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wide awake in the middle of the night



It was the anniversary of Mum's death yesterday, she died on the 20th November 2012 two months and one day after Ray died. I went to to her nursing home Carer's meeting in the afternoon. We are allowed to keep on attending the meetings for a year after our loved one dies. It is a good idea as there is still so much you want to say and the meeting is a safe environment to speak about your feelings. I find I can still help others too. It is good to still be able to use all of that experience to help others.


I seem to have the jitters tonight. It is the day after the anniversary of Mum's death but it is also the first time I have been able to think about what happened. I have been ignoring it but I guess my mind just waits till I am off guard and then I am reminded again of death and loneliness and the downside of caregiving - the long adjustment afterwards. I am keeping busy as much as I can be and not be exhausted by the effort of keeping busy. It is a vicious cycle, trying to be busy, getting overtired, not being able to sleep because you are over-tired etc. it probably doesn't help that there is a storm brewing and it is humid tonight.


I've had a few days this week when I find I am really feeling the loss of Ray. I know what triggered that, I went under the house to Ray's workshop to get something and there are all of the tools rusting away, the fallen down shelves, the many years of neglect. Ray used to spend a lot of time under the house in his workshop, we used to laugh that he was "sorting his nails" as at one stage he did try to sort them by size and purpose. But mostly prior to the 1999 strokes he used it as a refuge, to get away from the rest of us for a while.


When Ray had the strokes in 1999 he no longer went under the house unless he came with me when I needed to find something. When he stopped going under thereTrevor and I did try to keep things nice at first but it all became too much. Now there is very little of any value down there. I will have to sort it all out at some stage, at the moment it is in the too hard basket. The best I can do is just a general tidy up as I don't know what is there that is of value and what is not. And when there is very heavy rain as there was last week we do get some seepage so the rust cycle goes on.


Then of course there is still the problem of the cabin roof, I did get a phone call from the guy who thought it would be easy to fix, he was keen but the carpenter that usually works with him has too much work on and would not be available till after Christmas! Does it frustrate me - oh yes indeed. I want my backyard to look neat and tidy but there is the problem of the cabin roof, the half-cut down tree (loong story) the mess in the back of the cabin, the trampled down garden, on and on. I would make a list and cross things off as I fix them but the priority is still the roof and I cannot get that fixed it seems.


On an interesting note the fencing is beginning next door, just this afternoon two panels appeared on top of the retaining wall out front of the new house. It is a wooden panelled fence, solid, brown and a lot taller than I thought. I am hoping it will be sturdy enough to stand up to the blustery winds, that is will not rot, or drop panels and a thousand other things. My imagination runs along very pessimistic lines sometimes. I just have to have faith that it will last until I want to sell this house.


I am not sure I like what is happening next door but I have agreed to have the fence put up so guess that sorted out the problem of me not liking it as I now have no choice. Where is my partner in decision making? I ask myself. It is not fair, why am I having to do this alone etc. I need to hark back to my Dad's father's favourite saying: "If you want a helping hand look at the end of your arm." I know help is not hovering around waiting for me to ask, it was never like that. If I need help with a problem I still have to ring around and finally find someone who is willing to help. Caregivers and widows have that in common. No long lines of people tripping over themselves to help out.


At the Carers' meeting I went to I was reminded once again of the hard decisions we have to make, the way we as caregivers have to go the long way around a problem so as not to offend the person we care for or the others who witness what is happening. One poor lady having put her husband into care was told by a relative that they would "take him home with them and see that he got the right treatment". She was deeply hurt but sensibly said that they should see the nursing staff first. Of course the nurses presented the difficulties in a way that made the offer seems so silly. She said they didn't apologise just walked out, leaving her husband with the fantasy that they were coming back to rescue him. Sometimes it is the family that is the difficulty as much as the patient!


My family seem busy with a lot of pre-Christmas activities. Trev and Edie had the water from the rain event we had last week pour into their garage and wet all the cardboard boxes they were using packing up their house to go to Broken Hill. Not a disaster but certainly inconvenient as they will have to buy more. Rain events seem more frequent this year, torrential rain as opposed to the kind of gentle rain we need. Just another example of extreme weather. I need to redig drains again as the rush of water also carries silt which makes the drains more shallow and less effective. Always seems to be sometihing the householder has to do.


I did have two good things happen today. I went to two lunches. I got double booked so had the main course at one club with my old church buddies, about an hours chat and then into the car and off to another club to have dessert and coffee. The reason for the split was that I wanted to see a young friend and her gorgeous red-headed baby girl, just at the staggering around stage and so cute. This little family have moved to Western Australia and the two of them were just back for a cousin's birthday party on Saturday so today was the only day they were was up here. The young Mum has lost both her parents so some of our Apex40 Club women act as spare aunties.


Okay, I have had my vent, updated you on my news, now I better try and get some sleep as I know tomorrow is going to be another busy day.


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Hi Sue, I love your blogs, please keep on bloging.


Yes, it must be hard, losng your mom and Ray,so close together. That is when we have to remember the good times, that were spend together. Good for you, helping other people going throught this experiences. You are a blessing.


It must be hard to make all the decisons by yourself, maybe , there is a family member, or neighbour who knows a company to fix the cabin roof? In Florida, we have "Angies list", that have good workmen on the list. A list like that would help you to find a work man that can do all your little jobs.


I know the young Mom, is loving all you "Aunties", see another blessing.


Sue, God is using you, you are a blessing to so many people.


I send love, prayers, and hugs



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Sue: hate those sleepless nights. I just keep a pad and pencil on the nightstand - all those things that must have attention at 3 am.


I have trouble sorting through things and Bruce is right here. I can only imagine having to do it alone.


Glad you had some nice times at your luncheons. Double booking is tough, but so worth it in that you got to see all the people you wanted to spend time with.


More prayers and hugs. Debbie

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Guest lwisman


Thinking about you Sue. This will be a hard holiday season for you. Know your friends here are rooting for you.


Take care,


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