The Last Word. 

We built a fire;

I, for warmth. 

We built a fire;

Yours, for scorn. 

And we built it, 

Built it with our hands

And we stoked it,

Stoked it with our plans. 

We built a fire;

I, for light. 

We built a fire;

Yours for pride. 

And you stoked it,

Stoked it with your hurt

And I stoked it

Stoked it, with my words. 

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

You can have the last word. 

We built a fire;

To start this fight. 

We built a fire;

Now it burns us alive…

You can have the last word. 

I’ll take my words as kindling,

And burn them all, a silent offering

You can have the last word. 

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down

You can have the last word.

You can have the last word. 

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The Ways I Miss You. 

There are a hundred thousand ways that I miss you and each of them catches me by surprise. Today it was the sunset and the colours it made, bleeding into each other in a symphony of warmth, light and beauty amongst the cold, bleak grey of winter. 

I saw it and wondered if you were a part of it, it seemed so passionate and sincere in its place amongst the darkness. 

It just was, despite everything around it. 

Just like you were. 

Some days it’s the smell of rain, or the sound it makes on a tin roof, of the way it draws the heat from the pavement. All challenges to the idea of what rain is, should be, or is expected to be; a break from the usual, a reprieve from the smug warmth of a burning hot summer day. An honest shock to the system that breathes freedom as the city exhales under the oppression of the heat. 

Your honesty was like the rain, even in its coldness. A shock to the system but a welcome one at that. I miss you every time it rains. 

Some days it’s watching my son, seeing him learn new things, experience new emotions and lessons as he grows. I watch his tiny eyes widen in wonder as he picks up a new object, or discovers a new sound he can make. His honest joy at what he can do bubbles up and over his face in squeals of delight and it reminds me of you and your gadgets. Tweaking, tuning, testing, playing. Your joy on stage and behind the scenes was never dampened even after so many years. I miss your presence. 

And some days it’s the music. Oh god, it’s the music. You’re in every guitar sound, every masterful production, every loop, every great song. The elation, the sorrow, the release, the peace, just like your personality in all its forms. You were always the music. You still are. I miss it. And I miss you. 

Of the hundreds of thousands of ways I miss you, the one that hurts the most is every single day my life goes on without you. Even though I know you wanted that for me. I try and imagine who we’d be by now. How you’d fit. Where you’d stand. What you’d say. But it’s fading, and that weighs my heart full with sorrow. Because with each day you become less vivid. Less present in my ear. Less frequent in my dreams. 

And that then begins a whole new way to miss you. 

And it still catches me by surprise. 

The Best One Yet.

Dear Sam,

Tomorrow I finally return to work after taking just over a year off for Maternity leave. I’ve had to push it back a few times now due to some health issues, and while tomorrow is looming and I am not looking forward to rising at 5:30am, (you golden child, you very rarely wake this early!) it’s been a good year and I’ve been reflecting on how wonderful my life has become now that you are a part of it.

Where do I start? I guess with you, Sam. I can’t ever have imagined a life so rich, so full and so hectic as the one we now have. Everything I thought about parenting has been re-thought, re-imagined and re-discovered with every passing month of my time with you. I’ve found levels of strength, determination, patience, grit and passion I actually didn’t know I had within me, and I’ve valued every learning curve, no matter how sharp it has been.

I don’t regret taking the full year to be with you, even though you did start at daycare before I ended up returning to work. Every day we spend together, no matter how tiring is one where my heart sings; a rich melody laced with every possible emotion one can feel. I feel fierce protection toward you, that in the blink of an eye can flip over and become uncontrollable gratitude, ugly crying and all. Although financially it may not have been the wisest choice, those months are months I will never get back with you, and I will store them in my deepest memories as cherished, precious and beautiful.

Watching you grow has been breath-taking. Your personality unfolds like a flower every day, and every new phase we enter I think to myself “This is the best one yet.” My heart is ever-expanding, ever-renewing, ever-learning to love you.

