Sunday, 20 July 2014

13 years later.. Pakenham.

After receiving an invite to my best friends birthday I was excited until I saw where it was going to be held. Pakenham. Leading up to the event I was adamant that I didn't want to go back to a place with so many hurtful childhood memories. I really wanted to be there for her but didn't know how I would handle people and places of my past. That I had left in my past. I thought I had made my mind up early but how could I not go? She's been the most amazing support though all my hard times these past 7 years and as soon as the kids knew Aunty Zoe was having a party there was no question that they were not going to miss that! I eventually gave in when Zo sounded really excited at just the mention that it was a possibility that we would be coming.

We left at around 11.30am on Saturday morning pulling a small suitcase to the train station and with my camera bag on one shoulder. I realized something about myself at that moment. How much I'd HATED the unknown. I used to thrive on not knowing what to expect and enjoyed living without any real clue as to where I would be or what I'd be doing at any given day. So much has changed since those days. I now liked knowing.. I like routine.. I like things planned to the last tiny detail. Before boarding the train I knew I'd changed.

The train journey to Pakenham was long and exhausting. The kids were hyper and excited to see Zo, Saige and Sanjay, Nevaeh had woken up at 7am that morning, got dressed, had her bag (of six packets of biscuits) packed and her shoes on ready to go! Now, 5 hours later, we were well on our way.

The kids doing a silly face Aunty Zoe taught them a few months back.
"Aunty Zoe's silly face"

Zo has bought so much happiness to our family. She has been an amazing friend, have loved my kids from the first time she'd saw them, she's accepted us for who we are and together we have so many precious memories together. After losing contact with her I never thought in a million years that we'd reunite, keep each other strong and our kids would be friends. What an amazing blessing!

Pulling into Pakenham I was nervous. From the train window I saw our old babysitters house. I saw part of the route my brother and I used to walk to school. I shared these things with my kids. The train station, the roads, the racecourse, Dad's old workplace were all still there. The place my brother and I used to get money for crushing cans, the old op shop I used to save my money to buy second hand books to read and the park across from the station was all still there. Changed but familiar. Surprisingly I wasn't nervous anymore. I was remembering only good things. We called a taxi and was soon on our way to Zo's.

The next surprise came when we pulled into the driveway. Where she is staying is right across from a milkbar I used to visit a lot when I was pre-teen and a fish and chip shop Dad used to critisize on being the worst in Pakky. I smiled. There also used to be the video store we used to rent from. Titles like Andre, MIB and Beethoven where rented from this video store and watched for the first time all those years ago.

After spoiling Zo with her gift and while we were getting ready it hit me. This was where Zoe and I first met. Where our friendship started. These memories again made me smile. Without being in Pakenham I wouldn't have met my crazy beautiful best friend. There was that silver lining again..

Everyone needs that someone who brings out the best in them..
I found my moving buddy!
Love you Zo..

Dinner was average, the company was great, it was nice to put a few faces to the names I'd heard so much about. I loved seeing Zoe enjoying her birthday and capturing the special moments..The kids were so well behaved playing in a playground I too once played in only coming back to the tables to ask for money, drop of clothes or to eat.

The next morning Zo craved bacon, eggs and hash browns so we were all spoiled. We parted ways at around 11am to head home. As the kids and I walked to the train station I again got to share with them moments and memories from my childhood. It was quite therapeutic.

The train ride home was again long and exhausting. I had a migraine and we had an hour and half to wait for the connecting train home. Nevaeh fell asleep while Jie got chatting to a lady on her way to visit her sister in Bacchus Marsh who was sitting opposite us. He liked her New Zealand accent. I just had to close my eyes to temporarily stop the throbbing pain. We got there in the end.

Overall the whole trip was great. I'm glad I went and can't wait to see Zo and the kids next weekend for my birthday! We're planning a trip to the movies. I want to see Rio 2. (such a child at heart) We gotta make it happen..

1 replied:

Samantha said...

I hope you waved to me on the way past!!!

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