Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Things That Get Me Through - TOFW

I have finished writing for Time Out For Women once again.  I feel privileged to have been asked to write for them for so long.  It has been a lot of work doing a weekly post for them, but it has been nice to focus on more spiritual things and to share the things I believe in, as I think about what I want to write about each week. 
My last TOFW post is now up here or by clicking on the picture below.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Our HeliAdventure

Last year Jay was very lucky to have 'won' a helicopter ride at Run for a Wish just a few weeks after Noah passed away.  He was so excited to go on the helicopter with Aaron and they had the best time.   At this year's Run for a Wish Kobe was very lucky 'win' a helicopter ride this year (thank you Make a Wish for being so kind to my boys!) and he cracked us up laughing when he grabbed the voucher yelling 'I don't want it!'.  What a little rat bag! Harri scored though as he decided that he would love to have it and really wanted to go on the helicopter with Jay.

When we arrived to have their helicopter ride with HeliAdventure the pilot asked us who was going to go. I asked him if it was okay if the two older boys went on their own with him and he asked us why we weren't all going. I told him that we had a voucher and it was only for two people and he said that it costs the same amount for fuel to take four people so we could all go because Kobe was small enough and we could all fit.   Kobe was so excited and decided that he did actually want to go on a helicopter ride after all! 

As we were getting into the helicopter the pilot asked us why we had a voucher. I told him that we 'won' it at Run for a Wish and told him how the boys had been given it because they had a tough year with their Dad and brother both passing away.   He was of course shocked but was so lovely to the boys and made it so fun for them. 

Kobe loved having a mic on and kept talking so loudly into it! He even started singing 'I'm a Child of God' at one stage so that we could all hear him!

I was looking forward to it but as we started to lift of I suddenly became a bit nervous and said to Jay that I was glad he was sitting in the front!  He wasn't at all nervous being a seasoned pro at helicopter rides! ;)

The pilot was so nice and took us out for a lot longer than the voucher was for.  He kept asking us what we wanted to see and would then fly over it for us after radioing to the airport to get clearance.  It was awesome hovering right above Aurora Stadium. I guess that it's Aaron and Noah's view every day!

We flew past the city and then over the Gorge and the Trevallyn Dam.  It was awesome seeing everything from above and was so different to being on a plane as you could see so many details because you are flying so much lower. I would reall start to relax and enjoy it and would then remember where I was and I would hold on tight again, hoping we weren't about to drop out of the sky! I guess that my thoughts of all being in an accident together and dying at the same time isn't really what I'm hoping!

We then flew right over the top of our house and then he asked where the boys went to school and flew right across their schools for them.

We then flew over the top of the cemetery and it was so strange to see it from above. It looked huge and we could even see Noah and Aaron's graves.
Because Noah's grass is so green it was easy to spot.

It was such an exciting morning and we had the best time.  I know how lucky we are to have such an awesome experience.  Thank you Make a Wish, Run for a Wish and HeliAdventures for giving us such a special morning.  It was so nice to see the boys so excited and happy.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Day After

Thank you everyone for all your lovely comments, messages, emails and texts yesterday as we passed the 12 month anniversary since Aaron passed away.  It was so nice to read such beautiful things written on his Facebook wall from friends and past students.  I knew that Aaron loved his job as a high school teacher and that he was loved by his students, but it's only been since his death that I really have realised how much he affected them, even 12 months later.   

Just after he passed away I couldn't stop thinking about his school.  I knew I had to ring them to let them know he had passed away and I wanted to let his good friend,  Kristy know myself as she was one of his closest friends at work.   It was so hard to have to leave that message on her phone, and I remember just rambling on because I was in so much shock and didn't know how to say it, except to just say it.
Word spread fast as Aaron's cousin was also one of his students and not long after telling Aaron's Dad what had happened Aaron's phone started getting phone calls and messages from past students who had his number from the school footy trip, as they had to be able to contact each other in Melbourne. 

It broke my heart to have to tell that them it was true, that Aaron had actually passed away.  After they took Aaron's body away I went to bed, but of course I couldn't sleep.  I was in so much shock and was literally up to the toilet every fifteen minutes or so for the entire night (the body does weird things when you are in shock).  I decided to go on Facebook on my phone, and saw so many people talking about what had happened.

I couldn't stop thinking about how his students were going to take the news and saw lots of their posts on Facebook.  The next morning I heard that a group of students had decided to go up to the school  in the afternoon to release balloons and bring flowers, to just be together and remember Aaron.  It was school holidays and it touched me so much that they would want to do that. He was just their teacher, but he meant so much to them. I don't know if I ever had a teacher that touched me that much.

