Breath (Prose)


whilst we waste our
the meal ordered took too long
someone takes their
cut down ~ bloodied holes that pierced
the skin or sliced with steel paper thin
he refused to carry weapons
his crime? wrong place ~ wrong time

on a cold and stony road she
lies gasping for her final breath
hit by one who drank ~ who swore he
didn’t see her car, she wore no safety belt

alone in an empty lane ~ forgotten old
feeble, slouched on cold brick walls
his organs failing from abuse
his begging plea no longer heard

he’s old he hears them whisper
~ had a good innings, he hears them say
as he lies on starch white sheets
his maker to carry him away

and someone is breathing their
on crackly sheets, fluorescent lights
mother breathing ~ child’s head crowned
silent moments, body held, gasp of air
cries of joy, as her baby enters the world

the trip to hospital so far away
traffic bad, anxious, panting, blowing air
can’t wait, it’s now, it’s coming now
the car not quite a manger but ~ matters how?

toiling hard under summer sun
no doctors on this round
she squats and helps deliver
her new son upon the ground

by an empty lane alone she grabs
her tummy, pain is real, she’s scared
she’s young, as water pools around her feet
crouches screaming till her baby breathes

so with every breath you take
try not to use it too complain
for breath AS LIFE ~ A PRECIOUS thing
a commodity we shouldn’t waste

©jmtacken October 3 2013

How my day was yesterday

It is almost 9pm Friday night. I haven’t posted or written anything for 2 days. To some this could be a blessing, to me just feels strange.  Perhaps the below may explain.

Yesterday I picked up mum and dad and took them out for lunch at a friends of theirs, a man of 89 years of age George (Czech) and his wife Dawn (Australian).  She cooked a typical Czech meal, which with the mere mention of Roast Pork, I could see Pop salivating as this is his favourite meal.

It was a terrible day weather wise, blustery 100km winds, rain, hail and yes we are in Spring, but Melbourne can throw us 4 seasons in one day and as much as we hate it, we are use to it.

We sat down to home made chicken soup, followed by Roast Port and Crackle, Red pickled hot cabbage, sauerkraut with caraway seeds and bacon and bread dumplings and gravy. I tucked the napkin into dads jumper as his hands still shake and he has the tendency to spill, which embarrasses him.  George has bad legs like dad and hobbled around with the help of walker. Dad used his walking stick to stretch his legs half way through lunch.

It brought me joy and equally sadness, listening to the 4 of them relieve the parties and the BBQ’s and speak of all they were able to do when they were young and what they can’t do now.  George and Pop spoke now and then in Czech (I think some of them possibly risque jokes) which was funny in itself as they tried to keep the punch lines from ‘us girls’.

We spent 4 hours there and then we had to leave, as I had to do their shopping for them. They both sat in the car whilst I raced around the supermarket like a mad woman, as I didn’t want to leave them to long.

I drove them home, unloaded all their shopping, made sure they were settled and headed for home.

Placing my shopping bags down in the kitchen, the phone rang.

Mum was on the phone, crying, saying dad was taking the bins out and had fallen.

I raced back into the car with Mr. S who had just walked in the door from work 5 minutes earlier.

As we were driving the 7 minutes it takes to get to their place I could hear an Ambulance, I said I hope that isn’t for Pop. Mr. S could not hear it.

I drove into their driveway like a woman possessed (pretty much the same woman who did the shopping) and saw about 3 or 4 cars pulled up outside on the street and about 8 or so people standing around.

My heart was going 1000 beats per minute. Dad was lying on the nature strip, he had suffered a dizzy spell and passed out, dragging the bins with him. His glasses cut the bridge of his nose.

All I could hear from his neighbour was “Here she is”.

I bent down to Pop and kissed his forehead, saying “Don’t do this to me’ trying to hold my tears followed by “I can’t leave you alone for one second can I”? (smiling).

One passer by a young man and his girlfriend had rung the Ambulance and asked mum who was in a state of confusion, to bring blankets and a pillow as it was cold and Pop was shaking due to shock setting in.

Within seconds the Ambulance had pulled up – the one I had heard off in the distance.

I sat with him, stroking his forehead in the Ambulance, whilst mum went with Mr. S.

