Vale Dave Parker

Rest in peace, old friend. The world is less shiny without you.

I woke at 4am today, unable to breathe after a coughing fit brought on by a nasty cold, coupled with the weight of a full-term baby pressing on various internal organs. I was extremely uncomfortable, and after some tossing and turning in bed, I decided to grab my phone and scroll through Facebook in an attempt to lull myself back to sleep.

I was almost up to date with what people had gotten up to while I was sleeping when my scrolling stopped on a photo of you, on our mutual friend’s page, with a message that read “You will be missed, Dave. RIP.”

What. The. Feck.

I jumped out of bed, leaving my husband to continue his slumber, and lumbered out to the living room to my laptop, where I spent the next 90 or so minutes stalking our mutual friends, trying to find out what happened. Although we lost touch a thousand years ago, rarely a week goes by where I don’t think about you, and wonder how you’re getting on with life.

I sent desperate messages to a couple of mutual friends, and waited, and waited, and waited to hear news. As everyone was asleep, there wasn’t much I could do except a bit more Facebook stalking. Finally, I heard from one of them, saying that the cancer had returned and the doctors weren’t able to slow it down.

Cancer? I didn’t even know you had cancer.

Later, I had a long chat with another friend, who had more information. You were a survivor, having already dealt with one bout and seemingly won. When it returned, you fought hard, like you did the first time, with good humour and steely determination. Unfortunately, even though you got into a medical trial to try and slow down the progress, the cancer made its way into your lungs, then kidneys and liver.

I was told you arrived home on the weekend, in time to spend a couple of days with your family, before you left us. I’m glad you were home, and surrounded by all those you love, and who love you so much.

I don’t remember how or when we met – I know we met through friends of friends of friends at Macquarie University, and for some strange reason, you tolerated my loud and sometimes abrasive personality. We became friends, and for a time, we were very close – we saw each other every week, and we hung out all the time. You were such a good friend to me, more than I deserved, as I often whinged and complained about all my problems and woes, and you always listened and provided support. For years, you put up with me dishing the crap, and so it wasn’t alltogether surprising when you woke up one morning and realised you didn’t need my negativity in your life. We drifted apart, and then, later, with separate lives to live, we lost touch.

You were one of those rare people who never had a bad word to say about anyone. You were also one of those rare people who never had a bad word said about you. Everyone you met loved you at first sight. Everyone lucky enough to have been able to call you “friend” was treated with utmost respect and fierce loyalty. You always lit up a room with your presence, with your ready smile and easygoing nature.

I am shattered by the knowledge I will never see you again, and the inexplicable loss of someone so young and vibrant. I’m a bit numb as well, grieving for you as many many others are grieving for you too. But I know you are in a better place now, watching over us, beaming down with your trademark goofy smile.

Dave, I thank you for the years of friendship, and for making my life so shiny with your kindness and love. I will always remember the awesome times we had – all the times you made me laugh, picked me up when I was down, and the pearls of wisdom you imparted. Hearing of your passing today hit hard, even though it’s been years since we last saw each other. You will always be remembered as a great bloke, a friend to one and all, and the life of the party.

You will be missed.

Photo A Day Challenge | 2014 January | Day 4

Mood: Happy Snapper

Photo A Day Challenge | 2014 January | Day 1

Mood: Happy Snapper

Photo A Day Challenge | January 2014

Mood: Happy Snapper

Happy New Year!!!

First day of 2014. A brand new year. And to make today even more special, it’s Master S’s 3rd birthday.

Happy birthday to our darling boy. Life has been richer and fuller and so much more fun since you joined us 3 years ago. We can’t imagine life without you, and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. Our love for you grow every day, and you make us much braver and stronger than we ever give ourselves credit for. Thank you, darling heart. Hope you have had a most wonderful day today!

J and I barely made it to midnight last night. The only reason we stayed awake was because the night air was too warm for comfortable sleep. We managed to catch all THREE sets of fireworks that lit up Sydney’s night skies. Yes, that’s right, Sydney fired off 3 sets of fireworks. At 9pm, 10.30pm and at midnight. The 10.30pm fireworks lasted about 2 minutes, at most, and it was touted as a “one-off”. I wonder if this will continue as a tradition. It was a bit of a waste of money, in my opinion. The 9pm “family fireworks” and the midnight extravaganza were both good. I quite enjoyed the midnight ones, and was glad to be awake for them.

It dawned on me earlier yesterday that this NYE was the first NYE that I hadn’t either attended a party or hosted a party in 25 years. Even on the night when 2010 wound down and 2011 dawned and I was officially in labour just before the 9pm fireworks burst through the skies, we still went to dinner with my family to celebrate the new year. J jokes that he finally “broke” me and my social butterfly behaviour.

We have so much to look forward to this year. Magic Bean will be joining us in March, followed by J’s parents who will be flying in from NZ to help us settle in. We have a few trips towards the end of next year, with a wedding in South Australia, a family wedding in Hong Kong and J’s 40th all taking place in the latter part of 2014. But before any of these events take place, there’s Master S’s birthday party to plan and execute. Wheels are in motion already, so here’s hoping we get it right by the day!

I mentioned in a post in December that I had been experiencing some mixed feelings about the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge. After a bit of soul searching, I’ve decided to continue on with the challenge, albeit with a much looser commitment. I have also decided to stop posting to the special Facebook FMS Photo A Day group – this is the group that showcases the Fab Four (chosen by a panel of moderators, all of whom are challenge participants). I figured: if I’m not in it, then I can’t expect to “win” it.

I will still continue to share my photos on Instagram, as well as Fat Mum Slim’s Facebook page. And of course, you will also find my photos on Twitter, StreamZoo and EyeEm.

I can’t promise to take a photo every day, but I will try. Let’s see if I can rebuild my enthusiasm for this challenge.

Photo A Day Challenge | 2013 December | Days 30 & 31

Mood: Happy Snapper

Photo A Day Challenge | 2013 December | Day 29

Mood: Happy Snapper

Photo A Day Challenge | 2013 December | Day 28

Mood: Happy Snapper