23. Opinions

Isn’t it funny how much faith we all put into other peoples opinions of us, even when we know we shouldn’t. From asking about our fashion choices to life advice, we put so much value on the things people tell us; and we often change what we think or know based on what they have said. Sometimes it works out for the better, sometimes not, and if it’s unsolicited advice and you don’t take it, it can sometimes cause huge conflict!

I had a conversation about this subject just the other day with a friend, who had a huge argument with her parents about her grieving process and life choices following the death of her person. They are convinced that the suggestions they are making are the best ones for her, and while their ideas are not without merit, they don’t match at all the way my friend is feeling or how she sees her life going on from here. As she said, ‘until you find yourself in this very position, you don’t get a say on how I live my life’. Absolutely the right message, but still hard to take when it’s your parents that you’re fighting with.

I want to think that I try to be someone that listens to advice and opinions, without giving them too much weight. I absorb them and then filter them to see what fits for me. I like to believe that I’m strong enough that I don’t take it overly personally when someone’s opinion of me is not what I think of myself, but that can be easier said than done depending on the person and the opinion, and the day that I’m having! Some people and opinions matter a whole lot more than others.

For the most part I think I’m doing ok with the choices I am making and the things I am doing. Usually I go with my gut – if it feels good and makes me happy – why not! .. But then again, as I’m typing this I think what a liar I am, because how many times have I written about all of the second guessing that I do!? … I guess I’m just as complicated as everyone else!

In the spirit of being complicated, I did have a moment this week where I called my mum after I had been to their house. I wanted to ask what my German Aunt and Uncle thought or had said about the idea of me dating after a passing comment in a conversation. I shocked myself with the phone call because I really thought that it didn’t matter to me what other people think. I’m doing the best I can – the things that feel ok on any given day. I don’t know what’s right or wrong- only that people say there is no right or wrong! I’m not sure exactly what my mum made of the phone call, but almost before I finished asking she said that she had made a comment to them at an earlier time, about not wanting me to be alone forever, and as long as I was happy so was she. I know this is what she truly thinks, she has said it to me quite a few times, but that day, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

I’m not sure that there was a follow up conversation about the lovely fellow I’ve been seeing, or what any of them thought. Right now I’m ok with it, because their opinion wouldn’t change things for me anyway.

22. Anxiety

Oh boy… what a fun thing to live with! I feel like I’ve had anxiety on and off for a long time. For the most part it has been manageable and I’ve been ok. Usually for me, talking about what is making me anxious is really helpful and things settle down. Every now and again tho, it becomes a much bigger thing, and much harder to work around.

I have never been great with change – and while I know a lot of people aren’t, I really struggle with it. The first big change in my life that I can remember was moving from Germany to Australia. It was the first – and probably only time I have seen my dad cry. I was 10 (nearly 11) years old and saying good bye to my grandparents at the train station, en route to the airport, was super hard. That was 37 years ago.

We lived with my other grandparents for the first few months here in Australia, and settled into the small town they lived in. We stayed for a year and then came to Brisbane. Another big change… new house, new school, new friends. Another 12 months later we did it again, and then another new school the year after that going into high school. Its really hard being the new kid all the time. I always felt like an outsider and never settled with one group of friends, or had a best friend.

Getting married and having my kids helped a whole lot, you kind of have to deal with stuff when you’re responsible for other people, and I also had Claytie there to keep me steady whenever I needed. Every new job I have ever had, has involved a whole lot of gut churning and tears for weeks, before I have felt comfortable enough to relax into being myself. I’ve stayed in situations much longer than I should have, because leaving caused such huge anxiety for me.

It’s a funny feeling. Rationally you know that it will be ok – mostly even really good for you. But the irrational side catastrophises everything and makes you feel sick. Every situation I go into has been analysed from front to back and inside out, with contingencies planned for just about everything. As I’m going through all of this stuff in my head I know it’s silly, but I can’t help it. Since Claytie died, my anxiety has been next level. My brain no longer has an off switch and I worry about absolutely every single thing. The boys have been really good and understanding, but I can see that they get frustrated with me… just like Claytie often did. It’s hard understanding something if you have never experienced it, and it’s hard to explain how it feels.

