It's Been a Rough Week

And a Pop Quiz...

Hi there lovely Newsletter Family!

It’s turned cold here in my neck of the woods. The balmy Autumn days have been taken over by chilly gale force winds. I much preferred the sun streaming in through the front windows and wandering around in a t-shirt. But, Winter is hovering and about to pounce so best pull out the jumpers and long socks and cease whining about it.

As always, thank you all so much for the lovely emails, comments and private messages on my last letter. Your voices are always welcome in my inbox and I appreciate you.

I’m a little late with my weekly letter, I do apologise. Doug will have been checking his mailbox wondering where it is, but really I think he’s too busy chatting to all those crossing his path, where ever the hell he is.

Here’s this weeks ponderings to my Doug…

The other morning…

Melodies rang from the treetops, skipping along the leaves like keys on a piano until they pierced the crisp air with their tones of glee – morning bird song from branches deep within that I pretended were sung just for me.

Halos of orange haze framed the rooftops and distant trees etched themselves as silhouettes on the horizon for a moment in time. The colours of a sunrise last only for fleeting moments. The greyness of my heart shall last all day.

It’s been a rough week of missing you.

There’s still mail arriving with more forms for me to fill out so ‘things’ can be released into my name. Extra proof that I am who I say I am and you were who you were, both of the same address.

More certified copies of Wills, property titles, driver’s license, service provider statements and blah, blah, blah.

FFS they’ll be wanting certified copies of my shopping lists and grocery receipts next to prove I’m shopping for one less mouth to feed!

It’s a wonder they haven’t asked for me to put you on the phone so you can verify you’re dead!

The world is one screwed unit Doug, wrapped up in a nice tight bow of red tape.

I made a start on your shed.  We didn’t have enough time to do ‘all the things’ we wanted to get done before we headed off to Melbourne for your treatment. Co-ordinating the looming six week stint (and liaising with ALL the relevant parties) was pretty much a full time job in itself for me without all the day to day stuff thrown in.  Some things had to take a back seat until after we returned.  Cleaning up and tidying the shed after your last project was one of those things.

I felt bad that I couldn’t help you much out there at that time.  I’ve carried regret and guilt ever since. Silly, I know.  Because you understood. And I helped when I could.  That’s what bloody grief does Doug – has you going over crap you know was completely out of your control but you go there anyway.  I’m told it gets better, easier, this grief stuff.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep you posted on that front Dougie!

The shed tidying exercise was more emotional than I had anticipated. But I felt it was time. You liked everything neat and tidy at the end of a shed project, so I let the tears roll down my cheeks as I placed tools back where they belonged knowing they’d never be held by you again and brushed down surfaces knowing they’d never hold another creation of yours again.

A small part of me wanted to leave everything just as you had left it.  There was so much finality wrapped up in this exercise. You weren’t coming back. We’d never give your ideas life out here together again ever. I’d never be under instruction from your ‘foreman pointing finger’ ever again.

So many firsts, so many lasts all intertwined in the one lump in my throat.

I have no idea what those flat pieces of carefully crafted wood with the dowel handles were going to be used for though.  I picked them up and turned them over laughing – always a handle adapted on to something for ease of use with your crippled hands.  Our son would joke, “There’s not a thing I don’t pick up without a handle glued and screwed on and painted green!”

I had to deal with not one but TWO dead mice! (Insert my very unhappy face here). The smell was a dead  giveaway that I’d eventually come across them somewhere. That was all kinds of fun Doug. ALL KINDS OF FUN!!!

Speaking of mice, the stray cat I’ve been trying to befriend with tasty morsels and warm milk of a night when it comes to visit CAUGHT ANOTHER MOUSE!  See? Earning his keep after all!  You can stop frowning at me about feeding him now, ha!

There’s lots happening in the Estate at the moment.  You’d be very pleased with the progress.  The playground is being erected and nature strip trees have finally been planted.  I imagined you rolling down the street checking out the proceedings and reporting back your findings on a job well done.

Here’s a pop quiz for you Doug – How many people does it take to plant a gum tree?

The answer is… wait for it…

FIVE.  Yes, five (5).

Two to measure the position from the curb, one to mark the spot with a spray can cross on the ground and also oversee the labour, two to dig the hole then plant and stake the tree.

Who knew you’d need that many!

You and I have seriously under resourced our tree planting efforts over the years.  I need appropriate back pay for my solo endeavours that were clearly the work of five people.

In all fairness they were digging the holes with a pick and shovel and the compacted ground would prove a chore, so I guess taking ‘turnsies’ would be only reasonable.


It’s so bloody noisy here this morning.  (We did realise we’d have to put up with noise for a while living in a new estate, but, sheesh!) Out in the park the gardeners are using a motorised tree planting auger thingy (shame they didn’t share it with the poor buggers on a pick and shovel the other day) to plant hundreds of those native grasses along the rock drain rain overflow depression. Mum said they’re going to look just like weeds and would like to poison them with round up in the dead of night. If she could walk that far you know she would! Still got a spark of sass in her has our ‘Granite’ (as you called her).

It’s sixteen weeks today since you went away.  Four months since you told me you loved me and that my hair was so soft. I miss walking in the front door and hearing “Hello Sweetness, how was your day?” cheerily shouted from your bedroom.  I may have only been out the front for a while watering the garden. I miss your humour. I just miss you, full stop.

I’m still waiting to be scared shitless by you coming back to tell me about the after life. You said you would.  Stop bloody yacking to every one you meet along the way and get down here (insert my slightly mad but winking face).

Until next time,

All my love,

Sandra.  Xx

Feel free to share this letter if you think it may resonate with another in some small way. With thanks and much love. Xx

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