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Seeing life from a different angle


swilkinson

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I have just got past another difficult milepost, Ray's birthday. Funny how now I am a widow all of those special days cause me to be teary and mindful once again of our loss. I know it is almost four years since Ray died now but in some ways it still seems as if it is recent. There is some healing in time, it is much less painful to recall his passing now but still I miss him. I miss the person I was married to for 44 years, I miss the young man he was when we were courting, the middle aged man I worked alongside and raised our children with, the older man who had the strokes and needed me. Yes, even the hard parts of caregiving seem precious now I look back on them. We were a couple for so long, Mum and Dad or good old Sue and Ray to family and friends and we were co-workers and colleagues to many. For 44 years we were husband and wife through good times and hard times. My memories are full of never to be forgotten moments Ray and I shared.

 

I just had a week out west with my son Trevor, I went out this time to spend Father's Day with him and his little daughter Alice. First he came the coast and spent a few days with me, it was his first trip back to the coast for a couple of years. After he had done a few small jobs for me he went through the cupboards in "his" room and found some of the things he had wanted to take back with him including a big box of Lego and packed it all into the car. He always collected the family Lego together and made sure every piece was kept. His daughter Alice is four now so the Duplo big blocks can be put away and the "real" Lego taken out again. He also sorted through my kitchenware for a few non-technical tools like those old hand wound egg beaters. He lives in a small house since his separation and divorce and takes good care of it. He is a good cook so also took some of the cook books.

 

Thursday the 1st off we went on the 13 1/2 hours drive back to where he lives. The daylight driving was good but after it was dark the number of goats by the side of the roads, running across the road etc was pretty scary. There has been a lot of rain and there is a lot of long grass alongside the bitumen so I guess it is like a smorgasbord to them. Lots of groups with kids at foot too and although they are a pest I would hate to kill one. Trevor is used to western driving so was not fazed by it all but I had a few moments when I was sure we would collide with one but all was well and we reached Broken Hill safely. I flew home on Wednesday morning arriving too late to go onto chat due to some delays.

 

It was beautiful out in big sky country, still very cold (close on freezing) at night but I piled the blankets on in my little caravan and that helped me keep warm. And the days were lovely. The temperatures might not reflect it but the sun always seems warmer out there and it was wonderful sitting out at night under the stars while he BBQed. It is one of the things I miss from my old life, Ray was a great BBQ cook and BBQs were a regular part of our life up till 1999. It was the way we celebrated birthdays, special events, family gatherings. Being a country with a long summer gas BBQs are a feature of every back yard and in summer the smell of BBQing is the scent of the night. Trevor cooks chicken wings with garlic and cumin and it is a great sensation tearing them apart and eating them out under the stars with baked potatoes and sweet potatoes and a few other foil wrapped veggie combinations which are baked in the coals.

 

The weekend with Alice was marred by her cold but we still had a lot of fun with her, she can be pretty lively. I feel some empathy with people who don't see their grandchildren regularly as that was me for a few years and now I make the effort to see them as much as I can. Life is too short to worry about how often to do things like visiting, if you can manage it and can afford it, just do it. I should apply that motto to all the people I have promised to visit and still haven't I suppose but like everyone else I find time just slips away and half the time I have done nothing of major importance just gone on with the routine of life. Like today I did the Friday Coffee Morning at Church, chatted to some of the ladies in our charity outlet ( we call them Op Shops) and then after lunch did some gardening, the weeds having grown exponentially while I was away, and there is another day gone.

 

I always take time out to meditate while Trevor works, there is reading also to fill in the time, and he and I sometimes do some walking and also take Alice to the park while she is there. I notice it is the little things she gets most joy out of, like walking along the laneway to where the woman who works for WIRES ( a wildlife preservation group) provides a home to all injured Shingle Back Lizards that are rescued from the local highways. This week there were 23 of them in the enclosure, Trevor estimated 18 but without being able to count Alice said 23 and she was right. They are cared for and released after three months. They love to walk slowly across the roads and unfortunately drivers either do not see them or just don't slow down for them to cross so many get injured.

 

Being in a different place and having time to think about life does allow me to look at life in a different way. The simpler life is the better it is I think now. I still need to let go of a lot of my past activities to make my life simpler. I have loved belonging to so many groups over the years and hate to let some of them go but in order to have time for myself that has to happen now. I will be 70 next year and honestly the years do take their toll and I do not have that long term energy I used to have and an afternoon Nanna nap is occasionally the solution. So if I appear here less frequently it is not because I no longer love you all or care about your welfare it is because other things are happening in my life that need my attention, including visiting family and friends.

 

Spring is here and like the birds I have a nest to rebuild and refurbish. I also still need time to declutter. Wish me luck as I make a few changes in my life. I am stepping down as a Chat Host from the end of this month. I will never forget what this site has done for me and the wonderful people I have met that have had a real impact on my life. I will continue on as Blog Moderator and remain a part of this great community. So it is not farewell it is just see you soon.

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Unfortunately I developed Alice's cold from a week ago.  By Sunday night I was sick and have had to spent three days at home.  Hopefully tomorrow the coughing will have stopped and I can venture out again. I cooked today to put food in the freezer, that makes me feel at least of the the days wasn't wasted.

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Sue, sad we'll be seeing less of you around here, but happy to hear your plans to get out and visit and nourish yourself and your most important relationships. Keep us posted as you're able!

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Hello Sue, hope you are feeling better. Chat will miss you, but understand that you

 

like to visit more. Reading your blog, i understand about you worrying less about how much it cost

 

to go and visit people. Iam thinking along those lines, and making plans to visit England next

 

year. God bless Sue.

 

love and Hugs

 

Yvonne

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