This weeks anxiety is raging about work. I have been super happy in my role for the last 12 months. The people I am working with have been amazing. It’s a small team in a small office away from the crowd. I have felt safe, included and accepted. It’s been a god send, and without it I’m not sure how I would have coped being back at work without Claytie to support me. But it seems this security is coming to an end. My boss – who I have a tenuous relationship with, has decided that it’s someone else turn in this role. I have not been told what I will be doing instead, or when the change will happen… both issues that are not very helpful with this level of anxiety. I’m incredibly nervous that I will be put into the one role in the department that I absolutely don’t want to do…Guess the contingency planning needs to start again. Some new nexts are really really hard!

21. Echo Chamber

Since Claytie died, I have done a million things that I have never done before. I have dealt with things on my own that I never imagined, and the boys and I have been through a bunch of stuff that we didn’t see coming. I have had to manage all of it, because now I am it. I don’t have Claytie to back me up, to counsel me, to be my driver, my confidant, my financial advisor – my everything. I have had to learn to rely on myself for a thousand things a day that he was always there for. Of course I have my boys, and all sorts of support.. but it’s not the same. How can it be!?

One thing that has been a god send, has been ‘The Echo Chamber of Misery’ (not it’s actual name!) or ‘Sad, Weird Widow People’ as the boys call it! – one of the widow support groups that I joined about 4 months, in the middle of the night, after my world imploded. There was definite trepidation when I first joined… who were these people and what could they possibly know about my world!? Would it be helpful or just a waste of time?! But I have to say, it has been absolutely one of the very best things I have ever done.

There is always someone online – any time of the day or night, that you can vent to. I can say things to this group that I couldn’t say to anyone else, because they understand. I don’t have to censor myself incase I hurt the feelings of one of my loved ones when complaining about their foot-in-mouth commentary on a public platform. These people are also living what I’m living. They don’t sugar coat answers, and chances are they have felt the same way in a similar situation. There is good advice, virtual hugs, and in the case of the local group, actual hugs from people I now consider some of my closest friends.

The local group have been perfect for me. I have met people one-on-one and spent hours longer chatting than I could ever plan for. We have been to coffee catch ups, Axe throwing (not my sport!), Christmas catch ups, very drunk sleep overs, drag shows, brunch and lunch. Each time I have been to a get together I have had to put my anxiety to the side and be brave. It’s really hard putting yourself out there but I have absolutely benefited from the challenge. I have met a whole lot of new people that I otherwise would not have. Some I have quite liked, others that are not my cup of tea, but there is now a core group that are MY people. Between us we have daily conversations about all kinds of things and I love them!

There is also my Tuesday Trivia Crew – an ongoing weekly thing that I have written about before. I look forward to Tuesdays in a way I never thought I would. It’s one of my very favourite things and I drive an hour each way to get there without any hesitation – others in the group drive even longer! We are the ‘naughty table’ in the pub, and spend almost the entire time laughing and being inappropriate. Not all of us in this group are widowed- we adopted two awesome fellows in about week two or three of going, and they are now very much part of the group. All people I wouldn’t have met had it not been for the support group.

I keep coming back to how lucky I/we have been. Even though our world has changed so devastatingly and completely, the people around us have made all the difference… especially for me! I am so very grateful to have so much love and support in my crazy new world xx

19. Flood

Dejavu anyone? In the last week or so Brisbane and parts of NSW and Sydney, have gone through a repeat of the 2011 floods. A one-in-one hundred year event that happened only 11 years since the last time – did someone say climate change!? It’s been a super challenging time for so many people, and my heart breaks for those who have lost everything again. We have been challenged by it too.

Last time, in 2011, most of our belongings were moved to the homes of about 5 of our friends, and we evacuated our house for 3-4 days. We were incredibly lucky to only have water in our yard and none in the house. The flood peaked at least 1m lower than had been predicted, which is what spared us. Stress levels were incredibly high, but we had Claytie to keep us calm and be a voice of reason.

This time, my oldest son and his fiancé live on the other side of the river, and were cut off very early in the piece. They had a knock on the door at 5am from police telling them to move theirs cars as the water was already there. They live in a small unit with their two dogs and decided to settle in for the day, with plenty of messaging between us checking in with each other and photos and videos being shared.

At our place, for some of us (not me) there was almost a sense of excitement. The last flood was a long time ago and the boys were very young then. Surely it couldn’t happen again, and certainly not as bad!? My stress levels were on a reasonable simmering high, and I did a lot of walking backwards and forwards to the river checking the rising water levels, trying to work out at which point things needed to be moved. Eventually I did manage to convince the boys that taking their belongings upstairs – at least those that would be impossible or just too difficult to replace, would not be an over reaction but rather a sensible precaution.

