365 Grateful blog

Guest Post - Sarah Davies - Nanna

Hailey Bartholomew - Sunday, November 06, 2011

This week we have a blog from our newest guest blogger Sarah Davies.  Enjoy!   


I’ve been reflecting deeply this week just gone and thought it would be an apt time to share these thoughts. Possibly because, sometimes things weigh too heavy on the heart that they are better shared, but also possibly because some lessons are so beautifully learnt that they are best not kept to oneself. This week just gone has been a ying and yang of both beautiful lessons and heavy loads.

On Monday my Nanna passed away.  She was 90 years, six months and 16 days old when she left us and she was a real treat. She raised 7 children on her own, in poverty, with her kitchen table always open to any extra’s in need of a feed. She was always cheeky and funny and laughing and singing and smiling. I can’t count the times I’d turn her way as a child and she would quickly and randomly pop out her false teeth and give me a larrikins gummy smile, just to see me fall into a fit of laughter.

She always smelt of sunlight soap and lavender talc and soft skin. She always kissed on the lips and held us there just long enough to show us how deeply we were loved by her. When I came to be a teenager I got a little self conscious of the “Nanna pash” and would pull away at a peck. If I could go back, I’d tell my younger self not to be silly, for now these tender kisses will be deeply missed.

On Friday, we left for the funeral in a rush, three kids under four, make us always late. I sat up the back with my baby and watched my uncles and aunts jump out of their seats and dance around like absolute fools to happy music, with huge smiles and even bigger tears running down everyone’s cheeks. They clapped and hooted and swirled together, as it was Nanna’s wish that we celebrate and have a party, so they gave her just that. I could almost feel her beside me, rolling her thumbs over and over in interwoven hands, chuckling…feet tapping. She would have loved it.

I realised this week that life is only a number of days. Nanna’s days were 33’073 in total. It doesn’t seem so long when I look at it that way. I realised that worrying about dishes doesn’t matter. That no one remembers you for your clean floors. I realised that my sense of humour will get me through any burden life tries to lump on me.  So instead of getting grumpy or frustrated, or even bogged down in the housework, I’m going to try to laugh it off more. I realised that tender kisses can never be too long, so I will kiss my boys more and let them feel my skin and smell me, as they’ll remember me. For life really is so very short even if I’m lucky enough to live it long and fully.

I am grateful for my grief for it makes me feel my feet on the earth and know that I am planted in a life that must be lived and flourished. I am grateful for so many tears reminding me that I am loved and worthy of love. I am grateful to be reminded that one day I will be grieved by those I leave behind.  My hope, with all that I am, is that on that day, my children will jump from their seats and dance like crazy people, drunk on sorrow and joy combined, knowing I am happy and at peace with the love and legacy I leave behind. I’m so very grateful for this lesson, thanks to Nanna!

This was her laugh,

This was her humour, 



Introducing Sarah Davies - new guest blogger!

Hailey Bartholomew - Friday, October 07, 2011

I have known Sarah's husband Dan for a few years and I have just started enjoying getting to know Sarah.  What a world changer!   Sarah's boys are also some of the loveliest little people you will meet.  Enjoy this introduction - it is inspiring. Hopefully we will hear from Sarah now and then.    Toni

Introducing Sarah

I’m pleased to share with you this entry of gratitude. I am Sarah Davies, Mum to three little boys and wife to an absolute legend

I’d like to tell you my grateful story. Therefore I have to start by telling you how I first came to be so ungrateful.  I was always positive once. I grew up living in “Fairy land” as mum would say, in love with the simple beauty of life and nature. I loved grass and flowers and the smell of clover and was always deep inside my head lost in a world I can only describe as “happily humming.” I loved to laugh and talk to people and see others laugh. I loved being spontaneous and free and float against the current of what the world decided was normal.  I loved to paint and write and sing and when I think of that person I think of a girl who was never knocked by life’s blows, for she never gave them enough attention to even feel them hit. That was me, that was the young woman my husband met, the woman he married and for a good while that was who everyone around us knew me to be.

In 2008, 3 days after our firstborn’s first birthday and 5 days after our 5th wedding anniversary I lost our second baby at only 10 weeks pregnant. When it happened I was partly not surprised, that motherly intuition told me something was not right all along. However I was surprised by the sting of death and the realization that I was not immune to pain or heartache as I thought I was. With the loss of our baby, I lost my passion for romance, my enthusiasm for spontaneity and my belief in the power of beauty. I lost a baby and somehow I also lost me.

We had our second son a year later yet I was living a little numb. It was like the very ground in which I walked on my entire life had fallen away and instead I was floating through, never really touching anything. Part of me was hateful. I’ll confess that I found my ability to yell in situations where once I’d laugh, I found my ability to use cuss words…. frequently and I found an ability to complain a lot where once I would have said “ It doesn’t matter”. Instead of being a girl who used to unknowingly deflect negativity, I became the breeder of it in my own home. I was like a festering piece of fruit that just got stinkier with every day. We still lived and made plans and had hopes for the future. Only it was like I held everything and everyone at arms length in order not to let anything fully touch me, in case it broke and broke me with it.

Then one day not too long ago, my husband came home after chatting with Toni. He told me about Haley and her Grateful story and I thought to myself “I should try that, it couldn’t hurt me!”

So I picked up a journal and I began my first entry of gratitude and it was like a Lilly bulb that lay dormant inside of me began to stretch a thin green stem toward sunlight. With each day I began looking forward to my entry of gratitude. I began to smile more. I began to laugh again and strangest of all, people starting saying I had a bright face! Only a few weeks into my grateful journey I had four people in one week say what a bright face I had, or “you just seems so bright”. And with that I knew I was on my way to that girl I once was.  It was like I was on drugs! J Grateful drugs.

Like any vitamin supplement…. the longer you take it the better it benefits your body. My first entry was on the 19th of May 2011. That’s 134 journal entries to date, although I haven’t written my entry today.

We now have three beautiful boys and we are about to pack up our house and head off on a crazy adventure to Tasmania, fighting for others against modern day slavery. I’m sitting here and in reflection and today I am grateful for Haley. I am grateful, someone whispered in her ear to be GRATEFUL. I Grateful she listened and began whispering in the ears of others. I am grateful that message reached me and help me shed my skin.

In sorrow and Fear I tucked myself inside a shell, thinking it would save me, only to realise that I was withering beneath it. I am grateful, to be grateful, to realise that this world has so much beauty in it. It just longs to be named and honored. I am so glad to be here. Shedding my skin and starting again.

I realised in the writing of this blog that I have not painted since we lost our baby. Three and a half years and I haven’t picked up a paintbrush. That’s nuts considering I used to sit at my easel whenever I had a moment. I know I’m not quite there yet. I’m still healing. I’m so glad though for the chance to start again and the realisation that healing is within my own hands and easy, if only I let the world be, and simply be grateful within it. Maybe I need to find my paints….

This is me, 

Glad to be Grateful!

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