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What will we do today?



My English visitors have gone to Sydney for a few days and will fly back to England on Friday. I really enjoyed the visit but am quite tired and I think glad for the moment of the peace and quiet. That will pass as I am soon bored and looking around for something else to do. One thing I will miss is hearing someone say: "What will we do today?" it is the "we" I miss, someone else being there to want to share an activity. I didn't realise how much I missed that. i know I miss Ray but I also just miss someone else being around, someone to share activities with, someone else to come up with a suggestion.


Of course some activities didn't happen like going to lunch with a cousin of one of the girls who lived "just north of Newcastle" and turned out to live four hours drive away, a little too far to go for a lunch date with no offer of overnight accommodation. I don't think anyone from a small country like England can really imagine how big Australia really is and a drive of 100 miles not taking you further than the next small city or inland to where the wineries are. They underestimated the cost of travel too and although I encouraged them to be independent and use buses and trains to travel as I do they didn't get the concept. I guess those in the USA and Canada who read this will know what I am talking about.


We didn't always get on, three women living under one roof can have vastly different ideas of how life operates. I knew that I was much more independent in my way of living, I know that is because of the caregiver years when I had to make the decisions and consequently living as a widow making all the decisions for myself. But it was still good to show them the countryside, the beautiful beaches, introduce them to some of my friends and join in some of the usual activities. Tonight at Lions several people asked about the "girls" as I have taken them both to a dinner with me and Jacquie had been to two. It was good to be able to "share:" some of my friends with someone, eclectic bunch that they are.


And now it is autumn, it is raining today, the first day of rain for eight weeks so we really needed it. I am bored, always am when it rains, so will read my emails, chat on Strokenet when the time comes, maybe clean out a drawer that has been bothering me. I did a quick Spring Clean this year so maybe it is time for an Autumn Clean (decluttering) now. I can't get used to being just one of me, I know I try and be bright and breezy and say living alone is freedom but it is also loneliness. I know this is probably the shape of the rest of my life so I have to accept it, but like every change in my life acceptance is a process I have to work through.


The family are all well and I am glad of that. I ring Shirley once a week to catch up with her news, I am hoping to get up there again before I go out to Broken Hill in May. I ring Trev once a week and he usually rings me while he has Alice, depends on what they are doing,sometimes he will send me a photo via Facebook, either way I do get some interaction with them. Shirley sometimes rings me back about something we have been talking about, she is the only one who does this. My older son just says the usual things. If I am worried about something he just says: "You'll be right Mum." I think he can't really think about how life is for me.


In a way it is like when Ray died that entity called "Mum and Dad" died too, and I became "the Widow Wilkinson" I don't feel that way always but sometimes it is so obvious. I have also been introduced to someone by friends and that concept comes across, one of the Lions introduced me as "she used to be Ray's wife" which sounded more as if I had been divorced. I did get an odd glance with that one. I guess people still do not know how to explain death and widowhood and being alone or single again and getting the point across. But at least they try, which is better than being ignored. I really felt that when I was first widowed.


And so I have to tidy up the house and get back to my regular routine again, meetings to attend, old ladies to visit, catch up on phone calls, invite people to have coffee with me, fill up my life. Yes, I am too busy but busyness fills up the emptiness. That is much better than booze or drugs or anti - whatever being without Ray pills are available. I am just seeking a life that is worth living, and feel I am on track for that now.


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Sue, If I can get my wife to think about traveling and commit we will plan a trip to your country and hope to see or meet you there.... Also the doctor working for the Army but his home was Sydney lives there and I would be glad to see him once again....


He operated on my back and got me ready to fly back to the states for more surgery to remove the other bullets from my back so I could walk again and I did..... I just don't know his name now plus he may have passed by now because that was in 1970 in Vietnam..... I'm sure his name is in my records I got.....

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Fred, it would be great to see you.  It is a very long plane trip though so most people find it hard to come all that way.  I met Ann Rogers (arogers) in Norfolk England last year for her son's wedding as part of a trip I'd planned to make and Barbara (Babsz) King and her husband Eddie came here on a cruise so they are the two members of Strokenet I have met already from the USA. Maybe I will come there one day.

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