Thursday, March 17, 2016

True Encouragement

Grandmother Shirley, Me-Cherie, Aunty Bern, Mum Marlene, Brother Mark, Cousin Dean - Taken in around 1970.

I have always been close with my Grandmother and for as long as I can remember, have maintained a yearning to write about her early years, a challenging period of her life. This drive has really only been a dream, until August last year when purely by chance, I came across the Writers Studio. So late last year I took a couple of introductory classes with them. These classes presented me with the feeling of freedom that expressing my thoughts into written word provides.
The second class, the genre class, was where I embarked on a journey together with my Grandmother Shirley. I interviewed Shirley and wrote my first pieces about her for each of the four short stories.
Although my writing experience is in its infancy, we both valued this so much and found it a means to turn inwards and help us both heal and grow. So In November of 2015, I enrolled in the Writers Studio Online 1st Draft Novel Class to begin in March 2016.
With my motivation at an all-time high, I spent the most recent December and January speaking with Shirley and noting down her memories in preparation for this class. My aim with this novel class was to attempt to write a novel about her early years of her life and present the book to her.
On Australia Day 26th January 2016, after hours of note taking, Shirley said to me, "Well that’s it; that’s the last."
Four days later, Saturday 30th January, she passed away unexpectedly. At the age of 91 she had been doing really well. Walking every morning and maintained a sociable existence with our large family. Aortic Dissection was found to be the cause.
With my emotions, passion and purpose in turmoil the writing aspirations that I set in motion in November 2015, for the upcoming class, were abruptly overturned.  Throughout February I felt like I was grasping at nothingness. Time seemed to stop. And nothing seemed important. My whole body didn’t want to respond to anything. I was frozen in time and I as tried with all my might to put one foot ahead of the other, it felt like I was dragging myself through honey.
However, I have since been informed that she was so thrilled I was writing about her life. Apparently she spoke of it to many family members. It had taken us a few months but i now have many pages of rough notes to hopefully incorporate within this journey. In addition to this she portrayed a sense of relief in letting go of emotional baggage buried within her soul. She was happy and at peace. That is true encouragement for me. So I now pick myself up and recommence one step at a time...

" My Stitch Interpretation. "

For my stitch sampler - I have employed silk ribbon techniques, fabric painting and loose french knots.

 The encouragement i gain from my Grandmother Shirley is shown in my stitch interpretation - A goddess. 
Her hair is as fine as mist, capable of sprinkling particles of happiness. 
Her caring, compassionate words are like petals falling from her lips
She is able to bequeath the beauty of life through her presence.
For she is the guardian of emotions, the feelings of life.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear this Cherie. She died knowing you were writing about her life and I'm sure that gave her great peace and joy. Now you can continue to write her story and then share it with your family. That's a wonderful tribute to her. Blessings on you.

  2. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Grandmother Cherie, a huge loss as I know too. It's wonderful that you had those conversations with her, that they will be recorded and remembered....sending loving thoughts your way....