Monday, 25 January 2010

Jen's Birthday

Hi All,

Sorry about this, the pics were supposed to be at the end but I can't work this all out! Here are a few from my camera but the best ones are from Jack's camera, however I can't work out how to copy them from the program that comes with his camera! Don't you just love technology! Anyway, here's a snippet of our trip.

Beautiful old bridge over the river in Kangaroo Valley, an hour or so south of Sydney.

Toowoon Bay (think the spelling is right!) an hour and a half north of Sydney.

Jack having a great time on a ropes course. His first ever experience of this type of thing and he loved it.

Richard showing Jack the flight simulator.

Jack and Dad on a train bound for Sydney.

Jack having fun in a tree, South coast of NSW. (Moruya)

Hi All,

A holiday here in Oz tomorrow for "Australia Day" but mixed feelings here. Jenni's birthday too and Jack and I are heading down to visit her grave. We bought a couple of little things on our road trip and Jack wants to go and visit and leave some of them there tomorrow. We were at a fantastic little country village called Central Tilba, in a small craft type of shop and Jack found some small floating flower shaped candles, so we bought a few to put on Jen's grave. Jack had also told the lady in the shop about Mum and so she came up to us at the counter and gave Jack a small decorated photo frame that he had been looking at but put back. It was a lovely gesture but I haven't yet found a photo to put into it so we will take that next time. I will let Jack choose.

So tomorrow will be a mixed one but generally speaking Jack is doing really well. He often chats about Mum and sometimes has his melancholy times but so far it all seems very balanced and healthy. Not entirely sure how I'm going. Most of the time fine but I'm so busy with Jack that I still feel as though I haven't had time to process it all. Jen's and my split all those years ago was not easy and often very difficult in so many ways. We didn't get on at all for quite a while but in the last 12 to 18 months we built a new friendship based around Jack and it really was good to generally be able to chat about Jack productively. On top of that we managed to sort through much of the crap from the past and especially in the final weeks Jen and I had some fantastic, in depth conversations about many things important to both of us. If you had asked me a few years ago I would never have thought I would say this, but I really miss her. I miss the ability to chat about OUR son, not just my son. We would never again have been husband and wife but we had forged a new friendship and I still haven't had my chance (or made the time) to process it and sit down and think about it all.

Enough! Jack and I had a great 11 days away although we came back very tired. We both felt that we probably moved around a little too much despite the fun we had. We spent a couple of days with some family at a beautiful beach town on the southern coast of New South Wales called Tathra and although the weather and waves weren't great, had a lovely time. Then we headed up the coast visiting some beautiful spots and stayed a couple of nights just north of Sydney with an old school mate of mine and his family. Richard and Karen have two children around Jack's age so he loved it there. Richard is a helicopter pilot in Sydney so on our way back Jack and I dropped in on him at work and Jack got to sit in the helicopter and he also got to have a go at landing a plane in a simulator! (He was better than his Dad - although I suspect that Richard just may have been helping a little!) A couple of days in Sydney followed doing the touristy things like the Tower, travelling around the Harbour Bridge and Opera house by ferry and the monorail to see all the sights. We were able to stay with Richards brother and his partner who live in the inner suburbs in Sydney so that made it more affordable. Then back through Canberra where Jack wanted to do the tour through our Federal Parliament House! I said, "You might find it boring after a while". He replied, "Dad, I like to know how things work, you know!" Back in your box, Dad! And he enjoyed it and asked questions, but I suspect his favourite part was rolling down the grass that covers part of the top of our Parliament House!

Following this we visited a place called Questacon which is a little like Scienceworks in Melbourne. It's a science based, interactive place for kids (and big kids!) and is so much fun. We ran out of time after two and half hours when it had to close at 5pm.

We finished off with a drive home over a couple of days through the Australian Alps and saw some absolutely amazing scenery and found many camping spots for the future down along the Snowy River. We made it back to my parents on Friday night for a late birthday dinner for me which Jack and I were too tired for after about 7 hours driving to get home!

Sorry this has been a little bit of a diary. I will add a couple of pictures here but will follow with more in the next few days. My last day off tomorrow before back to work. Jack goes back to school on Monday the 1st of February. It has all gone sooo fast!

Thanks for all your comments and support again. Take care.

David. X


  1. Thanks for continuing to blog David. There is so many of us who loved Jenni and love knowing Jack is happy. Thanks for being such a great Dad.


  2. hi David!~! thanks SO much for the diary :*) I loved hearing that you & Jen had repaired so much of your relationship...isnt that wonderful that you had the time to do that before she left?

    what a grand trip you have had w/our Jack-boy~! sooo happy for you both and you are doing a fine job of parenting...Jen is looking down and smiling I am sure :*)

    hugs...Sue from Spokane xo

  3. Glad he is doing well. That was a sweet gesture on the part of the lady. I am glad your son has you and i wish you all many years of health and happiness. I feel sad when I read that Jack feels melancholy at times, breaks my heart. I am glad he has you.

  4. Happy Birthday Jen, there's no sneaking a card into your letterbox under cover of darkness this year.
    What a wonderful trip David - you did pack a lot in. Now its back to school.
    You are a great dad :)

  5. Hi David and Jack, :) just catching up with you both, I have had some computer issues. I am so happy you are posting pics and keeping a diary of your times with Jack these days. I miss Jen very much and think of her so often and what she left behind, which were her gifts to the world. I never had the chance to meet her, but she inspired me through out my journey the last 3 years....I feel so connected to you all. I am so grateful for that.

    keep posting for us David, we are your dear, attentive and forever readers :)

    Shelbi From California

  6. Great times!!! Love seeing the pics of your travels with Jack. That Toowoon area is gorgeous!!! I love beach vacations--we go every summer. Although, Texas beaches are nowhere NEAR as beautiful!!! Florida beaches are beautiful, but crowded. Mexico would be the closest in gorgeousness!!!

