Reading This Week – The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

9780525478812_p0_v1_s260x420Despite our current circumstances, Princess Child and I have both just read The Fault in Our Stars, ’cause it’s important to ALWAYS keep up with popular culture.

This Young Adult Fiction novel tells a humourous, heartbreaking story of first love.  The emotions intensified by the omnipresent fear of death as the two protagonists live with cancer.

John Green delivers an authentic voice for his young characters and captures beautifully the thrilling awkwardness of teenage love.

Hazel is sixteen and has terminal thyroid cancer, a miracle drug buying her a little extra time, she moves through life with her oxygen bottle permanently attached. Augustus is seventeen he’s lost a leg to cancer. The two are older than their years, a side effect of long hospital stays and losing friends on a regular basis.

I found Hazel’s relationship with her mother particularly moving. The mum trying to create normal out of the abnormal, the daughter secretly worried about how her mother will cope with her death while avoiding new attachments because “I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?”.

The dark humour of the novel was also appealing “when they tell you that you have, say a 20 percent chance of living five years, the math kicks in and you figure that’s one in five … so you look around and think, as any healthy person would: I gotta outlast four of these bastards”.

The novel gives an insight into the emotion of trying to grow up while living with a life-threatening illness. A young boy is left blind yet it is being dumped by his girlfriend which sends him into despair. Adults disappoint and the desire to leave a mark in the world heightens with a time bomb ticking in your body.

All in all I found The Fault In Our Stars an engaging read deftly weaving the normal adolescent woes with the deeper, more challenging issues of life and death in a cancer filled world.

Living With Teens – The Rules

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  1. Once the teenager obtains her licence you will be required to submit booking requests to drive your OWN CAR.
  2. Having a licence for six days makes her an expert and enables her to give YOU DRIVING ADVICE.
  3. Dragging teenagers out of the bedrooms they have inhabited for days on end into the sunlight of an outdoor experience is a CRIMMINAL OFFENCE.
  4. They love you deeply as long as your needs don’t interfere with their sleeping, socialising or internet usage.
  5. Obviously they care if you are ill but if you’re still breathing you are going to cook dinner aren’t you?
  6. They can’t empty the dishwasher because (a) they have to study for exams (b) they have an assessment due (c) they are tired from soccer training (d) they have to take an absolutely urgent phone call from their friend.
  7. Under no circumstances is the “old person’s radio station” to be turned on in the car – it will induce a severe allergic reaction including eye-rolling, heavy sighing, head-in-hands despair.
  8. Anything that is ever lost is YOUR FAULT and you must immediately drop whatever you are doing and FIND IT.
  9. Appearances at school are strictly monitored and at no time are you to leave the vehicle if you are wearing anything daggy – which frankly is most of your wardrobe.
  10. They secretly know how to cook, clean and take care of themselves but see no point in wasting energy on that while they have you around – plenty of time for that when they escape into the real world.

Any other rules at your house?

June Achievements

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  • Learned how to make a fire.
  • Managed to do a few days at ABC radio and produced some good shows.
  • Blogged every day.
  • Garage sorted.
  • Used a chainsaw and didn’t lose a limb.
  • Paperwork all submitted for life insurance and superannuation.
  • Got out of bed almost every day.

You’ve got to celebrate the small wins.

What did you achieve last month that made you proud of yourself?

30 Days Done and Dusted

Photo by David Fitzpatrick

Photo by David Fitzpatrick

Yippee. Doing a happy dance. I’ve posted every day for thirty days. Clearly not some of best work (although there were moments where there a sign of the old me in there), and I seem to have developed an obsession with all things death related (sorry, but I don’t think I’m done with that topic yet).

I’ve realised writing at night (which started because I was having trouble sleeping) is not a strength. So from tomorrow I’m back to morning writing.

Certainly blogging has forced me into thinking about our situation from a different perspective and has helped me to begin processing the events of the last few months. The positive reinforcement from your comments and likes continues to be a tremendous help as I realise grief is a beast of a thing which makes you vulnerable and fragile at a time when you need to be at your strongest.

Thank you for sticking with me.

Happy Birthday

10364138_10152300149173515_1897103779422571673_nBeen clubbing. Well I did birthday lunch at the Golf Club for my Mum who turns 75 today¬†(oops if I wasn’t supposed to mention the age).

Thank you Mum for everything. Especially the really difficult things you had to do with and for me recently.

Hoping to replace the photo tomorrow when the photographer of the family finally gets around to posting on Facebook the photos he took today – which is how I have to steal his photos for the blog. Edit Brother finally uploaded photos thank you David.

Thank You To A Stranger

Tacking Point Lighthouse

Photo by David Fitzpatrick

On the day Simon died somebody had seen him fishing and a little while later noticed his gear was still on the rocks but he wasn’t. That was the person who called in the rescue guys.

There is no doubt in my mind that the reason his body was recovered was because of that person’s vigilance and action.

At the time the girls and I met with the Surf Lifesaver who found Simon and got to thank him for his work on the day.

However, I never thought to ask about the person who made the call.

Whoever they are I wish they knew that we are very grateful for what they did, I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been if he hadn’t have been found.

Thank you stranger.

 

Missing

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There was someone missing this week.

Someone who should have been there to celebrate the life milestone of a daughter getting a licence.

Someone who should have sat me after the Senior Soiree, where his daughter displayed her art and sang her heart out, dissecting the evening with pride.

Someone who should have suffered with me through another school awards ceremony and been amazed at what his daughter had managed to do.

It’s just the start of the missing.