my best friend's new baby was much smaller than I had expected, he was just over 2 weeks old by the time I got to hold him. he was lovely (if not a little tricky) to hold, he was all warm and squishy and smelt wonderful. best of all, my friend was doing wonderfully as a new mum and seemed happier than I have ever seen her. over the week there was time to revisit a favourite japanese take away place, wave at my old apartment block, eat soupy dumplings and sweet zumbo treats and try one of those frozen yoghurt bars which seem to be popping up all over the city.
it was a bit of a luxury to start and end the day in a quiet city hotel.
during the week I was able to visit my auntie in hospital twice. I had thought about the visits a lot, trying to plan the timing and how I would get there. I had also tried to prepare myself as best I could, for how she might look and feel and how I might react. I expected to be confronted and sad and I willed myself to be present, kind and if at all possible, normal.
what I didn't expect was for the visits to be so touching and uplifting in parts. on my first night, I borrowed a car from my parents and drove myself, my younger brother and cousin over to the hospital. my family has been really lucky as up until now, we've never known anyone to have been very sick. my brother's in high school and hadn't seen anyone he loved very ill before and so I was very conscious of how he might feel and how he might need to be supported.
she was asleep when we arrived and we edged into the room. we whispered to each other at first, no one wanted to disturb her and it took awhile to feel sure of what to do or how loud we could speak. there was a moment that will stay with me forever. my brother looked so sad but wanted to stay. he stood quietly beside our cousin, our auntie's son, who very kindly and calmly explained to my brother why his mum was sleeping and what had happened over the last few days. in that moment, he was trying to support his younger cousin and make him feel okay about what was happening. and then my brother put his arm around him.
there they were, two beautiful teenage boys looking onto my sleeping aunts bed, looking out for each other. it broke my heart but it was a moment of true beauty.
there were moments in my second visit that were like this. no one can control what might happen next but I feel so heartened and amazed that everything my family could do, they did with love, grace and consideration for each other. it is something that has surely changed all of us.
after a very bumpy plane ride, which took me through a few storms, I was home and back with tony. we've had the nicest day just hanging out together and have zero plans for the rest of the weekend.