Once Upon A Time

Time. They say it heals all wounds and they say it flies, yet wounds will continue to heal so very slowly as life flashes past with lightning speed. Another year has passed, yet another year that I thought I would never experience but I blinked and there it went. And I am still here.

I am still here to stare meaninglessly out my study window wondering what I would have missed if I had of successfully ended my life back in 2015. What would be different now, would my family still be living in our rusty old farm house overlooking a flooded dam surrounded by gum trees and squawking sulphur crested cockatoos? Or would my death have seen them move back into the city, closer to schools and support networks surrounded by busyness and distractions to keep them from wondering what could have been.

The reality of the last 18 months is nothing has really occurred, no major events at all. Nothing much has happened that I would have missed out on if I was not here. I still haven’t been able to honestly utter the words “I am glad I am alive to see that”. There have been many things that were enjoyable, fun even but nothing I feel I couldn’t have lived without.

My biggest accomplishment over that time has been writing my memoir, which will probably remain unpublished and yet gave me an inner strength I never knew I had. My story has been told, and if it is read one day that will be a bonus.

Rain is trickling down my window and I glance at the photos I have pegged to string running the length of my tiny study wall. Photos of happy times, of weddings and Christmas’s and babies and pets. Pictures depicting fun and laughter, hope and promise – moments captured in time that remind me there are good days too.

Photos are so often dishonest portraits of a life lived, posed for and propped. After all we seldom photograph the bad times, who wants to re live the sorrow or the fear? These darker times are left to fade in our memories, some experiences fading faster than others.

I become very photo happy when I am manic, evidenced by my hard drives full of images of trees, rocks and tiny mushrooms. I try to endlessly capture the intense beauty seeping from the sheer complexity of everything around me in hope I will revisit these images with the same enthusiasm when the world around me once more fades to shades of grey.

My children had their last day of school for the year today, they will return in February as grade 3, 6,8 and 9 students. They have grown so fast. I look up at my photo wall and I am drawn to an image of me aged 17 holding my newborn son, I look so young – I suppose I was. I had already experienced so much ‘growing up’ at that age that becoming a ‘teenage mother’ was just another inevitable step in my path of manic consequence.

I remember looking at him feeling this overwhelming sense of responsibility. I was responsible for the well-being of a real live all be it tiny human, it wasn’t a goldfish – there were serious consequences if I forgot to feed it or clean it or heaven forbid accidently kill it. This was real. Judgements flew around me, many from total strangers “babies having babies!” disgusted looks and shaking heads.

Depression followed naturally, but it was no stranger to me so I got through it again, time passed, highs flew, lows lingered, marriage, babies, illness, experiences filtered through the in betweens, all these compartments bonding together and creating a wholeness, a story, my story.

Like it or not our stories are made up of time, how much ‘life’ we fit into the time we have, the manic desire for more and the depressives desire for less.

But the hands of the clock will continue to move with every minute long after our time has passed, we can just hope that as those hands tick forward our stories will be told by others as memories and lessons, passed on through the generations of that fleeting moment we spent here, once upon a time

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