One year ago yesterday.

Tonight I pen an open letter to my Pop. Almost precisely the same as I have done for all my adult years, but with a significantly different address.

—–

To my dearest darling Pop,
I hope this letter finds you well, and that the weather up there is being a lot kinder to you than it is down here! In fact I know that it is.

That cyclone Marcia was pretty terrifying for a lot of people, cousin J and her family weren’t far from its impact, but as I can see, everyone from our family is safe and well, with little to no damage!

There were a few scary hours when we thought it may have been headed for Mum and eldest sister in Mackay, but as they are prone to do, the cyclone changed it’s course, and went South.

Out here we have had a few storms, and crazy heat, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Now onto the girls,

G1 is doing great! She started year 11 and began her MAST program, which see’s her undertake 2 days in an industrial training shed, learning the basics of all the trades from mechanics to welding, and gaining certificates in workplace practices.

Dan and I are very excited for her as we know how much she enjoys being hands on, and we know that if she applies herself, she will gain a fantastic lead on her future.

Who would have thought you’d have a female tradesman in the family??

Actually, you and Gran would not have been surprised, would you?

G2 began year 7, which is now high school! Crazy hey?

I wasn’t worried about her headed off, though she was. Thankfully she surprised herself and has taken to it like a duck to water, finding a great group of mates in the mix too!

She loves being organised and has also wasted no time in springing back into Gymnastics and swimming club.

G3 is year 5, was recently elected student council representative and celebrated her 10th birthday.

Little blue eyes now finally has a pair of blue sparkly earrings to match!

She is having her birthday party this weekend, themed “International”! No doubt it will be lots of fun, and will cause my week to be pretty bonkers.
She is also keeping up her gymnastics and swimming.

Mum is doing great, very happy to have eldest sister home and on the countdown to Vietnam! She has 3 big trips this year. And no doubt all of them will have her mind firmly on you! She stays busy as always with work, study, rowing and being an amazing Grandma. She certainly had the best teachers!

Eldest sister is home on her brief stopover from Antarctica where she spent weeks out in the field learning and applying all sorts of logistic skills! It’s magic to see her and of course the kids cannot get enough of her! If only her stays weren’t so short. Ah well, makes them all the sweeter.

Middle sister is great too, staying busy chasing around her 4! She’s throwing herself into triathlon training and proving to be a force to be reckoned with.

N1, N2, N3 and N4 are all darlings! N1 began year 2, and is off to a great start, loving her new teacher. N2 has begun prep, she also seems to be having no trouble at all fitting into big school.

Firecracker N3 took a little adjusting to Kindy, but seems to be settling in ok. Who would have thought the loudest would be the most reserved?

Little N4 is happily ruling the roost at home, not letting Middle sister get too comfy with only 1 at home! He’s growing up very quick!

Dan is good too, still goes off hunting when he can, or takes us up the hut. I’m keeping him busy round here with little jobs and he is playing around with his home brew rum still.

Me, well I’m good too. Crazy busy actually. I still write for the paper and our town magazine, I keep up my swimming training and the kids activities keep me buzzing too and fro.

I kept my promise and have been painting more since you left. Not as much as I would like, but I’m going to try and see to that.

I have plans in the works that will see me busier still, but see me happier too. And I have you to thank for all of it.

Well Pop, gotta run. Kids to pick up and dinner to cook.

I just want you to know, that I love you, and am so proud to have had you as my Pop.

And my goodness, do we all miss you.

12 months yesterday and I still can’t open the box in my brain that your death sits in.

I’m an emotional scaredy cat. No where near as brave as you. But it’s because it hurts too much to fully acknowledge your gone.

You were with us all weekend as we played games and swam, and just loved each other. And your with us always.

Please give Gran a big hug, and let her win a game of scrabble or 2. Who am I kidding, she would win anyway!

Until we meet again my darling Pop.

Love always and forever
Laina

IMG_6515.JPG
The girls and I working on our Clermont Show pieces! All the while thinking of you!

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