Tomorrow it's one year since that Thursday afternoon when Mum left this earthly life and moved on to be with Jesus in Heaven. I wasn't really sure whether I wanted to share anything on social media about it, and I'm still not really sure how to go about it. I want her life to be honoured and I love talking about her, but at the same time it's so personal, and its also weird writing her a post when she's just plain not here. I kind of came to the conclusion that on this one year mark of life without her here I wanted to share some things that in my eyes made her who she was, and honour the person that she was.. Just share some special things that I remember from her and also so I can look back on this blog in a few years time and remember how I felt on that first year.
Looking back on that last week with her has been a mix of emotions.. That week was chaos. It started at the start of the week on the Sunday afternoon after Father's Day, her mind started to fade and she slowly slipped into a confused comatose over the next few days. We struggled a lot that week with watching her upset and in pain, I remember just being in a daze the whole week. Sleep, force some food down, sit with her, look after the family, repeat. Those days all kind of blurred into one. We were all exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically, but in a small way it was good that it wasn't so sudden, it gave us time to process and grieve, and by the time the funeral came around we were able to face it and be strong enough to stand up there and say our final goodbyes. God carried us through that funeral, I don't even remember half of it.
It's a year on from that week but in most ways it still feels like that week. We have gotten through the first year, but it still feels like we're on one big holiday and soon we'll be all in the house again having Schnitzel at the table and quoting Edna off the Incredibles again. One day goes into the next and the next day goes into the next and that's just kind of how it goes these days. We don't have a 'new normal'.. In my opinion its not normal anymore, normal is with mum still here with the family, but we have 'adapted' and get through the days and still have funny times and still enjoy life most of the time. The harsh reality is that our normal life stopped last year and we can't get back to it as much as we want to. Those memories will stay with us forever, but for now we have to figure out a way to keep moving forward.
I've been writing a list (just a jumble of words) over the last few days of some of the reasons why I loved her so much and what made her her. These are some of the things that I love.
Her zest for life, being out in the fresh air, in the mountains, in a different country, whatever. The way she just loved to feel alive and out enjoying what God made for her. How she loved storms and the rain, and how we both loved it. How she always had time for running. How it made her feel better. How we used to all go hiking at Hunua Falls together or the Pinnacles and that Pomegranate tea that she'd make and never put any sugar in.. How she worked hard, and how she had a heart for the community that she was in. The way she delivered thousands of babies and made a personal relationship with each of the ladies she delivered. How she made them feel so special and looked after. How she loved my Dad and how they would hug in the kitchen every time Dad got home, she'd always drop what she was doing.. How she was so real and practical. She saw things black and white. She never tried to be fake, never tried to show off, never tried to be something she wasn't. She was always grounded and firm in her faith and actions. How she was SO intelligent. How she was always so classy and beautiful in everything and at every occasion. She was a picture of beauty flowing out from the inside, with joyful eyes and a happy heart. How she loved singing and dancing but couldn't keep a rythmn ;) (Sorry mum) How she loved being at the snow in Ohakune in the winter and at Ahipara at the Tritschers in the summer. How we had coffee together every week and she'd always tell me off for skipping uni classes and always try to convince me to get a job photographing houses ;) I miss that. How she made the best coconut butter chicken, and how she always made time to cook us dinner even after working 10 hours that day. How she took us to Austria as a family a few times and how she worked so hard to pay for those trips. How she was Austrian and how that makes us Austrian. How her and Dad integrated the cultures so well and made an effort to speak Austrian around us and keep that side of our family alive. How after an arguement she would always come upstairs and we would just hug and hug and hug, and how those hugs always fixed everything. That's one of the things I miss the most. How her and Dad used to have devotions and pray together every morning and how they would always show us that that was the right way to start the day. How Jesus shone out of everything she did, how her first priority was always Him.
These photos are from one of our family trips over to Austria, the last photo is from an earlier trip, but all the rest are from our last trip over there in 2008. Can't wait to be back over there in a few short months and learn even more about who she was.