My birthday passed off okay. With a cake at Craft and a few congratulations at Lions and dinner and cupcakes the following night at my DIL's place with her family. I missed the big family gathering, missed Ray, missed Mum. I know I will never be able to recreate those past times, I just don't have the light hearted approach to life I used to have. I guess I am older and wiser from the experience I had during those last 14 years but with that came some pretty heavy memories and they are still weighing me down at the moment.
We had some silliness in chat this week, lots of cyber wine flowing and the group members were as always great in their support for one another. I am so glad we did form the Caregiver Chat group as it has provided me with such a wonderful group of people to be friends with over many years. I am thinking of changing my status to volunteer as that is what I really am here now with my caregiving years behind me. I am a volunteer at church and in other organizations too so that is what I am used to being called.
I had the funeral to attend on Thursday and Friday was busy too with church meeting and home communions to do. Luckily my southern grandkids and Shirley arrived an hour after I arrived home and Craig an hour later. He has just completed a Chaplaincy course in Sydney. We had a late dinner and a chat before bed. Up fairly early this morning and Shirley took me shopping for a wet weather jacket to take on my trip. I guess it rains a lot in England and Ireland so better safe than sorry. I am still deciding what to pack. Probably it would be best to travel as light as possible.
We had Alice's party to go to so much discussion on what to wear , what there would be to eat (Christopher) what one should wear in one's hair (Naomi). While out shopping, how did I mamange to get stains on the front of what I was wearing? Back to change once again. I knew my DIL would take lots of pictures and she did of: cousins, uncles and aunts, Granma, Nanny, Nana Chris all with food on the way to their mouths. No glamor shots but no hurt feelings, unless maybe the worst ones are posted on Facebook. Lots of littlies enjoying each others company, playing with the toys together especially the "just turned one" boys and girls of Edies's Mum's group, lovley to see the group of workmates and their children sitting together. The party was a resounding success.
The oldies sat and discussed likeness. Alice's colouring is slightly ginger hair and blue eyes, Pam and Steven's three Tori, tall, dark hair and eyes, Alex, mid brown hair, built sqaure of body and piercing blue eyes, Oliver, much thinner,black hair and dark brown eyes, From Shirley's family, Christopher, tall, square build, honey blonde curls and blue eyes, Naomi, thin,midbrown hair and grey eyes. From Edie, Lucas has inherited his mother's dark hair and eyes. His cousins, his aunt's boys are both mid brown hair and hazel eyes but Edie's brothers children, the little girl blonde with blue eyes, the little boy red hair and green eyes, There are some resemblances and some ways in which one cousin resembles another in another family. Lucas and Tori, not blood relatives are often mistaken for brother and sister.
I got back from Alice's birthday party worn out. It was a wonderful party but exhausting following Alice as she ran around. She was happy today and laughed every time someone else laughed. She loves running around, looks like a wind-up doll when she runs. Watching her was a lot of fun. She had some helium filled balloons and we each held a string. Easy way of keeping a hold on her. Not to mention keeping the balloons from flying away when we were outside and she let go of the string! Seven grandchildren, what a blessing I have been given.
Having most of the family at Alice's first official birthday party was bitter sweet, reminding me of our large family gatherings and also Trev and Edie's wedding as all of her side of the family were there. But of course no Ray. There were lots of littlies running around, with the two joined families plus Mums and Bubs group families and friends of Edie's from where she works. It was noisy, busy and lots of fun. But for a while I went outside alone and sat and thought about Ray and why it is really sad that now we have to go on being a family without him.