You’re Gone And I Still Miss You

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you… I could walk through my garden forever.” 
~ Alfred Tennyson

Yesterday was July 4. It’s our niece’s birthday. It was our first dog Charlie’s birthday, Charlie who is now Harry. And it was Kate’s birthday.

Kate was such a dear friend. I met her hanging over the fence at my Auntie Doff’s when I was a kid – both of us in primary school. I was a goody-two-shoes. Kate was a foster child, a tough kid and ‘bad girl’ who secretly had a heart of gold, a wicked sense of humour and a shared love of books. She became my penpal at a time when people used to write letters to stay in touch and we became entwined in each other’s lives, using each other like a ‘Dear Diary’ and witnessing each other’s trials, tribulations and wobbly successes.

She died in 2010 and yesterday, July 4, she would have been 49 years old.

Kate was a crap cook, and a lover of junk food, a killer musician, circus and aerial artist and street performer. She was famous for her cupcake kebabs and Horses Doovers Towers – her only two and best dishes!

It’s been nearly ten years since she passed. Still, sometimes I find myself thinking that I’ll call Kate or send her some stupid Facebook thing I know she’d love. Sometimes the grief I feel and the still-missing-her is ferocious. I never knew it could continue to take my breath away at unexpected moments after all this time.

My friend Carls (none other than THE Carly-Jay Metcalfe) was a mate of Kate’s too and we always remember Kate on her birthday, message each other and make sure to eat cake. Kate would have been all for that. She was a girl who loved life and lived it hard.

The older I get the more my heart is marked by those strange unhealable wounds that are created when a loved one has left this life. I’m glad for those wounds, and for my dinged-up battered heart. I feel these departed loved ones around me still and they live on inside me. I still talk to them. I still think about them. I still hold them close.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I miss them so much I can hardly breathe.

That’s okay. That’s just what love does to you.

Hugs and love, Nicole xx

An Afternoon Concert for My Cows

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“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

 

The first time I heard Albinoni’s Oboe Concert #2 in D Minor I was seven, a little girl sitting in the music room of her primary school, eyes closed as instructed by the teacher who placed a record on a turntable. Suddenly magic was in the room.

Somehow I knew that music. I knew the sound of the oboe. I thrilled with recognition. The way the strings sang and danced their sweet rhythms up and down my skin. The reedy tone of the oboe with its jaunty clarion call. I wanted to dance, to slide and twirl along sprung wooden floors, toes pointed and skirts swaying. The pictures it brought to my imagination!

But I’m sure I’d never heard that music before. Not in this lifetime anyway.

After our class I determinedly stayed behind to ask the teacher what the strange and beautiful music was, and she obligingly wrote it down for me on a scrap of paper. Years later, as a young adult, it was one of the first music CDs I ever bought for myself.

Yesterday afternoon I played that same Albinoni concert again. I cranked up the stereo, and let the music seep deep inside me.

Shortly after the music began, the cows all looked up. Transfixed they came closer. Closer.

After which they settled themselves down and for the next hour we all sat together, quietly listening to a selection of Albinoni’s music.

sit in

When it was over they all stood up again and wandered away.

What a magical sharing we had.

I never knew that my cows were fans of Albinoni too. 🙂

And I wonder – thinking back to my first encounter with the music of Albinoni which left me with tears streaming down my cheeks in a class full of seven-year-olds who were all otherwise fidgety, bored and bothered, – has that ever happened to you? That you’ve heard music, or eaten a particular dish or gone to a certain unfamiliar place and thrilled with recognition at a soul level when by rights this thing should be strange and unknown? I’d love to hear from you!

 

Here’s a little snippet of the music we enjoyed yesterday:

A happy dancing tune…

A reflective and deeply emotive piece…