According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare that is the life expectancy for females in Australia. Which means that reasonably I could have expected that today I would have come home early from work, picked up the girls and taken them to Redcliffe and spent the afternoon with Nana and celebrated her birthday. Because according to the AIHW she should have had on average at least another 7 birthdays left before she became a statistical average.
Except she died nearly 8 years ago. Which is her. Nothing about her was average.
I want to write so much but even putting my fingers on the keyboard is making my face crumple. Outside now grown into our fence is one of Nana's orchids which has burst into vivid purple bloom, a splash of colour against the winter frostiness of our yard. 5 massive flowers, the biggest display I've ever had from it, all flowering on her 76th birthday.
It makes me so angry that she's not here. It's so unfair. She would have loved my babies so much, would have loved me and supported me so much. Seeing the Elfling and the Monkey would have been such a perfect birthday present for her. She was always the relative I identified with best, who seemed to understand me the best. More than my parents, more than my other grandparents who I know loved and adored me as well, but Nana was someone who was like an older version of me. Who I wanted to be. She did so much for me, and still does. I want her to be here. Want her to know that I have children and a husband and I want her to know my babies names. I want to hear her say my babies names. I want to hear her voice again. Want her to wipe the floor with me in Scrabble. Want to see her paintings, see her sitting on her rocker with her feet curled up like I do with a mass of crochet in her lap as her nimble fingers worked too fast to see.
But you know the crazy thing? If she hadn't died I would not be married or have either of my girls.
I still wish she was here.
I started back at work today, leaving the house at dawn and getting back home well after dark. It was an interesting and mentally exhausting day that left me spent. The last case of the day I correctly diagnosed over a registrar who got it wrong, but I really wish she was right - because her diagnosis was happy and mine was not. When I got to my connecting busstop to watch my bus pulling out knowing that I was already going to be home too late to do much besides kiss my girls before bed I sat down and burst into tears. And while I was sitting there a santa claus blew up off of the congested city street and into my lap.
And I held it and could not think of a wish to make. Because although I am sad, my life is still wonderful, and my babies are safe and warm and healthy, and because of my Nana they are here. Even if the AIHW says that she should be.