With love

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Just a quick post to say thank you for all the love that has been sent my way. All kind thoughts and gestures are well received!

I’ll be spending Christmas with Holly and Tom in Sunshine Beach and I suppose it will feel a bit strange to be the three of us, not the four of us. We’ll celebrate the many good things we’ve shared as a family and a renewed hope for good times together in the future. That’s what I figure it’s all about from here on in – making happy memories together.

In myself, I am feeling a bit lighter and a little more confident as I head in to the new year. Something in me has shifted in recent weeks. I’m not cartwheeling around with joy, but at least feel like I’m headed in the right direction! I’m planning to enrol in a visual arts course up here on the Sunshine Coast to start in the new year. Something lovely and creative to look forward to as we head into 2016. I am determined that my life will be both happy and creative going forward and I figure that will tick both boxes!

Wishing you all a merry Christmas and happy, healthy new year.

Love to all

Sarah
xo

Love hurts

FullSizeRender[6]While I started writing this blog with a focus my breast surgery, I have also felt compelled to be honest in sharing other big things that are going on in my life too. I started writing this piece some months ago and have not felt ready to post it until now.

It is with a very sad heart that I share with you the news that my marriage of 26 years has fallen apart, and I am now separated from my husband. The past few years have been so hard, but I’ve not felt it appropriate to share what was going on between us, being as it is, a private matter involving the thoughts and feelings of two people. We have been in counseling for some time to help bring us closer together. Of course, I had hoped that everything would be resolved between us, with no need to share this sorry news. We are both deeply saddened with this outcome.

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Peace for our Lou

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Today I am up in Sunshine Beach with my sister Bec, thinking of our beautiful Lou, who left this life two years ago today. It is a rainy old day, and we can feel Lou saying “No rush, just go gently, stay inside and rest, have long chats and good laughs together”, just as we both used to do with her, our special sister and dear friend.

To honour Lou today, I am sharing some of her photography, taken in her beloved Bali, and one of her beautiful, gentle poems.

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Moving on up!

IMG_8900This year I am doing something really special for myself. I’m spending lots of time in beautiful Noosa in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. I’ve always loved it, and we’ve holidayed there quite often over the years. And of course, we spent so much time in Noosa with my sister Martha (who had lived there for ten years) in the months before she passed away. Since then, I have discovered and grown to love Sunshine Beach up there. It’s where we scattered Martha’s ashes because it is the beach that she really loved. I scattered part of Lou’s ashes there too. It comforts me to think of my two sisters being together. I’ve found that a walk on that beautiful beach, at the beginning or end of the day is really peaceful and uplifting to me.

When I was up in Sunshine Beach this past December, as I have been on each of Martha’s anniversaries, I saw that the townhouse/apartment behind the place I usually stay in was up for permanent rental. In the split second that I saw the “to let” sign, something in me said to myself “I am going to live and paint there!” I’d had no thought of anything like that before, and it took a while to make sense for me. I just knew I needed to be there and spend some quiet time on my own. I’ve listened to my heart, trusted my vibe, done what my wise self was telling me: use this time to explore my creative self in peaceful solitude and a beautiful place that I love. Continue reading

Happy 50th birthday to my lovely brother, Luke

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Me with Luke, 2014

January 1 is an important day in my family, because it marks our twin sister and brother, Martha’s and Luke’s birthday and this year is an extra special one, being their 50th birthday.

We knew for some time that, with her breast cancer, Martha was not likely to reach 50. And in her personality, she always seemed so young at heart, that really, it was hard to ever imagine her being “middle aged”. Today we know she is upstairs in heaven, happy and enjoying being in the “50 club” together with Lou, who, at just 11 months older, would still be 50 too!

That leaves Martha’s special twin brother, Luke to fly the 50 flag here on earth. As the years go on, I come to appreciate more and more that I have some really quite exceptional people in my family, and Luke is certainly one of those, in so many ways. He is a superb brother. Being the only boy amongst his seven sisters I think has helped him be an open hearted and loving communicator! He is so well loved by us all.

