on, my life was different. Every belief, outlook, idea, and feeling was completely new and uncertain. I was an adult, I had to fight to live, I was totally responsible for myself and my actions. I was no longer that immature girl, the one who didn’t stand up for herself, the one who was a follower not a leader. I made a choice, right then and there, I was going to live my life the way that I wanted to live it. I was going to put my happiness before everything else. I had been seeing a guy for the past year, it was not a healthy relationship, I was sick and tired of playing the emotional desperate girl. I ended things and decided that relationships weren’t for me. I did not have the inner strength to deal with someone else's’ complications, my life was hard enough. I had reached a point where I felt the need to try and grasp an understanding of myself and where I wanted to go in my life.
When I look back at those months after mum died, it is obvious that I was lost. I knew what I wanted, I wanted an uncomplicated life, I wanted to love and be loved, I wanted stability and children. I wanted to be happy. I had no idea how to go about finding this happiness. Slowly but surely life became a little easier, things had changed, the grief process had worked its way through my body and what felt like overnight, I had become that adult, I was ready for a new life. I don’t really understand how Keith and I came to be together. We still look at each other with wonder and amazement every single day. I swear there must have been another force at work, surely we would be the last two people in the world who would fall in love and live happily ever after.
I remember the very early days, I was hesitant to share my joy, I was in love. I must admit it was lovely to keep the secret to ourselves, it was special and I believe it truly laid the foundation in the end. It helped us understand what it was that we were feeling, if it was a fairytale or not. Believe me it would have been a lot easier for us to forget about it and go our separate ways; I was not looking for love or a relationship, at all, and Keith was in the same boat, he is not a man who needs a woman in his life. In fact he had been single for years before I had come on the scene. I think he believed that his opportunity to love someone had been and gone, he had accepted a life with his dog, horses and guitar and I think he was pretty darn happy about that. Combine all of this with the two thousand two hundred and ninety two kilometers between us, it appeared that this relationship would not workout.
The very moment I fell in love with Keith I was totally and utterly committed to him and our future, his future, for better or for worse. It will be five years this Friday since we committed to this relationship. We have been married for 7 weeks, and have two beautiful children together, I have two amazing step children and three beautiful step grandchildren (yes I am in my twenties!!!!) Love is love. Love is all the arguments, all the tears, all the hesitations, all the vomit, all the blood, all the sweat, all the anger, all the happiness, all the laughter, all the frustrations. It is everything. It is all I need and I wouldn’t bloody change it for anything.
So tell me, what's your story?