flux and flotsam but, pulling on through.

1/Work. There is a lot of it and my time is pressured and short.

2/Home. We have to find a new one.

3/Loss. I feel like I’ve lost more than I can handle this year. I realise that the time where my heart would realise, fully, that I don’t have my mom or my dad anymore would come. It’s come.

4/Writing. It’s weird. I just can’t write right now. Because my brain is just flummoxed with work right now, and I need time away from my computer to just.breathe.

5/The constants. The constants in my life. My beautiful Cameron. My wonderful Shmooshy. My amazing friends. These are the things that keep me going right now. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them.

6/I feel like I’m in the waiting room of life right now. Working very hard whilst they call my number. And, I am. For now, I realise, the Universe is telling me so many things. All of them point towards making me, more me again. Towards the one thing that I love the most – home. Loss hits you in weird ways. It never tells you how. But, when it does, it does.

7/Looking back. Looking back over the last year of my life, I see the most joy and the most tears. The joy comes from my constants. The tears from the loss I now feel.

8/There’s nothing wrong with feeling it. The hardest part is admitting to it.

9/I admit it.

10/4 am. Cam woke me up at 4am to play dolls. I could’ve told her I just wanted to sleep. But, no, playing with Cam is far more important than sleep. It’s more important than writing this. It’s more important than anything. When I was very little, my mom would wake up early and play with me. It was our special time, the time when the world was still sleeping and there was just us. The time I had with Cameron this morning reminded me of that. It’s so precious and I will do anything in my power to have more of that time, that wonderful quiet time for her and I.

11/The cave. Sheena and I talk about the cave alot. We know each other’s well. She knows I’m in mine. And it’s so weirdly lovely…this time, though, I’m not alone in my cave. I have my constants and they are with me. Always. I feel such comfort and love here. I don’t feel alone. Not feeling alone is the most liberating feeling I’ve ever experienced.

12/I love you my friends. I love you my Shmoo. I love you my Cam. I’m the luckiest girl and mama in the world. My life is so rich with people. My life is golden with you in it. You are the golden light at the end of the tunnel, and I never knew how bright it could shine. Til there was all of you. I heart my army of me. x

Lucky, lucky me. I may be quieter than usual with the blog updates right now. I apologise. I’m still here. I promise.

77. It’s your birthday.

Dear Dadadadad,

It’s your birthday. To celebrate, I talk to you. Happy Birthday. You would be seventy-seven today. Seventy-seven?!?!

Seventy-seven. I’m sure you’d snort at the notion and say something akin to “it doesn’t really matter how many I’ve clocked up, I still feel thirty-seven”.

This is the fifth year I cannot phone you and sing badly down the ‘phone, or email you a silly rhyme. Instead, I write you a letter and who knows if you read it. It’s the writing it that’s the most healing. You taught me that. Thank you for that.

I got the chance to tell Mom most of this on a pink-sunsetting afternoon, with The Three Little Pigs being read, and Cameron snuggled up in bed with her.

I wonder often, where you’d stop me and tell me to ‘cool my jets’. Heh. Like I was a rocket, roaring to lift off. Actually, now that I think about, you were right about the rocket analogy. I ponder sometimes how you would react to my enthusiastic re-tellings about life now, and at which points you’d say “go for it” and at which ones you’d say “consider it properly first”.

On Love.

I guess it’s the minute care in every detail. The active interest in the things that mean everything to me. The way I do not feel alone. The not-having-to-plead-to-be-myself-or-do-what-I-feel-is-right. The myriad of things that I am so blessed with now. The absolute gratitude I have for this. For it’s every single moment. The way I get to wake up and I know I am loved. The loved that you wanted for me and Cameron. The one you told me about when I did not know it existed. The one where you said I would “just know”, and my juvenile self looked at you askew, and interrogated you for more clarity. Harangued you until you popped out another analogy.

The one where you said that,

“It doesn’t matter what happens in a day. The next morning, when you wake up, that person still smells like honey to you. It’s like that with family, it’s like that with real love”.

You really loved honey, now that I think about your analogies. If you were here now, I’d make you a sandwich. I’d love to just be able to make you a sandwich again, and talk all of this wonderful stuff through. I’d love to squeeze your hand and just feel you sitting next to me and being over the moon for me. Me, who never thought this possible.

On Home.

Stored in my home, are bits and pieces of your life. Our family life. I have photographs, and things, letters, cards, reports, newspaper clippings and little pieces of paper for which us members of the Jenkin troupe appear to love peppering our lives with. Cameron sleeps, we laugh, we play, we sing, we talk, we love. I pretend to eat Cameron’s toes and yell “sweeties”. I do that just for you. Just for you. Sometimes it’s cobbled together but, Dad, I have a happy home. The one you believed in for me, before I even knew it could happen.

On being a Mom.

