Saturday last was a pleasantly warm but a persistently windy Perth day. The Australian salute was in full swing, at the arrival of the spring flies. We Australians are born with a coping mechanism to deal with these annoying insects. We accept them, along with our diverse oceans, pristine sands and majestic gums. In our hotter climes like Western Australia, flies dance around our faces and join the party at any given chance. The wind made both their landing and the taking of photographs, precarious.
It was a significant day for my eclectic family and a day of many firsts. For my youngest son, the day marked the first one, married to his best friend. For my eldest son, it was the first wedding that he had attended, the first in the role of ‘best man’ and his first public speech. I was exceptionally proud of the kind, considerate, handsome and intelligent men that they are. All of them excelled in their duties on the day. I am very pleased to have another developing writer and public speaker in the family.
It was the first day that I would come face to face with my ex-husband’s third wife. Reportedly she speaks little English. I was polite and introduced myself, but did not feel inclined to stretch beyond the social pleasantries. We have so little in common.
It was also the day that I reconnected with my ex-husband’s daughter, from his fractured second relationship. I had not seen her for over 14 years. A day that a distanced daughter came face to face with her absent father. Her mother and I have more in common, we have both raised outstanding children. She is her ‘mother’s daughter:- graceful, intelligent and guarded in his presence. On this day, his daughter thanked me for enabling the relationship between the siblings to occur and for not being a barrier between them 16 years before. Since her father and I will one day be but dust, and leave behind our collective children, what right do I have to prevent such familiar love occurring?
Many of us on this day, were riding the waves of uncertainty and anxiety, but collectively there was greater intent to rise above old grievances and disappointments and to celebrate the coupling of hope and promise and experience the opportunity to reconnect. For me, the old wounds, picked at, did not bleed. Perhaps for others they are still too fresh.
I continue to chip away at clearing the clutter in a physical sense and I take the opportunity to remove anything that does not resonate joy. Our country cottage has been undergoing renovations, including exterior painting, the building of a fence and arbour, replenished front and back decking and new lighting. A new path is planned with sparkling quartz and standard roses for the garden beds.
There is more work to do but isn’t that the case with home ownership and relationships?
All of the wedding preparations were handled by Jess and her mother and father, Sharon and Brenton. They have raised their children with respect, kindness and boundaries. I know that our collective grandchildren, will be raised with those values as well. I thank them sincerely as I am no longer able to cope with any additional stress. My physical health is one that I am slowly accepting as more fragile than I care to admit.
I have progressed some what along the road of enlightenment, as I do not feel compelled to ensure that another person’s needs must always come before my own. The legacy of a childhood, where one sibling took all the sunshine and left little light for the other. At this stage of my life, I must firstly consider my own well being.
Knowing what is and is not your responsibility and what you can and can’t do, is very liberating though profoundly frustrating. I managed only one dance and will pay for it for several days ahead. I am glad that I have taken the opportunity to dance along the way.
Having loved ones to share the journey and finding the courage to embrace change and forgive, is all that really matters in the end.