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You should all get an award


swilkinson

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Tonight at Lions I got an award, it was one of those strange ones that gets you thinking about life. I was awarded Grandparent of the Year. Originally this award would have been for younger men who became a grandparent for the first time or had some outstanding number of children. Our Club has awarded it to great grandparents too. Tonight I got it for what the former president ( it was held for me after the changeover dinner when I was in England) said was special circumstances, I guess the struggle I have been supporting Trevor in as he tries to get increased access to his daughter Alice, and also for my work with many children, which would be the kids of our church's Messy Church program.

 

I wonder if we ever think we deserve an award. I have been given a few in my time, all from the various Clubs and self-help groups I have belonged to. Some like my "Dancing Diva" award that I got last year at the end of the WAGS Women's Weekend are of course joke awards. They are fun to get but not to be taken too seriously. Others like the Carer of the Year Award from the Hunter Valley combined Stroke Recovery groups I much appreciated as it is awarded for being an outstanding carer and is a hard award to get (well in my case it represented an award for looking after a fairly high care spouse for over twelve years, plus the work I did in the community to promote stroke awareness (including what I do on here).

 

Personally I don't think I need an award for doing what I ought to do anyway. I supported my husband because I took those old fashioned vows on my wedding day, "till death us do part" admittedly I failed to look after him all the way to death but he had to have more support than I could offer at home so he had to go into the nursing home for the last year of his life. The same with supporting my son, it is just what a mother does. The "Dancing Diva" award I won not because of my wonderful dancing so much as the encouragement I offered to other younger women among the stroke survivors to get up and dance. I enjoy it so much when I see the happiness on their faces when they realise what they are doing. It is worth giving up a thousand awards to see the real wonder on their faces.

 

If what I do deserves an award then what so many others do should not go unnoticed and unrecognized. So many of you deserve an award for bravery in the face of what seems like insurmountable odds, you, the stroke survivors, struggle daily to put into action Improvements that means finding new pathways to send messages through a damaged brain. This is only achieved by hard work.You, the caregivers, struggle against tiredness, frustration and near defeat, to improve the life of the one you are caring for, partner, parent or child, to make a decent life for your family, to find a new way of making life worthwhile. Yes, my dears, you are all award winners too, even if that is never said to you by anyone else I am saying it to you now.

 

So thank you all for being an inspiration to me, for telling your stories here in the Blog Community, for sharing your stories in posts on the Forums and for sharing with others in chat. You will never know what word you shared will have as an impact on another's life. I remember coming here in May 2005 knowing that I was losing the battle to overcome the deficits my husband was showing after stroke number four, no longer trusting the specialists, doctors and advisers who said "everything possible is being done" when I could see he was having more strokes than anyone else I knew while all the time being supposedly on the "right medication".

 

Coming onto Strokenet saved my life and my sanity, finding marvelous people who shared their story, their advice and their empathy, who reassured me, who guided me, who helped me on my stumbling way. I found a whole community of people from all walks of life, all the states of America and some from other countries who understood what I was going through and genuinely wanted to help. I was so fortunate to Google stroke support and find this site! What a marvelous lot of people, not just back then but in all the years that followed, came into my life.

 

So thank you Steve Mallory, thank you support people, thank you to all who maintain the site for all the help you have given to me and so many thousands of people, not just those who register but a great number who just read the information available on the site as a guest. No-one knows how many marriages have been saved and families held together by the kind words of a stranger. And to me none of you are strangers. I might never meet you (though I have met Babz (Barbara King) and Ann Rogers in person) but some tiny part of my heart is yours, you earned it by your comments on my blogs, your replies to my posts or your company in the chat room back when I did general chat and these days in the caregiver chat room.

So there is only one thing to say: :You-Rock: and you should get a special award.

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