This is the part I wish you were here for the most. For you to see how you were right. You told me once that you didn’t fully believe in reincarnation. That, in your view, we carry on entirely through the children that come after us. I see you in my nieces and I see you in Cameron. I see you in her stubbornness. I see you in her complex thought patterns. I see you with Cameron’s love for puzzles and in how she hates to lose in card games (my siblings are laughing at this point). I see you when I look at her thinking. I see you when I see her eyes sparkle. And I hope that you are proud.

On being Cath.

I’m thirty now. Wow. It seems not so long ago that I said “Daaaad, thirty is SO old…”. You were right, it’s not. It’s just a new “decade of adventure”. I’m loving it so far. On being me? I still love the same things. I love feeling at home, and I feel that way alot now. It’s not such a rarity. I am surrounded by wonderful people, every day. People I’d have brought home to you and Mom, for dinner and a laugh. The people I’d have thrown a house party with, and they would have ended up swapping stories with you more than they did with me. Thank you for instilling in me the desire to be tenaciously and without regret, myself.

It is through being my honest self, that good things come to me. Of all the things I am grateful to you for, it’s that lesson. The lesson that I should never give up and try to conform to what someone else believes is right for me, no matter how much I loved them, or thought they loved me.

Thank you for the vibrant, often crazy, run-on-love upbringing you gave me. I know I rebuked it so much as a teenager. But now, now I celebrate it. Thank you for the crazy times, and the parts that taught me to care beyond myself. Thank you for teaching me that it’s more important to help, than it is to be helped.

Happy Birthday Dadadadad. They best pour you the Chivas in heaven tonight,



Have. Good. Friends.

Yesterday, finally, after notbeingabletoleavetheofficetogoandcollectit


I came home with what has got to be one of the world’s largest boxes.

In it, presents, for Cam and I, from Angel and Neels.

Our glorious friends who have been with us through so much.

Cam demanded that she write a letter to them, to thank them. I was to dictate… snippets included below…

Thank you for my presents. I love you. My mom says I can say thank you for you in my prayers tonight and I am going to. Jesus is okay with me being thankful for people who I love.
I love my Barbie the best. I am going to name my Barbie, Alexa, because she has brown hair and that name also has an A, like Angel. Her clothes are beautiful and my mom wants to see if she can get me the same clothes. I can spell the A name. The snakey doesn’t scare me. I put it around my neck and it’s name is Princess Tiana, because it’s a Princess Snake, you know.
Mommy says she and I are going to bake this weekend, and I am going to eat the icing too. Because, you know, I’m good at it. Mama says it’s pink. Pink is my favourite. And purple. And green. Maybe I like yellow  too. No, I do like lellow. Green is for the big kids. I’m big now. I’m five. Five is very tall. My legs are very long. Mama says that I will be taller than her soon.
I have to go and watch my movie now. Mama says it’s nearly bathtime too. Mom, can I have bubbles? It’s ballet tomorrow. Oh. Can I tell Angel about my fall? Angel, I falled off a bench on Sunday. I fell off and fell on my face (onto concrete, mind). I have big sores on my face and it means that I can’t go swimming until they are better. They are getting better. I only cried a little bit, because I am very brave. Mommy says she nearly had a heart attack when she got the call. Mom, what’s a heart attack? I didn’t know hearts could attack like a leopard? Is that in my animal book?
(I’m serious. This is how she talks. All the time. Hehe).
Okay, it’s bathtime. Thank you for my big box of presents. I love you.
P.S.Oh, Mom, tell Angel and Neels and Damien that you told me they are on Twitter. Twitter is very good. It’s for clever people. Tell them they are very clever because they knew when I had my birthday. Oh, they know Sheena. Tell them to tell Sheena I love her too. Sheena has big boobs haha.

The Birthday Benchmark Blog.

So, someone asked me why I didn’t make a speech at my own birthday.

Truth is, I didn’t want to. Truth is, with everything that’s happened in the last year, I was a little scared I’d choke up and fall over, emotional. Now is not the time to be faint-hearted.

In turning 30, I obviously reflected. Lucky for you reading this, I kept that mental regurgitation of a decade mostly to myself (and yelled appropriate parts down the phone at Sheena when I needed to. Thanks, fuckbitch, for dealing so damn well with my panicked phonecalls, like always).

What would I have said anyway? All I am is gratitude. A decade of hell and heaven. So much learning, so much discovery. So much laughter and probably far too much heartache. But, oh, the heart-swelling moments made every ache worthwhile. In retrospect, the times I held hands and grinned at the world, with people I loved, made every time I felt alone and frankly wanted to just disappear, worth it.  Every time Cameron opens her mouth and says something that saves the day, makes the hell of two years of post-natal depression worth it. Every time I felt unsure, was worth it for every time I held a certainty. Every time I meandered into self-doubt and couldn’t get out, was worth it for every time my faith got me through.  Every single insular moment, meant that every moment I felt a part of something meaningful, was even more beautiful. Every time I was left, was soothed by every time I was accompanied.