They ran a battery of tests, CT Scan, X Rays, Blood tests, though the poor thing had to have 4 attempts made on him, before they could find a decent vein.   All the tests came back fine.  I want to say thank you to our Ambulance Drivers who work tirelessly, who showed nothing but compassion and care and understanding for a man they did not know.

We were in the Hospital for 5 or so hours, before we could take him home. He couldn’t walk well after lying down for so long, so we had the wheel chair to help him to the car. When we got home, the wheelchair was needed again. Inside cosy and warm and exhausted, I undressed him and put him in his pyjamas, gave him some pain killers and put him into bed.

And this is how he was in the Hospital, without his glasses, with his cheek starting to swell and his cut and swollen nose.  Still managing a smile. My darling Pop, who scared the living daylights out of me.  My darling Pop who will have unfortunately a black and blue face next weekend for his grandsons wedding….  Ah Pop… I love you so very much.

2013-09-26 20.57.30

Sorry, I have turned off comments as I wrote this for me – because.. well I needed to.

When prank calls go horribly wrong.

Unfortunately this post is dedicated to my fellow Australians (not all of them just 2).

Two DJ’s that work on a radio station in Sydney who decided for a bit of fun and merriment (and also to possibly make a name for themselves), by doing something so stupid that I for one,  as I am sure many around the globe (and indeed Australia) are not proud of.

A nurse duped by a prank phone call at the hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has died in a suspected suicide.

The deceased who has worked at the hospital for four years, was found dead at an address near King Edward VII’s hospital in London on Friday morning.

The hospital confirmed she had been the victim of a hoax call in which two Australian DJs, pretending to be the Queen and Prince of Wales, phoned up about Kate.

I hope that these two feel, that by their actions they have caused this tragic event to occur. Like many people in the public media words, comments, interviews can go beyond the reach of being funny. This certainly was the case for these 2 dim-wits to get it so terribly wrong.

The  DJs, broadcast their call to the hospital on Wednesday morning.

The female, impersonating the Queen, asked to speak to her “granddaughter Catherine” and managed to persuade the nurse to put her through to the ward where Kate was being treated.

The security breach was deeply embarrassing for the hospital, which is the medical institution of choice for the Royal Family.

The DJs apologised for the prank after an initial furore but later took to Twitter to brag of their success – calling it the “easiest prank call ever made”.

I wonder how much they will stock of their actions now when this poor woman who perhaps was suffering from depression took her life. Is it the youth of today? The Gen Y’s? Do they think they are not accountable for what they do, or what they say anymore?

I’m angry by what these Australians have done – we have a sense a humour and sometimes it is raw and unfiltered but obviously going on Twitter to brag about their prank call ..will have a completely different meaning to them now.

Hang your heads in shame the two of you.

Have you ever been a bad bad ‘can I forgive myself’ mummy?

By this I do not mean that you forgot your son/daughters lunch money (though that has happened).

I do not mean you told them that they couldn’t go play with the chicken pox infested kids next door (though I think that has happened also).

Nor do I mean that you told them they couldn’t have Maccas two days in a row (I definitely have told them this).

I mean those little moments when you did something that caused them physical harm and yes could have led to a Hospital visit.

I shall explain… When my youngest was about 5 she suffered a little with Asthma (you don’t need me to do a link) as you all know what that is.

She suffered from coughing more so than the ‘wheezing’ type (thankfully).

One night in mid winter I had put a vaporiser in her room (do I need a link? – no I shall explain) It’s a plastic box that you fill with water and in the container that half immerses into the water and the top stands up off the container..oh hell I’m putting the link clean-vaporizers-800×800.jpg …one of those things.

In the middle of the morning, when not a creature was stirring not even a mouse (no it was Winter..Santa comes in Summer) a cold and very tired  mummy (PLEASE) keep that in mind as you read further, tip-toed into her baby’s room to give her some mummy hugs & cough medicine as she was coughing very badly.

It was dark so I left the light on from the passageway as to not disturb her sleep too much, then carefully poured out the 10ml of cough medicine I had sitting on her bedside table.

“Cough Cough” then louder “Arggghhhh Mum” her beautiful little face screwed up and holding her throat.

“What is it sweety”??

“Tell mummy”?

“You had it before and it was ok”?

“Mummy”, coughing and now tears flowing. “It’s burning”.

I raced to the bedroom light (bugger the sleep) to find that I had given her 10 ml of Eucalyptus oil… yes you guessed it the stuff that goes into the Vaporiser.