As a tribute to the wonderful person that he is, I put together this clip, as a snapshot of his life so far, and finished with some messages of love from all his family here in Australia.

Happy birthday Luke! Keep being the special person that you are. I send you love, hugs and warm wishes for happiness in your heart, each and every day for the next fifty!

xxooxx

Mighty Martha – 3 years on

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Martha on Rainbow Beach ~ 2000 (pre breast cancer)

Today it is three years since Martha passed away, over there to heaven, out of her tired and painful body. I do remember that day with sadness, but as the years have gone on, it has become a day to celebrate too. I know now that Martha lives on in a new realm with Lou. They’ve run their life races here, and now I feel like it is time for me to pick up where they left off, make the most of my life, and celebrate the creative spirit that has awakened in me since Martha passed away.

December 7 will always be important – time to reflect on Martha’s life, and celebrate the person that she was to me. I don’t think either of us ever really knew or understood the connection that we shared. I loved her, supported her and honored her while she was alive, but now I can see more clearly her most special attributes: brave, independent, expressive, creative, kind, vulnerable – a truly beautiful soul. Those of you that knew her well would agree I am sure! She wasn’t perfect, none of us are. But the thing that I love and admire most about her now is that she was true to herself all along.

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My life is a movie (and yours is one too!)

follow your heartWhen I started this blog last year, it was really to keep family and friends updated on my progress through my breast surgery and recovery, with a view to using it in future for my possible art business. As time has gone on, the thing that I really love is when my blog helps someone else. I have received quite a number of comments and emails from other women, who have been through, or will be going through the same breast reconstruction, and they tell me it has helped to hear of my experience too.

With that in mind, today I want to share something that has really helped me in a broader sense over the last few years, through the loss of my two sisters, my business and my breast surgery and recovery. I have had plenty of time to have a good think about my life to date, and how I would like it to be going forward. I have started to see things in a whole new way. I have developed a “life philosophy” of sorts that really helps me make sense of things, to live in the moment more and not to worry so much. I call it “My life is a movie”. It’s a bit out there, but it works for me, and I hope it resonates with (and helps!) even one other person reading this post. For the record, here’s what I now believe life is all about (aka “the meaning of life” according to Sarah – haha!)

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Honouring Lou

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Today marks a sad milestone for my family. Twelve months ago today my sister Lou made the decision to end her life. Lou was such a gentle soul and it shocked us all deeply to hear of the tragedy that day.

Lou was an intelligent, graceful, sensitive woman, qualified as an architect, financial planner and teacher. She was also a great traveller, a photographer and a prolific writer. But most of all, she was a precious soul – kind, gentle and thoughtful. I really do not think for a moment she meant to bring any harm or distress to anyone, and would be deeply sad to know of the grief so many have endured in the aftermath.

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Slowly and steadily – we can rebuild!

butterfly w quote JPEGEight months today and counting since my surgery. Progress continues, slow and steady.

 

There have been no radical changes in the past month, but I do feel like I am inching along in the right direction. As well as taking the Gotu Kola capsules daily, Bas, the lovely man who does my lymphatic drainage massages, is also a naturopath and has made me up an ointment with Gotu Kola, Vitamin E, zinc and primrose oil in it. It seems like my scars are slowly fading with twice daily applications of that. While I am still very conscious every day of my uncomfortable stiff, numb stomach and sensationless but softening breasts, it feels like my old body is becoming accustomed to the new bits. The old is accepting and integrating with the new!

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My lovely mum

All of us – Mum with yellow scarf

This past weekend has been pretty special. We celebrated Mum’s recent 80th birthday in country Victoria at Healesville. All of Mum’s children and almost all of her grandchildren were there, as well as our husbands, and including, as extra special guests, my brother Luke and his middle daughter, all the way from New York. It is the first time four year old Ziggy has been to Australia, so we took great delight in introducing her to kangaroos and koalas in the local wildlife sanctuary there. (And personally, I loved being able to do some colouring in with my creative little niece and god daughter – we share a passion for drawing, colour, pretty things, flowers, hearts and butterflies!)

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