    Sounds like you and Jack-boy have a great relationship and he's dealing with Jen's absence like a true champ. You're a great dad to him, David, and you'll be thankful you kept a detailed "diary" of your times together (because you will forget if you don't write them down)! So happy he's adjusting as well as you say!!!

    Sorry you're having to go back to work! I'm just getting it....duh! It was Summer break for y'all!!! ha. Oh, I know that's hard getting back into the groove of school and work. Hey, but somebody has to pay the bills!

    And Happy Earthly Birthday Jen-girl!!!
    (You are celebrating in far better ways than we can ever imagine!!!) We miss you too! :(

    Take care guys!!! :D

  7. Yay! You are back! Welcome back dudes, we missed you! How very lovely of you to share a bit of your diary, thank you (apologising for it is a tiny bit silly dear wonderful David, if you do not mind too much me being so cheeky! We are all over the moon to read you! And so honoured and touched by your kindness in sharing with us;o)! And I love Kat-in-Texas'birthday wishes, most heart warming, thank you Kat for reminding us of the things we may forget...;o)

  8. I was so hoping you would tell us all about your trip...complete with pictures when you returned. Thanks for the update and the details of your travels David. You're a great daddy...and I look forward to reading every little detail. Good luck with the new school year. I'm sure the break went all to fast...considering everything that didn't have much down time. Thank you for sharing some details about your relationship with Jen. It's good to know there was peace at the end.

    Happy birthday to our Jen. And...I noticed you said "a late birthday dinner for me" it sounds like Happy Birthday's are in order for you as well?? :o)
    Thinking of all of you with love.

  9. Judi in Stratford Upon AvonTuesday, January 26, 2010 8:14:00 pm

    Thought about you both so often while you were away - it looks like it was a wonderful holiday, and the beach photo, well , I can only dream of being hot again as it's soooo bloomin' cold here!

    Happy Birthday Darling Girl, I miss you so very much.

    David - you're awesome, need I say more?!!!!!

    Much love as always to you both and Jamie. Judi xxx

  10. Welcome home, David, and thanks so much for your diary. What a beautiful country Australia is and it would have made Jenni so happy to see the wonderful holiiday you and Jack had. I know it meant so much to Jenni too that you and she became close friends again in the end. Happy birthday to you too! And may this year be one of growing peace and happiness for you, Jack and Jaimie. You are an amazing dad, David. xoxoCathy in Boston

  11. Wonderful update. It sounds like you both had a great time together.

    Happy Birthday sweet Jenni! I miss you! Lisa L.

  12. Sounds like you both are doing great! So nice to hear ...



  13. So good to read that you and Jack are doing alright and had a nice vacation. Thinking of Jen, and missing her posts here. So glad that you keep us informed and that we are all still connected, thank you David. Wishing you and Jack well.

    Lisa in south Florida

  14. David
    I have been away from my computer for some time and was afraid to read...I knew the time had come but it was no less hard to read.
    Even though we do not know each other, I hope the prayers from here reached you.
    I am so happy that you have continued blogging as I think there is a peace that comes with it.
    The blogging community is an amazing source of strength and inspiration.
    I have enjoyed (all be it tearfully) reading your post and know that Jen is resting comfortablly watching over all of you who are still mourning.
    Keep on keeping on is the best thing and enjoy each and every moment you have!
    Please keep will be nice to hear how life progresses for you.
    All my best
    Janet Doherty
    Sugar Grove, IL

  15. Glad you guys are back and had a great holiday. I'm sure it will take some time to process all that has occurred in the last few years. No rush though, it will happen in it's own time.

    Cindy in Canada

  16. Sounds like a lovely trip. Thinking of you both as you resume your lives at work and at school.

  17. It looks like you had a great time! Thanks for the updates. Still worry about little Jack but you are doing a great job!

  18. Sounds lovely, Jenn would be really proud of you all.


  19. Love the pictures, sounds like you had a good break. Hoping that as life carries you forward you remember what a wonderful gift it is for all of you that you and Jen came back to have a good friendship and how that will carry you forward in life with Jack and how very important that is for him. What a wonderful gift.
    Nicky from Canada - in my thoughts and prayers

  20. Great photos, good to see you both and Jack is so tall!
    Yes, Jenni's birthday, always remembered.
    Love to you all.

  21. The photographs are fabulous! I'm so glad you guys are able to spend some time traveling around. And I'm so sorry again about you losing her, David. I'm glad you both were able to forge a relationship that worked.

    Love to you and yours.


  22. And thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I'm such a heel. I've been upset about losing our puppy, but of course it doesn't compare.


  23. Thanks so much David for the update. David you are doing a great job and Jen would be proud of you both and the fact that you are keeping the updates on that special Jack. Take care. Carol

  24. Great to hear you had a lovely holiday and also wonderful that you and Jen developed such understanding and closeness before she died.

    Sounds like you are giving Jack some wonderful experiences, but best of all, such special time with his Dad that he will remember for ever. It must make him feel so loved and help ease the pain of losing his mother.

    Best wishes to you both on your journey from here.

  25. Thanks everyone. Again. I'm always overwhelmed by the support that you all gave Jenni, Jamie and Jack and now have included me. It is all very much appreciated and there are times when I feel like it is very much needed. Thank you.


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  27. Checking in to let you know thoughts and prayers are being sent yours and Jack's way tonight...

    Lisa in south Florida