Thursday, February 18, 2010

The last good times

I'm planning on writing about Sam's funeral a bit later, so I thought I might do some remembering first.
One thing Anthony and I are both worried about is forgetting. We both have memory issues - some dope smoking back in the day probably hasn't helped - and unless I get it all down, I'm afraid it will disappear forever. At the moment what I most want to hear is Samuel's laugh, because I've forgotten what it sounds like. Unfortunately I probably won't again. We're lucky that we have his voice mail message (five words - "It's Sam, I'll call you back"), and a couple of answering machine messages from his Nanna's phone. So at least I'll never forget what his voice sounds like.

There were two nice occasions in the week leading up to Samuel's death that I'm going to put down. A good way to remember them, or remind myself of them in the future.

My Birthday

On the 16th of December, just 6 days before Sam died, I turned 36. I wasn't all that excited about it, to tell you the truth; I've never really relished the prospect of getting older. But it started the way most of my birthdays do - me up first (I don't really mind, I like the peaceful early morning).
The boys got up, bleary-eyed (Samuel especially was never much good at mornings), and presented me with some CDs and a card:

Samuel was always great with cards. He made them for everyone (well, family anyway). When we were going to a birthday celebration, Samuel would make a nice card.
I've laminated this one for obvious reasons, but I do have a few others. He had done it very discreetly, and got Ollie to sign it. I don't know when, as I was there the whole time (perhaps when I was at work the previous day? Who knows). Anyway, it was very nice.
I went off to work and got a bit spoiled: we had a swimming day with the whole school so I got to go swimming (the day itself was a bit crazy, but better than being stuck in a hot classroom with cranky kids who have had enough of school). A girl in my class even made cupcakes for me and the whole class. What a sweetie!
In the evening, the boys and I went to the Hellenic Club for dinner. Oliver was pretty happy as Santa was sitting in the foyer giving out lolly bags, and he got to play in the games room. Anthony was in and out of there, so it gave Sam and I a good chance to talk. We talked about mobile phones, and he told me about the one he was planning to buy after his birthday (when his current contract ran out and he had some money), music (how we both would have liked to have gone to the Faith No More concert, but were looking forward to Them Crooked Vultures, and a bit about school. The next day they were going to Big Splash for the day.
Samuel ordered flathead, which surprised me, because he usually went for a t-bone at restaurants. He didn't enjoy it very much, it was a bit dry and full of bones (like flathead always is). Samuel had only developed a taste for fish in the last few years, mainly due to his friend Ryan. He had gone fishing with him a few times, and had stayed with Ryan's family at their beach house, and loved going out on the boat with them. Of course, they ate a fair bit of (freshly caught) fish, so he was able to taste it at its best). Now that I think of it, I think that was where he had his first t-bone too!
We were too full for dessert, so we picked up a frozen cheesecake and went home. The boys sang happy birthday and we made pigs of ourselves. All in all, it was a nice evening.

Christmas Drinks
On Saturday the 20th, we went for drinks at Phill (Anthony's brother) and Laura (his partner)'s place. I took the boys over around 7.30pm as Anthony had crashed out on the lounge. There weren't many people there, but a nice atmosphere. Oliver found some other kids to talk to and ended up watching a movie, so Samuel was able to join in with the 'adult' conversation. He hooked into the sweet chilli philly, so much so that I think he felt guilty, and asked me to grab some from the fridge when I went home to pick up Anthony. Of course I got two other text messages from him on the way over there (don't forget my good Apple headphones, don't forget a jumper), he was an accomplished texter (a memory for another day I guess).
We sat around talking, he fiddled with his iPod (one earplug in, one out), and showed me the solitaire game on there. Of course I hijacked the thing until I was able to win the game. He was showing me some of the functions and the album art (he had spent hours the previous weekend downloading heaps of it) and still munching on sweet chilli philly.
A bit later on, James (Anthony's brother) arrived, a little drunk. He was entertaining us with funny stories about a girl he'd been seeing and some of the things that had maybe not gone so well (I remember telling Samuel not to take relationship advice from James, much to his horror). Phill offered James some tequila and he jokingly tried to get Sam to have some. Sam politely declined (might have had something to do with me sitting there saying NO WAY!), but he was such a good, sensible boy, I don't think he would have.
Not long after that, we went home. The boys decided to watch a movie, I think it was 'Zombieland'. I went to sleep hearing Sam (and Anthony) laughing. If I'd known it was going to be the last time I heard that, I would have stayed up...


  1. This is better writing than I could ever do, even tho Mum says I'm good at it. What it is is straight from the heart and you must never lose this.
    In fact I think some time down the track, you should send it to be published, and maybe even to some magazine or some sort of help unit where they deal with grieving.
    I am so proud of you and what you are doing

  2. Hey mel, it was nice to hear the memories of the Christmas party. The whole sweet chilli philly thing was so funny and so very Samuel. I will cherish that night for the rest of my life! Laura


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