Thursday, February 08, 2007

8 Years

Today it is 8 years since my Mum had a stroke. It was a Saturday morning. Dad woke me up just after 10 and told me what had happened. I remember that I had heard Mum's car leave in the morning and thought it was Dad going to get the paper. It was actually Mum and Ginette coming to tell Dad that they were going to the hospital.

I remember trying to get hold of Deb and Jeremy but I'm not sure I did. I think Shaz or Dad must have. Then trying Alan Webster. I am still overwhelmed by his reaction. He didn't make excuses or say he'd be at the hospital when he could, he asked where she was and he went straight there. He was there I think before everyone except Dad. He dropped everything to be with us that day and I think his doing that was the best reaction anyone could have done for me then.

Shaz and I spent the morning playing the card game speed.

I went with Mum to her first Physio session. It was very hard for both of us but at the end she walked which gave me hope that nothing else could have. If she could walk it would all be ok.

I think it was Norma Pheasant that organised meals for us. Every night for a long time someone in the church prepared a meal for us. I never knew who it was but it was so generous.

Mum was in hospital for 10 weeks I think. I saw her no more than twice (possibin that time on my own. She was transferred out to Burwood Hospital and it was too far for me to get there. We wrote letters to each other via Visitor Post (usually Dad or Shaz) and that helped.

A couple of years later at Easter Camp Jenny McDonnell prayed for me that my relationship with Mum would be restored. I remember crying that night and all I wanted from Mum was a hug with both arms. On the Monday when I got home Mum gave me the usual one armed hug but then she used both her arms. She laughed and said "That's the first time I've done that!"

A month before the stroke a couple of, what I had thought were, random things happened. Mum had gotten me and Shaz one day and said it was time we learnt how to use the washing machine and clean the toilet. I remember thinking Mum had lost it. Also we both got our Learners Licences. This meant that afterwards, even though Mum couldn't physically drive, we could drive her while she was our licensed supervisor thingy person.
Most people were amazing. I do remember though on the Monday afterward when I was back at school, that I was crying in class and my "friend" told me to stop it, that God was in control and that I shouldn't be sad. This friend had lost her dad only a few years before so I would have thought she would have been understanding yet she had NO idea. Note to everyone: NEVER do that. If you can't think of anything to say just sit with the person, that's probably all they need.
Also the doctor that first day who told us it was just a mild stroke. My uncle had had a mild stroke and been out the same day. Mum's was hardly a mild stroke.
I'm not sure why I'm writing all this. I think it's more for me to remember rather than for other people to read about it. I don't remember most of that time fortunately. 8 years is such a long time but to be honest it still feels like last year.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Last Weekend

Last weekend I flew to Sydney and met Lilly there (she came up from Melbourne). We stayed at Bondi Beach which was spectacular. On the Friday morning we learnt to surf, neither of us got up but I didn't drown so I was happy. The water was AMAZING!

These photos were taken just after our surf lesson.

Famous People We Saw (in order of coolness):
5. Dr Bart from Mercy Peak
4. One of the twins that one Aus Big Brother
3. Eddie Maguire (He was on Lillys plane and he came off just before her)
2. Mark Hewlett - Grand Champion of Fear Factor (US), was on Treasure Island couples (NZ) too.
1. Alf from Home and Away - he was just walking down the street! Almost the highlight of our trip!

Here's a sign I saw in the Circular Quay toilets:

My smile was taken away by the sign beside the hand dryers ("Have you been sexually assaulted? Call this number" - does that happen often in these toilets???)

I think Quote of the Weekend goes to me. During our surfing lesson I said to Lilly "Lucky there's no cameras eh!". Later she pointed out that they were filming Bondi Rescue on the beach that day! Do TV camera's not count Jo??

On Saturday we went out to Sydney and did a wee bit of shopping. For dinner we went to Doyles which is in Circular Quay. We were on the second floor, out the window to my left was the Harbour Bridge and in front of me was the Opera House. It was fantastic.

I flew Emirates which is probably the best airline ever. I got a 5 course meal each way and you get your own DVD player with heaps of movies and stuff. 2 odd things happened though, in the toilets (do I talk about toilets a lot??) there's a sign on the right that says No Smoking and then on the left there's a wee ashtray in the door. What's that about?? And the airhostess came around and asked if I wanted lamb or cod, I asked for the lamb and she goes "sorry we don't have any left". Why did she ask if I wanted it if she didn't have any???

It was so good seeing Lil again. I think we might have caught up on the months we've been apart! Saying good bye was so hard though. She's a good girl.