The pool needed to be emptied at least 5 times, and sandbags readied at the back door. I was also very worried about my mother-in-law being on her own – while my Father-in-law was away in Wollongong with Clayties sister, and not able to drive home. There was a small window of being able to get her to our place, before roads became flooded and no way in to get her, but she decided to wait it out at home, Clayties sister having booked my FIL to fly home early the next morning.

At about 7pm my son messaged to say they were evacuating. It was a case of now or not at all, the difficulty being their dogs. Apparently SES will not take pets when evacuating people – especially not 2x 45kg. My son had to wade through waist high water with suitcases, and then each dog – one at a time- over his shoulders. They then had to find somewhere to stay with the dogs. It was super stressful for everyone, with a huge sense of helplessness from me… they physically couldn’t get to us with all of the road closures. At this point my anxiety went into overdrive and the unfairness of Claytie not being there hit home. He would have known what to do, and he would have calmed me down. He would have made it ok for me. Eventually they found someone to take them in for the night and we could all breathe again.

It’s definitely been an adventure no one needed! Road closures meant either very very long and convoluted travel into work, or not being able to get there at all. The aftermath of wading through flood water meant a trip to the hospital for my daughter-in-law and antibiotics for both her and my son (both are fine now!). On the upside, moving stuff from downstairs to up and then back again, has meant that the boys bedrooms have all had a proper tidy up, without my having to nag about it! A silver lining for sure.

There is more bad weather predicted, and my heart goes out to all of those people whose worlds have been turned upside down from this. With the mess in our corner of the universe, and all of the other horrible things happening in the world, I can’t help but to wonder what else is in store for us, what comes next… locusts!?

20. Family

As most of you who know me know, I come from a big family. I have three siblings, Claytie has two sisters and we have our four boys. There are plenty of cousins and aunts and uncles in our world as well. There are always people in and out of our house and the grapevine is very alive in terms of everyone knowing the big stuff in each other’s life. I love it! I love having these amazing people in our world, and I love that I can rely on all of them without question!

The other day I was listening to the radio, and one of the announcers made a comment that had me thinking again about how lucky I am. She mentioned almost in passing that members of her late husbands family have not been supportive of her and her children since he died. This same kind of commentary happens a lot in the support groups that I am in. For a whole lot of people almost as soon as their loved ones funeral has taken place the family is divided and in some cases all contact is stopped. There is often nasty fighting about money and possessions and hard, hard words get spoken.

I can’t imagine that loss on top of the grief that you’re already feeling. Not once has it occurred to me that my relationship with Clayties family would ever change, and I am so incredibly happy and lucky that it hasn’t! My in-laws are just as much a part of our world as they ever were. The boys will call their grandfather for advice about all sorts of things, and at least once a year usually Father’s Day, they go out for a beer together. Grandmothers get phone calls to check in on them and family BBQs are just as fun as ever. I couldn’t imagine not having Clayties sisters to talk to and spend time with, and I see my parents in law just about weekly.

I’m also incredibly lucky to have some amazing friends that in my world count as family! Some have been friends forever – at least 20 years or more, others were friends in a more peripheral way and are now integral to our world, and then there are new friends that feel like forever friends. There is always someone around for a chat, laugh or cry – or to come to Karaoke with me, and I love them all for it! They more than make up for those that have chosen to distance themselves from us since Claytie died, another common thing that seems to happen.

I’m super excited this week, because my Aunt and Uncle are coming over from Germany. I haven’t seen them since Covid hit and Claytie died. It’s times like these that make you realise that although the world is small in so many ways… when you’re far apart, it’s really really far! It will be so lovely to have them here, but it will also be strange . It will be another first without Claytie and that hurts. On the upside, I have been able to use the impending visit to get the boys into the garden to do a big tidy up, and hopefully their rooms will follow! – wish me luck!

18. Rings

So very recently I did kind of a big thing… I have been thinking for some time now of getting my wedding ring resized to move to my middle finger. I still want to wear it, I love it, it is beautiful, it is part of our story and I love every minute of my life that it represents… but it feels like the right time to change it, and now that I have started seeing someone it doesn’t feel right anymore on my ring finger. The poor lady in the jewellery shop probably wasn’t expecting the huge tears from me when it came time to actually hand it over, I wasn’t expecting them either!! It was the thought of not having it with me for the next two weeks that broke me.

