Dear sweet Lisa,
Two nights ago I had another very vivid dream about you and our lives together. It was partly hard times and also a deeper understanding. It's always poignant to touch your memory closely.
I suppose the biggest thing this year is that things feel like we are all on a path together - that the many adjustments, new beginnings, faltering steps and false starts have settled into a life that works for all of us.
Nat is in his second year of high school and is doing so well. He's come second place in a house instrumental competition with his violin, has participated in a house play, enjoys his school work and stimulating teachers. He's taken up fencing seriously this year and is maturing so well. He's become more settled in managing his impulsiveness and does an amazing job of taking responsibility for his behaviour. We can talk, cuddle, laugh and discuss things in a really enjoyable way. His dedication to things and his immense natural talents for learning inspire me daily. Lisa, there is so much of you in Nat. Like you, he is a special person. He will make his mark. I told him that yesterday after he joined me sitting in the early morning. How wonderful is that to be able to share one of our most important foundations with our children?
Aulden is just beginning his maturing. Sadly, his year six schooling leaves a lot to be desired. He's not had the best trot with teachers. Getting to high school will be very good for him. No more chopping-and-changing and he will be able to rise to some good challenges. This year he has begun to play rugby League and is really enjoying it. His strength and size make him a great "Prop." He often gets 10 metre runs, often with several opponents hanging off him. Today his team won, but more importantly, really played a solid game. As his wonderful coach said, "Isn't this great footy!" As always, Aulden is a gentle and loving boy who gets enthralled in his Warhammer, reading and drawing. His black ink drawings of warriors and weapons have emerged from stick figures to truly artful works that reveal his attention and understanding of detail.
We lost Gretchen, our German Short-haired pointer this year. We got her two years after you died. The boys and I sometimes thought about your spirit joining us in Gretchen. After our trip to the US, she was in the habit of going too far afield and got into some fox bait. It was a sad and tortured end to a gentle and desperately loving companion. The boys and I missed her so much, that it wasn't long before we got to thinking about bringing another dog into our lives. We considered many breeds and then, with counsel from Julie decided to get a small dog that could easily stay with her when I am not working from home. This was a good ideas and now we have the most amazing little fellow, Eddy. He's a fluffy, energetic little boy with a playful and smart spirit. He brings a lot of joy to our lives each day.
Julie, James and Isabella and very much a part of our lives even though we only see each other a few times a week. Our families and many activities require that we give them the attention they deserve. We have a good life and there isn't a week that goes by that you don't come up in conversation in some way. This morning Aulden decided to make some "egg-in-a-holes." He said, "We haven't had them much lately. They remind me of when Mum was alive." He then paused a beat and finished, "Hm, that's a nice memory." He's a great cook and it's something he enjoys and I enjoy with him.
Well, it's 2:00AM, love and your dad's coming for a visit tomorrow. Your mum is with a friend from her South African childhood. She's spending 2 weeks in New Zealand where her friend has since moved. They are both doing well, but miss you every day.
I wish you were here, but we are all the better for the time you spent with us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I love you, Lisa.