I met you online. Both pregnant with our 2nd babes (Ted and Liv) and I’ll admit, it was love at first read.
Our common bonds drew us close. Music, photography, love, family, food, the same wicked sense of humour. After our babes were born, we supported each other through those tough, foggy months of newborn.
I saw your talent as a photographer bloom and your business began to grow and grow. I was so bloody proud of you.
After the birth of my 3rd babe Harriet, it was the perfect time for you and I to meet. I booked you to fly interstate, I was your first interstate client it was a big deal, both for you and me. When you pulled up in your taxi, you waltzed into my home, threw those arms around me and squeezed me tightly. “Hello darling” you said loudly with a smile, and that was that. We were completely at ease with each other and talked and laughed, and hugged and smiled and talked some more. Over cups of tea and lunch under my pergola. Throughout the day, you snapped this photo of me and James. When you went home to Adelaide to edit the shoot, this was one of the first photos you sent me. I cried. And cried some more. It wasn’t a particularly special moment, James was about to stroke my hair and we were laughing. But you perfectly captured the most beautiful love that we share.
I confided in you, some of my biggest fears and worries. You were there, always, to provide such clear and simple advice. When I struggled with postnatal depression last year, your words and support were a beacon of light.
We talked about Fleetwood Mac more times than I can remember. Talked about motherhood and how hard it can get sometimes. Talked about music and art. Talked about the beach and New York City. About coffee shops and vintage markets. About cameras and light and love.
And for some unknown reason, you are gone. Taken too soon from us, your family and a huge community of people who loved you. Yesterday we said goodbye for the last time, and I talked to your children. Liv was fondling a red rose and Will was holding a dinosaur ballon with red frog lollies attached in a clear bag. They spoke politely and timidly and I could see you in their eyes. I didn’t cry in front of them, all I could do was smile and run my fingers through that thick O’Connor hair.
There were so many groups of people there to say goodbye. Your family, your rock. High school friends, friends from the photography and workshop world, bloggers who met you online and read your blog daily. Teachers and parent’s from Will and Liv’s school. Too many to list.
So what will I take from this tragic situation? I can’t quite process it yet. I’m still numb and my heart is broken. I promise to live each day to the fullest. I promise to appreciate the simple and slow days. The mundane and the crazy moments with small kids. I promise to check on your babies. I will think of you when my toes hit the sand on the beach. I will think of you when I fumble my hands on my Canon DSLR camera and think of the advice you gave me. I will think of you when I listen to Fleetwood Mac.
Today is your birthday. 29 you would have been. So happy 29th birthday beautiful girl. I’m sure you and your mother are celebrating together, wherever we go when we leave this earth. You are singing ‘Gypsy’ by Fleetwood Mac, drinking tea and talking about your babies.
I love you. I miss you. I am beyond grateful for the 3 years of friendship we shared. Rest in peace, now and forever.
xo xo xo