I have spoken to a lot of widowed friends about their decision with wearing their rings, when/ if they chose to stop wearing them and what prompted the decision. I have found that its really hard to define your status as a widowed person especially when you start to date again. Are you still married, are you single… technically you are both, but its hard to know how to feel it and how to say it; and wearing a ring on a date can make it awkward, especially if your status hasn’t been talked about prior to meeting.

Its also a very personal decision. Some people have taken their rings off almost immediately and some are still wearing them years later. Some have changed their rings and had pendants or other jewellery made from them, others have them tucked away in a jewellery box ready to pass on to one of their children to inherit. There is no right or wrong way of getting through this part of grieving, it is just another step in the process, and when ever you do it its hard.

All of the big things are hard… some of them you expect to challenge you and others come as a complete surprise and come out of no where. There is no way to predict which is which. Valentines day also hit hard for me this year! I desperately missed getting my nasty clearance flowers from Coles – Claytie hated to buy flowers, even though I love them. He objected to spending money on something that would sit in a vase in the loungeroom for a week and then make a mess and need cleaning; but he loved me, and was well aware of how much I love to get them and would buy them for me anyway. – Mostly the nasty marked down ones, that were pretty much at the end of their beauty, but the thought was there! For some reason, this year I missed not getting them so much more than last year. It might have been a combination of the day and not having my wedding rings with me that did it, but who knows why some days hurt more than others.

I decided that these big things deserved a reset… I spent the day after my ‘ring decision’ sitting on the edge of a cliff – literally. I went to the beach, my calming place that always makes me feel better – instantly! I can feel the tension leave my shoulders almost from the minute I see the water, definitely when my feet hit the sand. It was a bit of a weird morning. The weather didn’t know which way it wanted to go… sunshine between rain showers and the ocean was wild. There was no one near me, and all I could hear were the waves. It was incredibly peaceful, and calming and exactly the right thing. I love that we live close enough to the beach that I can just hop in the car at 5am on a Sunday morning and give myself the best sort of therapy… how lucky am I!?

16. WTF!?

So this morning I find myself sitting and reflecting on a recent Woine Toime evening, something that’s been happening reasonably regularly at my place on a Friday night for years, although lately less so thanks to the introduction of karaoke, but still a thing that we do. The people who come have changed with time, new ones introduced and old ones moving on, but with a core group that come to laugh and gossip and support.

I’ll provide the snacks, you bring your own drinks and we’ll sit and see where the conversations take us. Sometimes the people connect incredibly well and it’s like they’ve all know each other for years, other times it can be more awkward and harder for the conversation to flow. Either way I love it. It’s a therapy of sorts and it feels good to do.

The drinking is generally light and social, but we’ve had some big nights of singing and dancing (including costume changes) with the appropriate level of hangover the next day for one or two of us. More often than not it’s a regular Friday night with a bit of fun thrown in, and the weekend proceeds as planned. Very occasionally things turn out vastly differently to expectations and the only thing you can say is WTF, what the hell was that!

It’s been a while since Woine Toime happened, so I threw out an invitation to a whole bunch of friends. Thanks to short notice, only a handful were able to come, but it was lovely sitting and chatting and introducing new friends to old. I’m not entirely sure at what point things turned weird, probably when the Fireball Whiskey came out, and my sister went home – but the evening did not go the way it usually does.

There were some quite heated conversations about current affairs and politics, human rights and discrimination. There were conversations about the music playing and remembering the originals as we were listening to the remakes, and there was a lot of drinking! So much so that I had a need for one of the guest beds, a plunger and a whole lot of panadol – you know who you are! “ Got to be honest. Not feeling great. It’s been a very long time since I have had this kind of self inflicted pain.” Was the feedback a couple of hours into the morning.

The weirdest thing for me tho was a friend changing the rules of the game. We’ve been friends for a long time without there ever being a hint of anything romantic, I though for either of us. Apparently I had that wrong and there were very strong feelings on his side. I did not see it coming and felt quite awkward when approached about it. It was unwelcome and intrusive and Im not sure how to process it. I don’t know what happens now. It put a very different twist into the evening, and while we have agreed to pretend it never happened, I know things can’t ever be as they were!