“OMG what did I do, what have I done”???

I raced to the phone and called the Hospital spluttering that I have tried to accidentally kill my child…my baby…with long blonde her to her waist”.

“Calm down take a deep breath, she will be ok” the Nurse on the other end advised.

“Just give her some milk and keep an eye on her for 30 minutes. If you only administered 10ml, the milk will work, she will be ok, trust me” her calming voice replied.

“MILK”? “But surely I have burned her oesophagus,YES …YES it was only 10ml, I didn’t administer it on purpose, it was dark,  I’ve POISONED MY BABY“? (Mummy now crying along with daughter).

“No…no you haven’t, if you’re still worried you can bring her in to be checked out”.

After we had both calmed down (ok after I had calmed down) and had hung up the phone,I looked upon my poor sweet, angelic baby girl and hugged her tight.

“I am sooo sorry, it was an accident” I blubbered.

Pic Courtesy of Google &



To this day this story is brought up and strangely we have a laugh..with a slight dig to my ribs…

Have you done anything like this?

Share your story with me (hopefully I’m not the only one that has done this type of thing… surely not… )


Chapter 6 – 1st Time Mum. (To be continued)

After exhausting every conceivable option of trying to get myself comfortable and be rid of the continual pain, I opted for the “easy” way out and agreed to an epidural when it was suggested to me.

You body feels as though you are possessed, you have been taken over by demonic forces and nothing your darling (if you still can think of him that way through all of it) can help you. You are alone in this battle. You are the one who is grimacing, panting, squirming and bearing the discomfort and the pain. The anesthetist came in and I eagerly rolled onto my left side for him to insert the needle into my back; by this stage my aversion to needles had left me and having an epidural in my spine was more inviting than a body rub from Brad Pritt!

How amazing it was when the epidural took effect so quickly and comforting to know that the small amount of ‘drug’ that was I was absorbing was not enough to affect my baby. With each contraction, although I felt some sensation, I felt no pain only the overwhelming desire to push. This was usually at inappropriate intervals when I should have been panting. My doctor arrived just before 4.55 p.m., and with the help of forceps and my legs high in the stirrups, baring my body to all and sundry within the brightly lit room, my daughter entered this world, weighing in at 7lb (3.175kgs).

Here was this tiny human being we had created, a miracle, perfection in every way, with ten fingers, ten toes, her head covered with dark hair, her body coated in vernix. I was overcome with such euphoria, one of life’s natural highs that you could never dream to be possible. She was placed on my stomach before being taken away for the ‘cleaning up’ process and I lay there crying tears of excitement, joy and gratitude for how beautiful and perfect she was.

Garry and I were left alone to exchange private words, to somehow articulate the event that had just taken place, in the space of these few moments, we tried to come to grips with the fact that we now had a daughter, that we were now not a couple but a family, and to contemplate how our lives would now be changed forever.

She was then brought back to us and put to my breast to suckle the colostrum. All I wanted to do from this moment on was to hold her close, look at her, touch her and smell her. I felt an instant and unshakable determination to love this little person unconditionally from the very first time she was handed to me, wrapped snuggly in the baby blankets that I had bought months earlier. My instinct told me that all I wanted on this earth was to be able to protect her from this day onwards from any harm or misfortune, for as long as humanely possible.

**My Memoir The Empty Nest A Mother’s Hidden Grief is now available on Lulu and Amazon (J M Kadane)**

Chapter 5 – 1st Time Mum

During one of the sessions I vividly remember having a needle placed in one part of my wrist and seeing it protrude from the other side. I was looking at it but feeling no pain, which was beyond belief as I was and still to this day not comfortable with needles. This however boosted my self-confidence and I felt armed and ready for battle. If I could handle the pain of a needle being pierced through my skin then I assumed that childbirth would be a breeze.

My gynecologist informed me on my last check-up that my baby would be induced, as there were still no signs of him/her ‘dropping’, I wasn’t going to argue the point as like any mother in the heavy throes of pregnancy all I wanted to see now was something for my efforts of the last nine months!