We’ve made so many amazing friends in this year, from friends we already knew and grew closer to, to the strangers who we grew to love, as they went through this journey with us hand in hand – our mother’s group. It has been such an enriching experience to do life with those women. I pray many years from now we are all still hanging out, you laughing as you do with Tom, and the others climbing all over you as you hang patiently with them all. I could not have made it through this year without these people. My village. We were blessed, little man. So blessed.

You are so, so loved, baby Bear. I know you feel it, because your face lights up every time those who love you are around. You sleep like a dream, your temperament quiets my busy mind. You have radically changed my heart in the most irreversible way possible.

So as I go back to work, a job my heart isn’t really in, I will carry your picture with me to remind me of what I’m working for; our future as a family, our home as we build it, literally and metaphorically, and you. You are the best reason I’ve ever had to work hard. And you are the best one yet.

Thank you for this past year Sam. It has been everything I could have hoped it would be. It was truly the best one yet.

Here’s to our new chapter as a family. I do everything for you.

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I’m Not Ready. 

My Dear Sam, 

Tomorrow you start daycare. I go back to work soon and I know it’s important for my peace of mind to be close by as you embark on this new stage of your little life, so I am starting you a few weeks early.  

I’m not ready to let you go. 

I’m not ready to not be the one raising you, teaching you, holding you. But I know you are ready to learn new things and have new horizons open before you. 

I can’t believe you’re 10 months old. When I remember the haze of love and newness that surrounded me when you were born it feels like it was a lifetime ago but only just yesterday. I remember the overwhelming journey in front of me, of keeping you safe and happy and healthy. Now it feels like second nature because I know what I’m doing now. We have been dance partners learning the steps together and we’ve taught each other along the way. But now it’s time for someone else to cut in on our dance. 

I am not ready. 

I will never be ready to let you go on ahead without me in this life. But I know you’ll be cared for and safe and that you’re about to have your little mind opened up and taught so many new things and I am excited for you. 

I wish I could be your sole teacher during the days. But I am building our house as a family by returning to work, creating a future for you where you can be and do anything you desire and always have a safe home to return to. 

As much as it is up to me and your Father, you will not want for anything. 

So my darling little bear, tomorrow will be a day of firsts for both of us, but I sense not the last of heartbreak only a mother can feel when her little one steps one more step in the direction of growing up. 

I’m going to miss you so deeply. But I know it will teach me to treasure our moments together even more so. So treasure them I shall. 

I miss you already. 

9 Glorious Months

Nine glorious months;
It’s the length of time it takes to grow a fully functioning human being.
It’s the time we’ve spent with you
In all your glorious, living colour.
You were ready at 7.5 months to enter this world
But my heart will never be ready for you to grow as fast as you do
Nor will it ever be big enough to contain all the love I have for you, our miracle.
“I asked the Lord for this child and he has given me my heart’s desire.”
God has heard.
You are his answer.
Happy 9 months baby bear. I love you with all the force of the universes combined.

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Auld Lang Syne. 

I’m laying on the beach at Scarborough, Western Australia typing this on my iPhone. That statement in itself should tell you how blessed I am. 2016 has been a tough year for many people I love, but for the first time in as long as I can remember, I am not one who struggled through the year that has been. I entered 2016 already ahead in excitement, 2 and a half months pregnant with our first child. I had all my life dreamed of having children, but life with type 1 diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome and other health issues did not set me up for an easy road to motherhood. We were blessed to fall on our first attempt, and I was especially blessed with an uncomplicated first trimester. No morning sickness, generally feeling well and had tight control of my diabetes. 

2016 was the year we were going to become parents to a beautiful little boy and I couldn’t wait. 

 I enjoyed my pregnancy immensely, despite commuting in the heat of summer and finding it quite anxiety inducing thanks to Metro’s best efforts to delay my journeys as much as possible. Every day I would enjoy for the first time seeing myself through new eyes. Where I had previously loathed my stomach and wished it smaller, (it was never flat) I began to marvel at its ever expanding size, enjoying the growing bump and all the little jumps inside it. I stopped looking in the mirror and sucking my stomach in; wishing for a different body, and started loving it for exactly what it was: a perfect place to grow a human life. 

