Dear Nellie …

15 11 2010

Nellie of Penrith Posted at 5:54 PM October 17, 2010:

… as for Kristina Keneally allowing her husband and sons appear in a family photo and allowing the stillbirth of her daughter to be used as brownee points for politics. She should be ashamed, I know any respect I had for her has gone, gone, gone.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/spin-out-of-control/story-e6freuy9-1225939672167

Dear Nellie,

My name is Kimberley. I have one brother, and three sisters. I was born a huge (9lb, 11 ounces, 23 inches long!), healthy baby girl at 1.18am on 6 December 1971. I am my parents’ second child; their oldest surviving one. I am the younger sister of Kelly Margaret, who was born, and died, in 1969. In all of our birth notices, my parents celebrated their healthy babies’ arrival with the words, ‘sister / brother of Kelly, in heaven’. I cannot begin to tell you how much I respect my Mother, who quietly, but factually explained to us as children that she went into labour with her daughter’s heart beating; a heart which stopped beating before Kelly was born.

As the member of a family with first-hand experience of stillbirth, I find your comments, which I believe relate to this story (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw-act/kristina-keneallys-sad-memories-of-a-stillbirth-10-years-ago/story-e6freuzi-1225939374867), abhorrent. If you click on this link, (http://www.stillbirthfoundation.org.au/node/125), you’ll see that the story relates to the Premier’s decision to become patron of Stillbirth Foundation Australia.

As an adult, I look at my parents in awe to think that they could even attempt to turn what must be unspeakable pain into a part of our lives; just as Ben & Kristina Keneally have done for their sons. I am proud that the Premier has shared her love for her daughter, and her very real place in her family’s heart, since she entered public life. You may not know, but Caroline Keneally’s name is in the NSW Parliament Hansard, in her mother’s maiden speech, along with the rest of her family. Like the Keneallys – and too many families – mine has an angel in heaven as well.

Yours sincerely

Kimberley Ramplin

PS: You can help make a difference to this parent-run charity by visiting http://www.stillbirthfoundation.org.au/node/95. The five-year Little Feet lunch raised more than $50,000 for research into why so many stillborn babies’ babies’ deaths remain unexplained.

DISCLAIMER: I work in NSW politics, as a ministerial adviser. I disclose this on my Twitter account and in the ‘about’ section of this blog. While this post isn’t about politics per se, it was sparked by the ‘anonymous, vicious, troll’ debate. I actually agree with the, ‘yes to anonymous, vicious, trolls’ argument, but I have been obsessing over it today because it instantly brought to mind this pseudonymous online comment – almost one month later. If you think I didn’t cry when I read it, or cried again when I started typing tonight, think again.

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From the archives: Getting off the rollercoaster

2 09 2010

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Yep, it’s back to single in the city. I’ve done some big things. No more references to my ‘boyfriend’. Flirted with someone else at a Placebo concert, let him walk me home & kissed him for 15 minutes outside the front of my building – before wishing him good night & opening the door without looking back, giving him my number or taking his. I’ve cut my hair (always a sure sign!).

I find the small things about the end of a relationship are the most difficult to act upon. Should I throw out his toothbrush? Keep the shirt he insisted I keep because it looked better on me, the one I wore to bed when he wasn’t here? Delete the sweet text messages? I haven’t done any of this … yet.

I think it’s wistful – rather than wishful thinking. These are the things that make the big stuff come flooding back. The seemingly endless kisses; the tender & gentle intimacy that allowed us to drift off into a deep, unshakeable sleep, wrapped around each other. The look in his eyes when I did something he found amazing (mostly the things other people take for granted). Not being afraid to touch, or be touched, in public. The indescribable secret pleasure of his hand resting on my thigh as we ate dinner with friends. Answering the phone late at night, knowing it would be him. The way my smile shone, without hesitation, when I was with him. The insistent, unexpected knight who drove to my flat at 1am when I called, lost and panicked.

What do I feel? Furious injustice at not being able to tell him how I feel about the way he shut the door & walked away without a word. The searing hurt, bewilderment and self-loathing that accompanies abandonment is subsiding. My fear is that those feelings have nowhere to go, locked behind the door he closed; the eternal, damning, ‘why?’ roars at me in the early hours of the morning. Cool logic tells me to accept – however reluctantly – that the highs of this inconsistent relationship are stamped out by the crashing, crushing lows. I know it. Time to get off the monster rollercoaster & head for the merry-go-round. Only one problem: I’m a rollercoaster kind of girl.