Three days later I was in the Hospital having the obligatory enema and mini shave thinking this is only the beginning and tomorrow I will be baring much more of myself to the world! At 5 a.m. on the 25th March, I was woken up in a hospital bed and was served the mandatory cup of tea by a smiling, whispering nurse and by 7.35 a.m. I was wheeled into the delivery room. As I lay on the pristine, starched, white sheets, staring at the ceiling, the cold fluorescent lights and the medical equipment around me, my thoughts were ones of terror. I was now scared to death as to what lay before me. To make matters worse, the pediatrician who was to guide me through the birth with the hypnotherapy did not arrive, so the prospect of going through childbirth completely “a la natural” was now frightening me beyond belief.

I was placed on a drip at 8.40 a.m. To the hour, my first contraction hit at 9.40 a.m. My self-hypnotherapy which I was taught for pain control went out the window. By 2pm the contractions were physically overpowering me and I honestly didn’t feel that I would be able to handle much more pain. I tried everything I could to try and ease it; lying on one side, then on the other, knees bent up to my chest, straightened legs, on all fours, standing leaning over the bed, grabbing hold of the sheets, walking around the bed, squeezing Garry’s hand till I almost drew blood.

**My Memoir the Empty Nest A Mother’s Hidden Grief is now available on Amazon and Lulu (J M Kadane)**

My Thoughts

Commence prattling.

A while ago I sifted through some photos. One in particular reflected two beautiful young women, tanned unblemished skin, hair and make up done and dressed in stunning clothes. I gaze on this photo, how absolutely gorgeous they are. How much they have ahead of them, being able to do and acquire whatever they desire in life. They are my daughters. Whilst looking at these photos, I saw my life at that point and I envied them.

Natural changes that have occurred within me and within my family as the years pass. I openly admit that I have the desire to have the youthfulness and beauty as my girls do back again and yes I did get a microscopic twang of jealousy, is this uncommon? On the other hand, is it simply that I didn’t want my ‘babies’ to grow up?


(This is the time I ask you to grab that glass of wine for l have immersed into the deep and meaningful for a bit). The body as we know it is the vehicle for conveying the first undeniable awareness of no longer being youthful. One can be youthful on the inside and think the same way as we did when we were younger, but the outside casing that what is visible is the sign that we are no longer young.

We resist our ageing for as long as humanly possible, was I was overly concerned with the concept of turning fifty the ‘mid way’ point in my life? (Assuming I live to 100) Yes l was. The realisation that over the next thirty or forty years would bring impending frailty, dependence on others and morbidly the final outcome the end of my life. (God where is THIS coming from? Bear with me it shouldn’t lighten up soon). We consider fifty in fact to be the half way mark, the loss of youth and the onset of ‘change of life’ which also brings the loss of reproductivity, (not that that part worried me to any great extent). I dearly would have loved to have a third child, but in hindsight wondered if my nerves or lack of tolerance would have coped with having another!

In early 1994 I was detected with Endometriosis, it was asked of me by my gynecologist that while I was having a cauterization would I want to have my tubes tied. John my ex husband (oh and by the way names have been changed to protect the innocent – obviously for a reason l thought necessary but for the life of me at this point can’t understand why) was happy with having two girls, but inside I knew I would have liked a chance of having another child. I remember lying in the hospital bed deeply upset as the reality of not being able to bare any more children struck me. I don’t know why I didn’t mention it to John at the time, to let him how I truly felt about it, but I cried as I lay on that hospital bed. lt seemed surreal  that the hospital that I gave birth to both my babies was the place where I also ceased to have any more.

Do I ‘feel’ 58 (some days I do) but how should 58 feel? The changes in my body have become more and more evident as the years pass. In the old scale I am five foot five and a half (the half an inch I always regarded as highly important). My weight over the years has fluctuated anywhere from sixty-four kilos to fifty-six kilos. Trying to maintain one’s weight at a certain level is extremely difficult, and more so as you get older. For a long time the only exercise I did apart from housework was walking, then I hit the gym signing up each year for 3 years and I turned into quite the gym junkie until the dreaded injuries started.

Firstly the hamstring strain and the quad muscles that were so tight they were could snap like an elastic band (according to my physiotherapist). No sooner had l healed from that my left elbow started playing up, so no weights for a month. Then there are the shin splints, the heels aching from jogging too much or over doing my quest for a toned fit body. Apart from the slight set backs the benefits have been my ‘fat back’ diminishing, my legs are getting a little more toned and I have re-acquainted my body to a waistline…oh and I gave up on the gym.

So yes, though the body goes through so many changes, as long as I remain young at heart, young in mind, I think I’ll be okay.