It was so nice to know the after, as I was driving back from St Helens, that students were gathering together on the school oval. I seriously considered going there as I just wanted to be there with them too, but I knew I had to be home to get my head together and to plan another funeral.

One of Aaron's past students texted some photos to Aaron's phone for me so I could see what they had done. It meant so much to me.  A good friend sent me an email to show me all the lovely things that they had said about Aaron when they heard that he passed away. It was so lovely to read and I'm so grateful that she was able to share them with me, as she is friends with a lot of Aaron's past students.  Some of their comments are below: 

 Kings meadowsstudents and ex students, and friends of the legendary kingy get down to kings meadows at 1 o'clock with someflowers and show your respect for the inspirational Aaron king! 

  Mr king you were more than a teacher to me you were a friend, a mate that helped me through tough times at school even when you didn't know but you made a difference to my life and I don't know how I'm going to cope being back at school soon. I hope they have hawks games in heaven and I hope you can watch over all of us and cheer us on. Thanks for helping me mate and I will never forget you

tonight i've learnt that i take life for granted way too much.. someone that would put everyone else first, didn't complain about anything and actually cared about everything he done and everyone he talked to has been taken from us tonight, you have gave me some of the best memories that I'll never forget.
 R.I.P Aaron King -every game of the mighty hawks that i watch i'll be thinking of you.

A few days ago I was keen to get back to school and see everyone..
 Now I don't even know if I could walk through the gates knowing you won't be there..
 Forever in ourhearts.
 R.I.P kingy.
Rest in peace Mr King. You were the best teacher in fact you were more then a teacher you, you were a mate and a damn good one. You were taken to soon from us and you will be missed by all. Goodbye mate :(

 I would like to than Mr King for, all the memories! you were that teacher everyone wanted to go too get up and go too school to see, because you knew how too have a joke and made school fun, R.I.P mate ♥♥♥
Just broke down seeing the news. Taken way to early kingy.You will always be loved and never be forgotten. Condolences go out to the king family. Love you will never forget you mate.

On the last day of high school, you never ever think that it will be the very last time you will see someone.. Little did I know that it would be the last time I'd see Mr.King.. He was a great man, that was passionate and always knew how to put a smile on your face! Rest in peace Kingy, you will be missed!

Mr Aaron King, was one awesome teacher i've ever had!! he was a great mentor and friend to me. My thoughts and love go to Lisa and the boys!! He will be deeply missed by everyone!!
 R.I.P Mr King!!
How's everyone supposed to have fun at school this year,when you're gone.. :(
 Seeing how quickly everything changes, puts a lot of things in perspective. I don't understand how such a wonderful family could go throughsuch a tragedy in such a short time. No one deserves this.
Mr. King was such an amazing inspirational man who willnever be forgotten.
Rest in peace kingy!
Hopefully hawks win the premiership this year.

  R.I.P Aaron King You are already missed by everyone and will forever be missed thanks for helping me over the past few years thoughts go to the King family

Goodbye happy enjoyable Kings Meadows, One of the best men to ever walk this earth has left to a better place.  Rest in peace Mr.King, i wish i had more time to know you better.

Australiaday will forever be remembrance day for the greatest man I ever met!

Sick of bad things happening to good people, Rest in Peace Aaron King; you were an amazing teacher.

My heart and thoughts go out to the King family, losing Noah not so long ago and now losing Aaron King, I never knew you but what I have heard you were one of a kind that would always tried to put a smile on all your students faces and all your family’s, I hope you rest in peace with Noah and look down on your family and guide them through this hard time,
 R.I.P buddy

I still can't believe he is gone, Mr King such a strong man.I thought he could live forever, You always made the students at Kings Meadows feel like they were all so special.. You will always be my favourite teacher!  Condolences to the King Family You all have been through so much in such a short time.. at least you will be happy with Noah now,
 R.I.P Aaron King!

Cant believe it my favourite teacher mr king is gone never got to say goodbye to im sure you will be missed by all :(

 Mr king was one of the best people iv met, he wasn't just a teacher but a friend to every person at kings, he'll be missed by so many people, bad things happen to the greatest of people :/
 You're loved by allstudents at kings,
 love you kingy.....

Waking up this morning and can not believe what I am seeing; one of the most caring and respected
person I know has passed away. All of our thoughts are with you andyour family Kingy :'(
I'm so grateful to know that he is still loved and remembered by so many, even 12 months later.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

We Miss You Really Much.