At this stage I’m not sure when the next Woine Toime will be, I need to process this one… and as my kids say, I seem to be more social than they are at the moment! For now, karaoke is back on and certainly for the next few Fridays, that’s where you’ll find me x

17. Stuff

Sometimes its really hard to write this blog. Am I sharing too much of my life, or is it ok to get it out of my system. What topics can I talk about, is any of it interesting, does anyone really care?! And then I think does any of that matter, because actually I am doing it for myself – to process the stuff in my head and to figure out this weird new world.

This week has been a mixed bag of emotions for me. I’ve been a bit stuck on Woine Toime and the fall out from that – an interesting place to be in the same week that Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins did their speech at the Press club. True to ‘female conditioning’, I’ve been analysing and second guessing my behaviour to see where his came from, and I’ve been dreading the thought of face to face contact. But as my mum said, I have done nothing wrong and I can’t allow myself to be a victim! It’s still a yucky feeling tho!

The boys are all doing good things at the moment… it feels like we’re on a reasonably even keel. I do get nervous tho when things feel like they are going well, because inevitably something will go pear shaped and my stress levels will peak! Fingers crossed we keep plodding along nicely for a while and they keep kicking the goals they set for themselves. Claytie would be super proud of what they are doing and how far they have come. I wish that he could tell them that himself.

Trivia has been a huge highlight the last couple of weeks. The Black Widows Peaks have added to the group and our new team members (also from the widow support group) have been a godsend! I can’t believe that I only met these people in the last 12 months, it feels like I have known them a life time! We spend the entire time laughing and being silly! Our conversations are rarely appropriate and we all look forward to catching up. We have gone from coming dead last (pardon the pun!) to first two weeks running. We had such a smashing lead last time that apparently we need a five point handicap going into this one – Something that has been argued by several members of the team with the host who is sticking to his guns! … guess we just need to win again to show them our magic!

I’ve had the highs that come with date nights… I’m really enjoying spending time with the chap I’ve been seeing. He makes me feel good about myself and he makes me laugh. Our conversation has been easy without any sort of awkward silences – even the few disagreements we’ve had have been easy. He lets me cry if I need to and has been entirely lovely when I’ve been a cranky hormonal mess. He’s not completely ready to step into my world, a thing I am trying to be understanding of – but as I’ve mentioned before, the little weird world inside of my head is streets ahead of where we are actually at, so I keep needing to slow myself down and appreciate the little things.

I was telling one of Clayties best friends about it just recently, and the questions he asked and the comments he made were just right. It is Ok to be where I’m at and it is ok to find happiness. I absolutely know that, but it is nice to have those feelings validated by people who are important to me.

I’ve got some very lovely things to look forward to, which is always nice… more date days for me, my favourite Friday evening activity is back, and I’m enjoying singing along from my table in the back…there are some super special days for friends and family that have been postponed more than once coming up soon and then there is just finding happy, beautiful things in the day to day. I’m a lucky person and I remind myself of that everyday x

14. Surrealism

It has now been 18 months since Claytie died, and it still doesn’t feel real! I know that he isn’t coming back, and I have accepted that – I know it, I feel it, I live it every day… but somehow I still go to talk to him or call him a hundred thousand times, and there is a shock to the system every time I realise it again. It is a surreal feeling like no other that I have ever had before… and there is no getting away from it ever.

I talk about him all the time. He is part of just about every story that I tell – and if I don’t mention him out loud, you can rest assured that I’m thinking about him, and his reactions to the story as I’m talking. I journal everyday, both as a way to clear my head before I try to sleep, and as a way of talking to him about everything that is happening. I don’t believe that I will ever stop doing this, or that I should. It feels like a healthy way to process my grief.

The thing that does feel weird, is getting up everyday and moving on! It feels almost as though I am somehow separate people living my life at the moment. It’s a kind of apathetic floating sensation that glances over the things that are happening to me and around me. None of it somehow feeling real.

There is the me that gets on with the day-to-day stuff.. bitching and moaning about having to clean the house, getting the groceries and going to work – the same kind of moaning that we all do! – I pray to the Lotto Fairy almost daily to get me out of this one, but I still hesitate to buy tickets because that was always Clayties thing to do. I can just hear him saying to me that if I were to win, I would divvy up the money all wrong and that he should be in charge of it! – an argument that he also had with my mum on more than one occasion!