If I think back, at 20, I thought I would marry the person I was with then. And yes, Sheena, it was who you think it was. You may now snort your tea laughing. Not even a spit of time went by before I realised that was not to be. At all. Thank fuck for that first-of-the-decade life realisation.  How funny, when I saw his parent the other day, and we had a giggle about our past, I realised how very, very different children can be from their parents. I just hope in his life, he got some good parts from his dad. Disparaging comments on exes over with. Maybe. We’ll see.

It was in this decade that I began to write some things I am still proud of. Not all of them, mind you. It was in this decade that I learnt about the inroads of my head, and explored them, sometimes with and mostly without, fear. That got me in to trouble at times. I am okay with that trouble.

It was in this decade that I lost my parents, and gained a child.

It was in this decade that I had to, numerous times, either forced or by choice, to re-define my own sense of belonging on every level I can think of.

It was in this decade that I lost more than I thought I could bear, and gained more than I ever thought possible.

I am forever thankful for this decade. The one with the sparkles and the shit. Even more thankful that, looking back, I don’t recall once ever finding said sparkles mixed up with said shit. That’d be just gross. Always the counter-balance, where the sunshine did come after the rain, even when it looked like the clouds just would not fucking move the fuck on.

I’ve emerged so thankful for every day. Even when given everything, or left desolate with everything taken away, I am still, in retrospect, steeped in gratitude.

But, what  is it about benchmarks? These benchmarks we set for our lives, and we set for other people. Someone who I still hold very dear to me, once told me that I am the benchmark against which they compare every person they meet. I don’t think I’m ever going to be okay with that, and I reckon their bias towards me speaks more about the life experiences we had apart, than it did during our  times together.  But, the truth is, benchmarks exist for a reason. And, when those benchmarks are exceeded, in whatever form, you are left with a choice. The choice to create a new benchmark or to stop measuring entirely.

I choose to stop measuring entirely. I choose to actively try not to compare myself with others, and in particular those people I secretly fear the most sometimes. I’ll do my best to truly love what there is, for what it is. And I’ll not hang on to expectation, as best I possibly can.

Still, I’m learning. I’m excited to learn.

Thank you, decade-of-twenties, for showing me who the hell I was. And, well, decade-of-thirties, let’s see how you take that who I am, and get better at it.

At just being me.


I am thirty, and I am totally okay with it.

I am loved, beyond all sphere of my former imagination.

I am blessed, in ways I could never have expected.

I am laughing, in the way that made my parents smile.

I am jubilant, in spite of the sometimes-trudge through life.

I am exuberant, and I could not care about your opinion on it.

I am mama, and I am the luckiest one there is.

I am proud, and I have nothing to apologise for today.

I am nufi, and this is my nickname.

I am a friend, and in friends I am so rich.

I am steeped in history, and excited for the future.

I am dancing, and the music is my own tune.

I am all I said I wanted to be, and that’s entirely myself.

I am crying, for tears are honest and I thrive on honesty.

I am overwhelmed with gifts, and feel the warmth of thoughts against my hands.

I am holding hands, as I jump in to the next decade.

And as for you, Miss Gates…be warned 🙂

To rest…five things.

To rest.

My mother. In ritual and in heart, she is at rest. Dancing with my dad. Smiling at us. Laughing once again.

My soul. Cuddled between friends, who made me laugh so much, cleared my head and held my hand. ‘Til sunrise and beyond.

My heart. You come home from a tropical island and you hold my hand while I have that cry I have been holding back on. I tell you the things I needed to tell you and texts or emails just wouldn’t cut it. You dance with me whilst we wait for things. You’re totally okay with my bad days, and you smile with me through the sunshine. I fall asleep, curled into you. I sleep the sleep that my heart so needs, and your warmth envelopes me like a cocoon.

My daughter. My daughter turns five in two days. She’s quiet in churches, she’s learning how to add. She cuddles in to me as we talk about our days, and she tells me she loves me in a million different ways.  She tells me I’m the mommy she always wished for, and I tell she’s the daughter I always wished for. Her love knows no bounds, and her nearly five year old miracle of life is my every day blessing of beauty and grace.

My hand. At rest upon this keyboard again, I write and I will never end.

precious moment

precious moment…

was reading this to Cameron with my mom on Sunday.

i was so tired. eyes falling out of my sockets tired.

but it was one of my alltime favourite moments of life.

so precious.

and my mom said

“i loved that moment. i loved that so much. when you were little, i would read you a story, and the next day, you’d tell me the whole thing all over again. adam for nightum. it’s how i knew you had a good brain on you”.

(**aka ad infinitum, adam for nightum is a family colloquialism*).

seventeen days.

