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Another Womens Weekend, how blessed I am


swilkinson

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Last year as I left the Womens Weekend I was very tearful, it was to be my last! But after a deputation approached me in October and said that I MUST go so I went again. Wow, I had such a wonderful time, I just love those women, survivors and caregivers alike. It is like there should be some award I could give them simply for being who they are. I am sure if I met the people I am acqainted with, who have been good friends and supporters to me on this site, I would feel exactly the same.

 

Why are we wonderful? Because we have stared adversity in the face and overcome it. We have done the hard yards, we have out-manouvered all those people who said we could not do it. We showed 'em, we did it!

 

I was not the only widow on the weekend, another woman whose husband died last year had also been invited to come. It was her first weekend and she just loved it. It helped that it was fine and sunny when heavy rain had been predicted and we were able to gather round the pool and use the marquee we have put up each year. It did help that the DJ who replaced dear old Dave did play a lot of Abba, for we are all dancing queens and I have the aches and pains to prove it.

 

The massages were wonderful and I had my first hot stone massage. Not sure I liked it but it is a personal thing I guess and it was a new experience and I know I need to embrace that.The masseuses give us a tremendous discount and the Stroke group is able to pay for it so it is free!!! And so Saturday was swim, chat, have a massage, relax, have lunch, relax, have a swim, shower and change and then the dinner and dancing, dancing, dancing the night away. And how good is that?

 

This was our tenth Anniversary of the Womens Weekends so there was a gooey, creamy Celebration cake. That is the only downside for me, being lactose intolerant I do find I have some difficulty with desserts, all cream, icrecream, milk and butter is banned and so sometimes I just wish they would serve a nice fruit cake instead. We did have a fruit platter on Saturday before the dinner, with our "happy hour" finger food and drinks so I did have fruit, again it is a personal choice.

 

I wish you all had access to this type of weekend. If only there was a benevolent society in America that specialised in womens weekends and could offer you that type of getaway. As usual many women who belong to our Stroke Recovery group didn't come for the whole weekend but only for dinner on the Friday or Saturday night as they just didn't have anyone to mind the one they cared for. In some cases of course some also went home and checked on their loved one during the weekend or kept in contact by email or SMS. After stroke where there's a will there is a way.

 

Again I share the room with my good friend *G* who I used to work with and she and I finished up with a big task. She had volunteered to do the nibblies for Friday afternoon and Saturday and the fruit platter so I along with some of the other women helped with that. It was like market day in our room all weekend with the comings and goings. I was so pleased *G* did volunteer as she is disabled by her stroke, has limited mobility (but just loves her scooter which gets her around) and some difficulty with life but she has the heart of a lion! She is one of my heroes, I am so blessed just to know all of these women, survivors and caregivers alike.

 

And another sweet survivor did take me aside and tell me to never drop out of the group, she would miss me and all I did for her and the group as a whole, and that really is not a lot. It takes so little energy to sit and listen and gently advise if appropriate and add someone to your Facebook or an email list, to send them on an occassional email with those "Thoughts of Wisdom" you often receive. It is part of our humanity that we need community, and it is important that in that group there are people to whom caring is second nature, who are there through our thick and thin times. We can be a part of that by putting our own troubles aside for a while and recognising the need in others as we do here when we comment on posts and blogs. It is not rocket science but it is a loving vocation.

 

And that is my good news and I will cling onto those happy memories for as long as I can. It has been a blessed weekend and a real gift to me.

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Thank you for sharing your amazing weekend with us Sue. Womens Weekends Away sounds a fantastic concept. It important that we as caregivers can occasionally be with others who really understand what caregiving is all about.

I'm so pleased you had a great weekend.

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I was so happy to read your blog posting what fun you had on the Women's Weekends. Abba's "Dancing Queen" - great song to lift your spirits. I'm still singing it. lol

 

Julie

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Sue ---- your hard earned experience is very valuable to all... your "title" may have been added - not changed.. you are a widow- yes- but you will ALWAYS, ALWAYS be a caregiver... it is who you are...

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Sue, please that you went to your Women Weekends. I can picture you dancing to Abba, I loved they music. It is good for our soul to mix with people that you can connect with.

 

Yvonne

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