This time last year we were getting ready to head to the beach for Australia Day.  This time last year we were missing Noah so much, but were looking foward to a lovely week away with my family.  This time last year I had no idea that my life was about to change forever.

This time last year I had no idea that Aaron would have the best day ever and would then sit down after going fishing with my brothers and brother in law and would have a heart attack right in front of us. 

This time last year I had no idea that I would be standing at Aaron's grave wondering how it can be real, even a year later.
This year has gone so fast, yet the days are so long without him.  I miss him more now than ever and the shock has worn off and I realise that this is it. This is my life and I have to live the rest of my life on earth without my best friend. 

I love Aaron more now than ever before and wish I just had an hour with him to talk to. I want to ask him so many things. I want to know what he thinks about how I am going. I want to know if he is proud of me. I want to know if he is happy with how I'm bringing up the boys without him.  I want to know if he is happy with the decisions I am making on my

I wasn't meant to be on my own. I know we will be together for eternity, but I want to be together on earth for another fifty years at least. I want to grow old with him. Eternity is too far away!

I want to go on dates together that we never got to go on when Noah was with us.  I want to talk to him at night about everything and nothing.  I want to listen to him yelling at the sport on TV and laugh at his stupid jokes that he would constantly make.  I want to hear him compaining about how he doesn't want to go back to work after the holidays, but then tell me how much he loves his job when he starts back at work. 

I want to be going to the beach with him right now, because it's Australia Day and that's what you do on Australia Day. You don't die on Australia Day! You shouldn't die on Australia Day.

My Dad told me that today he is going to listen to the Bee Gees album 'One Night Only' because that's what he did last Australia Day after he had heard Aaron passed away. He wasn't with us and he was trying to make sense of it all and he loves that album, so putting it on helped him to think and get his head together.

I often wonder what other people were doing and thinking when they found out. For some reason it helps me. It helps me to know that I wasn't the only one reeling that night.  My friend Simone was supposed to be blogging about her family trip to Port Arthur. Instead she got a phone call from me to tell her Aaron had just died. Instead she had to listen to me tell her and yelled at me 'what are you saying!?'. I wish I was telling her something different to what I was. 

We love and miss him so much and I am so proud of him and the person that he was.  He was an incredible husband, Dad, friend, brother, son and teacher.  He changed his own life and by doing that, he changed other people's lives too.  He taught kids to believe in themselves.  He made school fun. He wanted everyone to know that they were important.   He was passionate about the things he believed in. 

Every time the boys and I hear this song on the radio it makes us think of Aaron and we knew we wanted to use it for a video on the one year anniversary since he passed away.  It reminds us of him because he is a champion to us, but it also reminds us of what he wanted others to believe of themselves. 

As Kobe says we 'miss you Daddy, really much'.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Birthday Surprise

In my family there are a lot of birthdays in January.  This month my brother, three of my nephews and my Mum all celebrated their birthdays. Last week we got together for my nephew Eamon's 4th birthday.   I am so jealous of two of my brothers who live so close to the beach. Whenever I visit them I think how great it would be to live there too.  We had a beautiful afternoon in the sun at Hawley beach before heading back to their house for a BBQ tea, games and cake.  When it got dark we then went out to the point and waited for the penguins to come in. It was awesome and we saw so many of them!

As soon as we got back from Swansea we headed to Kmart to buy a couple more blow up boats, after one blew away and one got a hole in it. The boys were happy to have the boats back again. 

Becky made an awesome dragon cake for Eamon.

The girls loved Grandma painting their nails for them.

Jay was making us all laugh as he would unwrap the wrapping in pass the parcel and would act all excited like a little kid, yelling 'I got a wizz fizz!!!.
The boys and I stayed the night at my brother's house and had told Mum on the way back home we would call in to pick her up and go to the raspberry farm for afternoon tea.  Because Mum was with the boys and I at Swansea for her birthday my lovely sisters in law thought it would be nice to plan a little surprise family tea for her 60th birthday, complete with beautiful decorations and Mum's favourite desserts.

They did everything and Mum had gone off to a couple of appointments, thinking that when she got home the boys and I would be there to take her to the rapsberry farm. She was very surprised when she walked in and all of us were there yelling 'surprise!!!'.

 Hari's face cracks me up in this photo.