Gone were the days I looked at myself and groaned. I now looked in the mirror and saw myself with pride – as a fearfully and wonderfully made woman growing into a mother with every passing day. I enjoyed the looks of strangers who noticed I was pregnant instead of dreading if they were wondering if I was, or if I just had a pot belly. 

 March arrived, and Stu and I headed to Perth to have our last holiday together alone. Two days before we flew out we were presented with the sad news that Stu’s Mum Julie was given a few weeks to live. The cancer in her liver combined with an infection was shutting her body down. Uncertain as to what we should do, we trusted God and got on the plane. We had a baby shower planned and were unsure of what would happen. The day after we arrived in Perth, Julie passed and the next week was a stressful blur for Stu trying to work out if he should fly back straight away or closer to the funeral. It was also Easter weekend and flights were impossibly expensive. Instead of rushing back to sit around for a week, we took a brief trip down to our favourite beachside destination in Geographe Bay and then took Stu to the airport so he could get home in time for the funeral. 

Julie was a remarkable woman and I am ever grateful for the son she created. He is an amazing man and I am lucky to be married to him. 

 April arrived and my plans to work until 33 weeks were put on hold with the arrival of preeclampsia, a high-risk pregnancy illness that elevates the blood pressure to dangerous levels, placing strain on the baby’s heart. I began my maternity leave at 30 weeks, 8 weeks before my suggested term c-section, entering into twice-weekly day stays at the hospital to monitor baby Skywalker’s little heart. As if the swelling and stress wasn’t enough, we moved house 4 days before I was admitted to hospital, and 6 days before we welcomed our son into this beautiful world. I spent 5 days in the complex care ward under constant monitoring and plugged into a number of lines.

 It was worth it though, as on May 19th at 9:37am our entire world changed for the better. Samuel Jasper Walker was born at 33 weeks and 6 days by emergency c-section, and my heart felt as full as it could possibly be. He spent nearly 3 weeks in the special care nursery due to being so premature and I spent 11 days recovering from eclampsia symptoms and migraines so bad only morphine could provide relief. I was in a bubble; a beautiful oxytocin bubble of joy, bliss, peace and love I could never adequately describe for my son and husband. I existed on the fine edge of a new mother’s emotions, surging with the power and fury of a hurricane at the edges of perfect calm.

We brought Sam home and spent the 6 weeks together, courtesy of Stu having enough carers leave to take the time off to help me as I recovered from the C sec. 

 Then came the challenging part. The pregnancy, the preeclampsia, the emergency surgery, the delivery and recovery all pales in comparison to the learning curve that is parenting for the first time. I had to learn a lot and quickly, and alone, with no family to support us in Melbourne. It has been a joyful, exhausting, overwhelming experience for me, but with every day that passes, no matter how challenging, my heart continues to expand to volumes I didn’t know I had the capacity to feel. Some days it might burst, like the first time I heard Sam laugh, or in the morning when he smiles at me as if I am the whole universe.

 I never thought putting my own needs and myself after someone else could feel so fulfilling. I never dreamed having someone in my space all day every day could make me so happy. I didn’t know I was capable of this kind of love. It is, quite simply, still blowing me away. 

 It’s been 5 years since Kristian passed away on Monday. I like to think he would be proud of me and my life these days. I’ve found who I am and exactly where I belong being Sam’s mum and Stu’s wife, and most importantly, being me. It hasn’t been an “easy” year, but damned if it’s not been the greatest one of my entire life. 

 So as we close out 2016, I am thankful beyond words. For my blessings, for my challenges, for my husband, for my family, for my son. For my life. 

Thank you, 2016, for the lessons you’ve taught me and the things I’ve gained this year. You were one that will go down in my history as the most life changing yet. 

Happy New Year to you.

Love, The Walkers.