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being there for others



I just deleted a blog, I don't do that very often but I read it a few times and it didn't at all express what it is I wanted to say. So I slept on it and read it again this morning and it still looked all wrong so I deleted it. Wouldn't it be good if we could do that with the things that go wrong in our lives....lol.


On Wednesday an old friend rang me. She had had a visit from the son of an old neighbour on Sunday. She has looked after the neighbour, just in small ways, for a few years since his wife died. The son rarely visits him and had come across to tell my friend how much he valued what she does for his Dad. He said he is so busy, gets very little time off and therefore can't do much for his Dad. He then proceeded to tell her about a two month trip around the world he has planned for the European summer. At that stage my friend saw RED, but being the lady she is kept her temper until the visitor left. She left it a few days and then rang me on the point of exploding.


I have been a helper all my life, I was trained by my parents to run messages for neighbours, to help out with cleaning the church, then when I was 17 as part of the committee in the local teen club, then in various other ways. I've minded children without pay, looked after sick neighbours etc. The only time I have actually had a material reward was after a funeral the family of one of my neighbours sent me a big bouquet of flowers which was very thoughtful of them. I didn't help people expecting a reward, my Mum and Dad insisted that we help without expecting pay, based on the old traditional belief that our reward was to come in the hereafter. Of course. But it is NICE if the person you are doing things for appreciates it. That is an added bonus.


I have had a lot of help since Ray's strokes, not from people who I guess I would have thought "owed" Ray some help in return for what he had done for them. But unexpectedly from people I hardly considered friends, just pleasant acquaintances. The shower room built by our friends from Apex40 is a good example. After Ray had the fall at the beginning of last year they asked was there anyway they could help us. I said we were having trouble with the bathroom and before I knew it the shower room idea was concieved and put into operation, and now we have the benefit of that every time Ray has a shower.


We all vent from time to time about those who do not step up to the plate and help out. Those siblings or children who could help but don't. But very few of us write blogs or posts applauding those who do help us out. There are not a lot of friends and neighbours listed in the "100 things I am grateful for after the stroke" but they deserve a space there if they have helped in your recovery as a survivor or helped with your survivor as a caregiver. In some cases it is neighbours that form the backbone of support teams and help out when friends and family members fail to come in and help. Not exactly fair but it is what happens sometimes.


I have been guilty myself of saying: "Mum and Dad are old but not a lot of trouble as they have excellent neighbours" what kind of dreamworld was I living in? I worked and I popped in and saw my parents a couple of times a week, maybe doing a few odd jobs for them but prior to them coming to live with me I had no idea of how much "looking after" the neighbours were doing when I was totally unaware of it. So I am as guilty as the rest of relying on others when I should have been the one providing the help.


But even now, with Mum in the Dementia Lodge and Ray receiving various services that keep us going I need to be aware of the need to say thank you to all those who help us. There is the pay of course for the paid workers but it is also nice to be thanked. Ray always says: "Thank you for all you have done." to the workers as they go. It is one of the really nice things about him. Be nice if he remembered to thank me too but that's another story...lol.


So this is what I originally wanted to say, sometimes we give, sometimes we receive. Of course we are MAD when the amount of time and money we have expended is not appreciated. And sometimes we need to express that. But we also need to express thanks to those who help us.


So to all here who provide this site and those who provide support to me:


Thank you very much. (((Hugs))) from Sue.


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hi sue,


there's nothing wrong with deleting something from your blog because it's not what you meant to say. if only life could be as simple as hitting the delete or backspace key! you are right that we should not forget the people in our lives who are always willing to step up to the plate for us. the best people in life are those who do things out of the goodness of their heart. we really need to remember that a kind word goes a long way. thank you for your entry...it was a joy for me to read! the world would be a better place if there were more people like you!

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another well said blog sue. what a nice thing to say. it got me to thinking about my own hired caregiver who didn't think i was important enough. i thanked her for everything she did for me and i was always buying her things cause i knew she couldn;t afford them. i did everything i could to show her how much i appreciated her. i guess it wasn't enough. i too would always help my parents when i could and now i wished i had done more, since my mom passed, i feel so bad i wasn't there for her more. what i would give now to do things differently again. you provide alot of support to others here too, so i say thankyou sue for all you do and being the kind person you are. ray is so blessed to have you care for him.

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such a wellsaid blog, you deseve big thank you for reminding us to thank people who are helping in every way without anything in return. My mom at her age 62 still wants to help all her children in whatever way she can though I sometimes find her bossy nature annoying, but I still need to thank her without her help in chopping all vegetables this house wouldn't run the way it runs now. cooking has become so easy since I know vegies are ready to be cooked. thank you for reminding me to vhange my behaviour while I still have chance. she does so many things without any expectation for all her children.



you are very kindered spirit and I thnk you for being here and writing such a honest blogs which helps me in so many ways.




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Thank you for your blog. I too have helped out my mother in law and cared for her house and yard when she was on holidays, making sure all the garden and flowers were watered.. then when she went to the condo after Dad died we always made sure she was well taken care of.. We brought her meals when the homecare was not available..then when she went into the nursing home we were there for her.. Later on when she needed feeding we all helped and she died in our arms.. I think I would have done the same for my Mom if I had been closer as she just passed away just a couple of weeks ago... My sister inlaw and I, all the grandchildren and even the great grandchildren made her life happier just being there for her...I also try to help if some one can't do things and don't expect pay. If I can do it,it feels good...

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As ususal, you blog has made me stop and think. Caregiving has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I have always been the one to pitch in and help where I could. I find that that is reward enough most of the time because I feel good when I have helped. I guess it really surprised me therefore, when I needed help and no one stepped forward with any. It made me mad. So mad that later when people did offer to help I didn't recognize it. We all need a reminder to examine ourselves whether we are giving or receiving.


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From one caregiver to another THANK YOU and you are welcome.


You and Ray are both in my thoughts and prayers.





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