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some anxious moments



I went to the Stroke Recovery meeting this morning, I decided that I would pay another year of dues. I don't go every month but I still like the folk who go there, the caregivers and the survivors, so it is good to keep up with them. I am not the caregiver any more but no-one seems concerned about that. I am just Sue. And that seems to be good enough. So next weekend I am going to the Womens Weekend. I wondered if I should as I am not a current caregiver but everyone seemed to think I should so I am going. I am sure there will be a lot of time to laugh, sing and be happy, and enough time to share confidences and be sad too.


I looked at the caregivers at the meeting and they all looked so tired. I used to look like that. For the last five years of his life especially Ray's illness just absorbed all of my life. In a way when he died I ceased to exist in a lot of people's eyes as I was simply "Sue, Ray's caregiver". I miss the people who were in my life back then, I wish they had kept in touch. But they have moved on to help others. I think I'll just keep up with some of the people who were prepared to be friends with me during his illness and not worry about those who have not kept in touch. I am sure G-d will bring people into my life to replace them.


I am still lonely and often still cry at night, really it is the small things, having dinner alone, sitting alone, watching television alone, packing up the house and going to bed alone. I am 13 months out now and yes, it still hurts. When I wake up at 3am crying, and can't go back to sleep I can come out to the computer and play some sad songs on Youtube. I wonder what is floating around my subconscious so I feel sad but don't know why? I know being out of my comfort zone is one reason for all of this. In the daytime I can work hard, tire myself out and ignore it but four hours of sleep later, here I am again, waking up with some worry or other on my mind.


As you know I do like to keep busy but gradually increasing the workload is one thing and taking on too much is another. This week and next I am adding half a day selling tickets for Lions to contribute to their Bush Fire appeal. It is a worthy cause and one I wanted to support but somehow that pushed the whole week out of kilter and today I had to do the home communion I couldn't do on Thursday so had to move it to Saturday. That meant leaving the Stroke Recovery meeting early and not having lunch with the caregivers and their spouses so I felt as if I had missed out on something. But it is hard to get a life balance whatever you do.


I think my trip to England distracted me from my grief for a while,as did the trip down to Shirley's but I have found it really hard in the past few weeks. As you can imagine it is hard not to have someone to share all those memories with. It is one of the things we had to get to used to as a caregiver and now that continues for me as a widow. The pressure of suddenly having to make a lot of decisions because of the cabin roof having to be rebuilt is another thing on my plate. I have had several quotes now but so far no-one has said they want to do the job. It needs a carpenter and a roofer or a couple of builders. I did have one such partnership come to do a quote Iast week that I would have been happy to hire but so far they have not got back to me. I hope they do so early next week as I do want the job completed before Christmas.


One thing they did say is that I will have to clear the cabin out. That will be quite a job and means I will have to bring a lot of boxes down to the house to sort. There is work to do on the back garden too as all that was trampled flat by the SES crew and there has been no sign of regrowth there having been very little rain since then. I think most of my anxiety comes from needing to get a whole load of different jobs out of the way while the weather is reasonable, like the fence on the top side of the block that is now all broken down will have to be replaced soon. Just planning all of this leaves me feeling anxious but I know being out of my comfort zone is one reason for all of this and the timeframe is another.


I have also been doing more in the church. No excuse now not to help with Messy Church or the Halloween Party for kids. Don't get me wrong I love doing it but sometimes it is a strain, physically and emotionally.Sometimes when I get emotional when singing my voice starts to wobble. Last Sunday in church I was going up the aisle in a procession and I suddenly chirruped like a canary - so embarrassing! I find the music is there sometimes but not others, it does depend on what we are singing and if it has some emotional connection.


I wonder if I joined a singing group if that would help? I've always loved to sing hymns, I don't sing well but I can hold a tune. There used to be a church group from the Uniting Church that sang at Mum's nursing home. They were all older women and a bit quavery but it was not their voices that the residents and staff appreciated so much as they were there, with their warm smiles and afterwards they moved among the residents speaking kind words. Maybe I just need to join something similar and sing with others?





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I think joining singing group is great idea. I know at its root we all human being want to belong somewhere. I know I am still trying to find great girlfriends who I can hang out without my family.



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Sue, IMO you got every reason to be like you are now because you and Ray grew closer together when he went to the home and you visited him daily knot knowing he would not come back home one day until much later when he got sicker.


I'll probably be the same way should my wife go before me but I'm thinking I'll hold up since three have left me and it had no effect on me that they all wanted to leave me. It wouldn't be this wife's desire t see me go at all.


My claim now is this is it for me being with another lady regardless of the circumstances so I think I could make it being alone as you are now. My whole life has been full of people and in-Laws, neighbors and many Army families next door to me!


I do think however I would go to the bowling tournaments near me to see the old guys bowl again and competing with all the younger guys out there on the PBA tour. I check the computer all the time to view their scores and see about where I would be scoring now if I were still out there bowling with them!

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Guest hostwill



It is said "to eat an elephant" requires one bite at a time. Major on the majors and not the minors. Things will get better and Lord knows you deserve it. Take Care, enjoy life, Now is your time.


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Sue: maybe it is getting used to the shift in priorities. What once had to be dealt with, but Ray came first; now comes first. Now those things are first and figuring out how to juggle them may not be comfortable yet. Just keep plugging away and yes, fit in some fun stuff.


The singing group sounds like great fun. That is one thing I would love for myself. Please do let me know if you decide to give it a try.


I am glad you decided to go to the Women's Weekend. You have always loved that and it is great that the members want you there and that you want to be there. You may find some hidden insight.


I used to wake up in the middle of the night when I first became a supervisor and I remember nothing. Finally I learned to keep a pad and pen by the bed. Once I wrote it, I could forget it. Now the worrying is another thing. Try working it through best you can and just maybe your mind will say "OK she has this under control, time to rest."


Go easy. Please see to your health. Debbie

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Hi Sue, you are a wonderful person. It is great that you are doing Women weekend, good for you. Also keep on been invovled, remember one step at a time.


You love to sing, join a group, have some fun!


Take care Sue, look after yourself


God bless



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Yes Sue, joining a choir or any singing group would be good for you. Music always puts me in a good mood or relaxes me.



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