There is the me that is trying to be there for the boys, to get them through the ups and downs that they face – and we’ve had some doozies in the last 18 months! I’m definitely not sure I’m getting it right, it is a constant worry that I have. That I’m not good enough, supportive enough, present enough for them. That the things that are going wrong are because I’m not enough, that Claytie was better…

There is the other me that just wants to curl up in a corner and cry forever about what we’re missing, the future that I should be living and the things that he will now never be a part of… all the plans that we had that now can’t happen. So many times I have to stop myself, my brain, from finishing a thought, because to go there just hurts too much.

And then there is the me that’s trying to get on with things and keep living. The new me. The me that goes to trivia and karaoke, that puts on big girl pants to meet new people. The one that paints a smile on her face and tries to believe it; that really wants to believe it, and sometimes/mostly does. This one is hard to do every day because while I don’t feel guilty – I have no choice but to keep going, there is a feeling of otherness in this new world.

It’s exhausting, and I am sure not exclusive to me. What I want to know and what I’m trying to work on, is putting all of these pieces back together. Trying to believe in the life I am now living and acknowledging it as mine rather than feeling like it belongs to someone else and I’ve just borrowed it for a while. It’s like an out of body experiences, but I want to come back in – I just don’t know how.

This new normal is a strange place to be. I don’t like it, but somehow I have to make it fit – I have no choice! I have to take all the parts- the things and the people that make me smile and feel happy (and they definitely do exist) and I need to own them and know that’s it’s ok… it’s a work in progress, baby steps that will hopefully bring me to a place of if not happiness than at least some kind of contentment. I guess I can only keep trying with it and we will see what happens next.

13. God is watching!

So this whole dating process has been weird not only for me, but also for the boys. I have been quite open and upfront with them about where I’m at and what I’m doing. I have talked to them individually and we have spoken as a group more than once on this subject at our Monday night Family Dinners. They know that I am doing a bunch of different things to keep busy and they roll their eyes at most of my stories. I haven’t told them ALL of the stories at this point, obviously, but they know the basics.

They all have such different personalities, and it’s been interesting for me to see them go through all of this stuff – grief, life, covid etc as well. There are a couple that are quite happy to talk things through with me (different boys on different subjects) and others that just don’t want to talk at all – that’s much harder for me because I am such a talker. I know which ones I can push for a response, and I know who is better with little bits of information passed on periodically. Overwhelmingly tho, they have all been incredibly understanding, supportive and just plain fabulous! – obviously keeping in mind that they are man/children and this can’t be the case 100% of the time!

The main concern that they seem to have around my social life, is around dinner and whether or not I have cooked for them before I go out, especially on a trivia night which is Tuesday. If there is food prepped and ready to go, they lose interest very quickly! They don’t seem to mind too much on a Friday (karaoke for me) because they are usually heading out too! Now that there is also dating in the mix, I do get some raised eyebrows! – where are you going, what are you doing and is it with the same person!? – For the record, it has been the same person for several weeks now- a rollercoaster for me that I have mentioned previously!

Up until now, the dates have all been ‘acceptable’ for them to get their heads around… I go out for a few hours and then I come home. Day time/night time it’s all been good, no real questions asked. I’ve been for lunches, drinks, dinners, movies – yes… for the first time since 2012 I went to see a movie! Still not really my thing, but I had a lovely time and will happily do it again! I’ve enjoyed myself hugely, and in typical me fashion have had the whole range of emotions to go with it … excitement, tears and snot, butterflies – it’s been fun!

In the last little while I also had my first sleep-over date! I mentioned to the boys that I wasn’t sure if I would come home or stay the night, depending on how I was feeling and if I was going to have a drink with dinner. It’s an hour for me to drive home so that was a concern late at night, but I also wasn’t sure how I would feel staying – it’s another big first… nerves are a very real thing! I packed a little bag just in case and did my usual ‘behave, be safe, be sensible and make good choices’ spiel for the boys that were at home. Quick as a flash, and without hesitation, I got back ‘be safe, use protection and don’t do anal cause god is watching!’ … to say I nearly choked would be an understatement!!

It seems that the boys (one in particular) are much more comfortable with this whole thing than I have given them credit for! Apparently I have also raised animals! Who says that to their mother for goodness sake!?!? Haha! I am now nervously anticipating what will happen when/if they actually meet the gentleman in question, something I think is still a little while off happening! He has indicated that he is also nervous about meeting ‘my people’ which is understandable given where we’re all at!…. Watch this space I guess to see what happens next!