Mum’s funeral service, conducted by a local JP who had a lot to do with Mum, has made me think about what I do and don’t believe. Mum was an atheist, as was her dad. I spent some time in the church as a teenager but I suspect that was about belonging more than anything. I certainly don’t call myself a Christian. Thinking all that through seems to be a recurring theme in my journal, as does my changing relationship with my now-retired husband, and career/art time, now that Mum is gone. Here’s what I have been creating with all this in mind:
There’s nothing like a day getting messy to soothe my soul. I have cut new leaf stencils and masks, cut a Heartagram stencil, inked and layered and glued and… I am really enjoying this larger format landscape journal. The pages stand up well to the way I work and I like having more room to ‘do stuff’. I just wish my wrist was stronger, but it’s getting there.
It’s 22 years today since Dad died unexpectedly, a month before his 66th birthday. He retired at 60 and spent his days helping farm mates, pig and deer hunting, and going fishing. He and Mum made 3 trips to Asia once he retired. He was a busy, and seemingly fit, man.
He went fishing at Waverley Beach one Sunday morning and had a massive heart attack. The young man next to him did CPR but had to leave him to get help and, by the time he got back, Dad’s heart had stopped again. As bad as we all felt for the young man who had tried so hard, I’m pleased Dad did not survive. He’d have hated being a patient, being told what to do, being incapacitated. As Mum used to say “Mansel got it right, he just died ten years too early”.
So today, and every day, I remember him with love. He was a hard working, patient man who gave huge bear hugs. I miss him.