Footprints In The Sand


My sister and I flicked through a few of Mum’s scrapbooks tonight. We both had a very emotional day. I cried at yoga, Carly cried at the doctor’s office. We both cried at the movies. Perhaps it was the full moon, perhaps it was grief. My heart felt heavy yet light at the same time. A feeling that can’t be described. I had a vision of collecting Mums ashes and scattering them to the earth, I clasped the last of her human remains tightly between the palms of my hands. I fell silent to the comforting whisper as a breeze brushed across my face. I fanned out my fingers and felt her spirit dance around me – swaying in the wind. The tears I cried washed over me and cleansed the pain from my tormented soul. Releasing her as I knew I must. I fell to my knees, howling with sorrow, to the earth below.

My friend Kat and I were messaging. I told her I was moving to Darwin. Flight booked and heading off on the 20th of Feb. With the end of one life-changing chapter in sight I began to reflect on my time here in Melbourne with an immense amount of gratitude. First and foremost, I thank my family and extended family. I came back to Melbourne from Bali in October, with no job, no money with only a plan to move back in and heal my relationship with Mum. Was I supported in doing that? Yes. Mum’s partner, Peter, opened up his home to me. He cooked for me and invited me to be there, while I paid next to nothing in rent. I was not only supported, I was loved.

When Mum passed away, my sister opened her home to me. She welcomed me as I was, still with no job or money. She bought my food, paid my rent and even lent me money so I could go to a music festival. She supported and loved me.

Now my Dad paid for my airfare to Darwin and again, financially supported me so I could have a roof over my head. Once again, I am supported and loved. And there are my friends who have also been my rocks. Laura has countless times opened up her heart and wallet to help pay my struggling way over the past few months. It’s the little things, petrol money and lunches. As if she hasn’t had issues herself, between dealing with immigration and lawyers; whilst singlehandedly balancing a long distance relationship over Skype to her life partner and father of their ten-month old baby. The woman is a Saint. She has done all this whilst on the ‘payments’ too. (This is the Australian wording for government assistance.)

HOW could I have gotten through any of this without them? Bewildered, I threw out the question to myself; how the fuck did I weather this storm? And then I realized I haven’t weathered it at all. I told Kat that I had been carried, literally. She shared a poem with me that she felt would resonate with me. For the third time that day, I cried.

Footprints in the Sand By: Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only. This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?” The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”


Lisa Hoggarth
Writer Of The Universe


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