The girls did a beautiful job of the decorations and food (okay I did fold a few pin wheels!) and Mum absolutely loved it.
Dad got all serious and did a little speech before we ate.  I think he got a bit emotional as he said how glad he was that we could do something so special for Mum.  We didn't even tell Dad what was going on until we arrived as it's well known that he is not the best secret keeper!

 The food was so yummy and looked so pretty too.

We missed Nicki and Alex and the kids who are in Melbourne and wish they were still living close by so we could do more of this.  It was such a lovely day and it was so nice to be able to surprise Mum (I have no idea what is going on with Harri here!). 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The View From The Top - TOFW

I've almost finished writing weekly for Time Out For Women.  My lastest post is here or by clicking on the picture below.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

21 Years Later

When I was 17 I was lucky enough to be asked by my Uncle Kim and Auntie Deidre if I would like to travel with them and their family to the USA to be their nanny. I was so excited as it was always my dream to go to the USA.  After spending three months as their nanny I ended up staying for another ten months and went to 'college' there (or what we would consider to be University). It was one of the best years of my life and I have so many great memories from my time in the USA.

While I was with Kim and Deidre and their kids, we travelled around the USA looking for treatment for my cousin Corom, who is autistic.  We ended up in Portand, Oregon where we needed to stay for a few months so that Corom could have a certain treatment there.
After looking for a place to rent, a lovely guy Bryce showed them through a house that he was renting out.  They told him why we were in the USA and why we only needed to rent the house for three months and he told them that no one would rent a home to someone for that long.  He then thought about it really quickly and then said that we were welcome to come and live at their house for three months! He hadn't even asked his wife Barbara (mobile phones weren't even around then!) and raced home to tell her before we arrived ten minutes later! Can you imagine what she thought!

They had four kids who were quickly told that a strange Australian family was moving in with them for three months and the kids who slept upstairs gave up their rooms for us.  I still remember a lot about our time with the Winkels.  It was crazy having two families in the one house, but lots of fun.  Their older kids were around my age and their two boys Bryan and Richard used to pick on my Aussie accent flat out.  I remember being fascinated with everything American and remember how cool I thought it was that they were going to their Prom. 

Just after we first arrived at their house they asked us if we were hungry and wanting anything to eat.  My Uncle said to them that we weren't as we had a 'late lunch'.  At the time they couldn't really understand some words because of our accent and thought he had said that we had a 'light lunch' and couldn't work out why we weren't hungry if we had only had a light lunch!  

'Back in the day' it took over a week to send Mum and Dad a letter in the mail and then it would take another couple of weeks to get a reply back.  Twenty one years later it's awesome to have the wonders of the Internet, Facebook and blogs. It's so great to have contact with them now and to see how everyone has changed.  It's fun seeing the 'kids' from their family all grown up and married with kids. 

Recently Bryce emailed me to tell me that he and Barbara were flying to Sydney and were then going to be going on a cruise, which would have a stop over in Hobart, Tasmania! We were so excited to hear that they were coming here, even if it was just for a day and Kim and Deidre and I arranged to meet up with them.

On our last day at Swansea we got up early and drove down to Hobart to meet them just after they got off their cruise ship for the day.  
It was so exciting to see them and they were just as I remembered them.  Jay was so excited to hear their accents, and I kept having to remind Bryce that he was now the one with the accent when he would imitate mine. 
The plan was to go to Port Arthur with them, but with the recent bush fires the roads were all closed.  We decided to take them to the Tahune Airwalk. I had never been before so I was looking forward to going as I had heard it was amazing. 
We had a lovely few hours with them just walking around, talking and catching up on the last 21 years. Bryce spent some time driving with me and it was so nice to just talk.  I wished that they had been able to meet Aaron and Noah, but it was nice to talk to him about them and let him know how I was doing. 
It was fun to talk about all the things we remembered about our three months of living together and we had a laugh about the 'late lunch' story.

The forest was beautiful but it wasn't a very nice day at all.  It was quite cold and even started raining. You wouldn't think it was the middle of summer! Fortunately they are used to rain in Portland so a few spits didn't worry them.
The boys loved the wishing tree where people had dropped money on top of the tree trunk and had made a wish.
I loved being up above the trees but as I got further out to the end, it made me a little nervous!

We had a lovely lunch at the cafe before taking them back to Hobart so they could board their ship to head to Melbourne and then New Zealand. We had lots of fun telling them lots of Australian slang words and told them to go home and tell their sons that they were bogans! Jay thought that was hilarious.
We had a lovely day with them and wished that they could've stayed longer so we could show them more of the state. Hopefully it won't be long before they come back for a longer visit. 
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