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.