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grandchildrens birthdays --- and the disappearing gumpa



so we totally missed Lillys birthday - Dan to ill to go anywhere (April), and today was Westons birthday party here in town... gumpa was just to tired - and didnt feel good so he basically did not get out of bed at all today .. not crabby, just to tired, and sore.. the torn bicep is really "aching" all i can say is god - damn stroke strikes again... continues to rob everyone... you know everyone says be grateful( and i am) that dan is still here.. but i watch all the pieces of our/ his life that don't ever get to be.. now weston did come over and see gumpa after the party , and dan bless his heart was nice to him, gave him a hug and a kiss. and weston squirreled away.... dan just seems so tired as of late not much stamina at all.... yes we have done lots.. but still he is relativley young... his awesome physical condition is slipping away... i am watching his arm athropied , not much to be done.. Tag our dog came home today.. dan seemed very happy to see him... although tag enjoyed his vacation with my brother and ( tags own brother copper) .. they went hunting together and took down a raccoon. ... i am working on little decoration projects for the yard that specifically make it more difficult for peering eyes to be watching ---- maybe not the most positive or constructive thing to do with my time... but i need a little piece of privacy.... my old farm is looking pretty good to me- snow and all.... the animals could exist, we could exist.. but it is no longer a option and i cant help but to give a quick turn of my head looking behind me.... although nothing back there is helpful - the past is the past -- it still hurts... the farmers are longing for their home...hopefully a new home can be built, one with a fence for the animals , and space.... and PRIVACY--- animals will be welcome but no Gorillas.... LOL


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We have a popular country and western song called :"Looking forward, looking back" by Slim Dusty an Australian icon in the C/W scene , now himself passed away. It was one of Ray's favourite songs so I had it played at the end of Ray's funeral. It is what we did for the whole of his stroke journey, tried to look ahead positively but sometimes slipped into looking back at what we had lost. The strokes, particularly the 1999 two did so much to change our lives and there was no going back to there again.


Nancy, like you we missed a lot of events, even got left off the list for a friend's daughters wedding, we had been there from the start with her as I helped her Mum fill in the adoption papers but it was held at a disabled unfriendly venue and our invitation never came. That's life after stroke. Cling to the happier memories and you will survive.


You will mourn the farm and the life you had there but I know you will find a place more suited to your needs than where you are now so look forward to that.

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Nancy, I am so sad for you. At least I am for your yesterday; here's hoping today things will be a little better.


It's only human nature to look back and think "what if", and it's not just people in our situation. All the paths in life that we had to choose, no use second guessing afterwards. The next place you live will be borne of all the wisdom you have gained in the last few years.


Hopefully we can be grateful for the crumbs that are left to us, and somehow plant some seeds for more in the future. Give Dan a hug and kiss from me and Ray, please. And one for yourself, too, while you're at it.

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Guest hostwill




I'll keeo you in my prayers that the Lord will comfort and strengthen you during these times. You're a great caregiver, and a real blessing to others.



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Nancy: so sorry. Like you, we have missed so much. I promised to blog about our travel ideas, but for now, just know Bruce almost never traveled - Bruce visited close friends with small children - LOL. That was my explanation of when we went away. And now all our "babies" are grown; graduating, marrying, having their own children and we are missing all of it. And like Weston, Bruce was important to all these kids and they are missing him terribly. His first and favorite getting married this fall - we are considering it. She even sent photos of the gown choices for him to see. (She did our wedding video). Another special getting married in California. And we would have gone to all of these and partied away.


Carl was here this week. He has been on board since day one. During a conversation, he said to me "but look how far we have come!" And yes, I certainly do see that, but he does not live our lives every single day. And like you, it is always something else. There is never reprieve.


But I try not to look back and I never look forward much more than a month or two. Because everything here is dictated by me - and like you - I can't afford a depression. When I feel myself angst - I go do something: cook, clean out, read, torture Kira - LOL.


I don't know how we get through this honey. I have no advice. I only know what works for me. It is not head in the sand. I know exactly what is happening and how I have to deal with it. But emotionally I am usually a mess. Just try not to take it out on Bruce.j


Go easy. Hugs to you and Dan. Debbie

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the flying can happen --- the mechanics of it --- the emotional part no guarantees --- yep, we dont get to be sad do we ( not for very long any ways) that is a luxury we cant afford...

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If I hadn't defied the neurologist and flown to Cairns we would hardly have seen our kids and grandkids for those three years they were there and lost those opportunities that made Ray their beloved Pa Ray. Yes, it was hard for me to do it and yes, it was worth it. And he didn't have extra strokes because of the flying.


Luckily they were quite happy for Ray to go back to his room and even back to bed as often as he wanted to but his social skills came to the fore and we did make some good memories. He was more placid when we were away than when he was at home. Less recriminations, more smiles....lol.

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Tough times, Nancy. I'm sad to say they usually get worse before they get better. We've certainly had our shares of ups, downs and in-betweens over the past 9 years. I am so glad I traveled with Gary in his wheelchair for all the trips we did take during the earlier years post-stroke, because we've reached the point where traveling, especially by plane, would be nearly impossible. Not that he's any more difficult to handle, but I've lost so much strength and my ability to handle him is not the same. Sometimes a weekend of respite can be really helpful, but it's always back to the same thing when you return. Same crap, different day!! I have had my share of meltdowns, but somehow always manage to pull myself up by the boot straps and keep on going - kinda like the Energizer bunny.....never sure if the battery will run down! lol



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I think I know a little how Dan must be feeling when half your body is numb it takes the good feelings away from you. I pray Dan can and will get better with a bit more time than the two years he got in already from the stroke!


I sure hope you guys can still come to Texas as you had planned awhile back but I sure understand if you can't when that time comes.

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