Whilst Cam was sick yesterday (she had croup. it’s horrible. especially waking up and wondering where the tractor noise is coming from inside your house, and realising it’s coming from your kid’s chest), we chatted.

She climbed in to my bed, and watched a little IT Crowd and Big Bang Theory with me (bugger off, parenting police, she loves it and hey, I’d rather have a kid obsessing over Penny and Sheldon, rather than that purple dinosaur I won’t mention, and of whom I am most of fond of saying goodbye to…).

And, we talked.

With just seventeen days away from her being five…she had a lot of questions…

“mom, when I am five, will I get really big? and will it hurt?”

(oh, Cam. growing up is hard, and it doesn’t ever stop hurting. but, usually, not in your bones but, sometimes in your heart).

“Mom, will i grow more teeth?”

“Yes, Cam, you know how some children’s teeth are falling out? And then the tooth fairy comes and gets the teeth and gives the children money or something?”

*insert pause from Cameron whilst she thinks*

“Mom, are there fairies for everything? Birthdays, teeth, Christmas. Why are there no Easter fairies, because there is an Easter Bunny?”

“Yes, Cam, there are fairies for everything you can think of”.

*insert pause from Cameron who looks at me and then trumps it…”

“Oh. Can I get one for just me then? There are so many!”


I still can’t believe my daughter will be five. I remember being five myself. I remember like it was yesterday, and that’s no cliche. I can still feel my favourite pink cardigan. I even remember unwrapping my presents around the oblong table in my parent’s lounge.

I remember how my shoes felt against my little feet and how I loved the buckles. I still love buckled shoes. They always make me feel so safe. I had a too-short fringe just like Cam (that’s a clue for what’s below). Cam is far more secure than I am though, at that age. I remember always feeling so shy. Not much has really changed. Believe it or not.

A cupcake for whoever can actually spot me in this picture.


And then, of course, I asked the question…

“Cam, what would you like the Birthday Fairies to bring you for your birthday?”

She rattled this list off to me a while ago, but she pulled this one out of the hat yesterday. It’s a clear amendment on the first one she told me. hehe.

Rollerskates. Mom. The type with four wheels. Like from when you were little.

A sister. Or a brother. I dont mind, but, if its a brother, he cant share my toys. You’ll have to buy him his own boys things.


A ballie that bounces so high (NO, she has enough of them)


A play-play plastic snake.

A teaset. A glass one (am i expecting the queen for tea or something?!)



Make up

A mirror

A Brides dress with a veil that doesnt hurt. A white one and a pink one

High shoes

A costume

Funky goggles (big ones, with the nose cover)
a pretend fishie and…everything she likes (what the hell does a fish like?)

A Barbie.

A baby (okay, Cam, I know you want a sibling but that’s a no for now!)

Bath bubbles

dress up everything (wtf is that?)
Rapunzel. The actual princess from the tower. And the ugly witch so that I can kick her. And the dragons

The barbie and the three musketeers DVD
More CDs for her radio. Mostly Beyonce – “All the single ladies. you know that song, mom? *shakes her ass whilst I shake my head* (grrrr)


Puzzles. With lots of pieces (she’s doing seventy-plus piece puzzles at school now. Yeah, I know, I was just as shocked when I found out!)


My baby girl, I can’t believe you’re going to be five.

moments of pride.

Image courtesy of my friend, Karen Lotter (we were made in the 'same factory', you know :D)

1. When my mom said, yesterday, whilst her and Cam and I were cuddled up on her bed, reading the Three Little Pigs:

“you’re a strict mom. you’re raising a good kid, well. Cammie is the sweetest little thing”.

2. bursting into tears when I heard that Shmooshy‘s hard work paid off and he won 🙂 //and, i’m no damn public crier. just saying// I love you, my immensely clever, fantastically talented partner in crime.

3.  this tweet.

4. #Camsays: “Mama, I’m a big girl. I didn’t cry when you had to go out. I stayed with my friend (Cam’s amazing, wonderful babysitter and one of my best friends) but, my favourite part was when you came home. I love you, Mama. Let’s cuddle and sleep!”

5. My amazing friends. Who, even at 3am, have my back all the way. Even when I am so tired that I say really, really dumb things. At least they’re hilarious, dumb things.

Full circle.

A while ago…it feels like a lifetime and a half ago, now…
I  wrote something for Parent24.
Some people didn’t like it much. I hated that time in my life. But, it didn’t stop me from writing.
I doubt anything could, now. I’ll write my way out and up of anything.
That day, I wrote of sadness, insecurity and disappointment.
Today, though, I’ve come full circle, I feel.
Today, I wrote of joy, security and absolute awe. I’m honoured I am able to write this. I’m honoured he chose me. I’m
honoured he chose Cam.
I wrote something for Parent24 today.