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Angels without wings



We all have angels in our lives, not the heavenly kind but the earthly kind, the people who bring us hope. I went to my second most favorite day of the year, the day of the WAGS (Working Age group for Stroke) Christmas party. This is my second favorite day because it is a festive and fabulous day of friendship, food and dancing! Today we had a large gathering, survivors, caregivers and some supportive friends or family members and yes, there was good food, yes, there was a lot of chat and laughter and yes, there was dancing! My first partner is always one of the survivors, Robin and I have had a dance together for four years now. He always apologizes because he is a slow dancer but I don't care, he can dance and smile and have a good time so he is a great partner.


As at the Women's Weekend at the Christmas party the women often dance alone as their husbands, friends or partners cannot dance with them. I was the same when Ray was alive as he could not dance either. But it never seems to matter, the music plays and we dance. The DJ today played non-stop music for two hours and we went on and off the floor as we went back to have another glass of water or to mop our brows but it was such great fun. At the Christmas party some of the partners do dance and that is great to see. I must admit that I do have a tear or two whenever I see couples dancing together as it reminds me of my loss but there are several widows among us now and so I am not alone in this.


I never feel more alive than when I am dancing. Dancing was once such a big part of my life, the lives of Ray and I as a couple and even with our children as we taught them to dance also. I am glad I went back to doing "Just Dance" again as it certainly has improved my stamina and now I can dance for quite a while without needing a break, which is good. Some of the survivors are young (early thirties) and keep on urging me and other older women back onto the dance floor to keep them company. I love the WAGS people, they have all been angels in my life from time to time, when I have been down, when the worst period of my life, the last two years with Ray, were dominated by sadness and frustration and old fashioned exhaustion they understood and supported me. I will always be grateful for that which is why I continue to support them in any way I can.


One of the caregivers from that group meets up with a group of older fellows in our shopping centre and sometimes I do too. They are the group her stroke survivor son sits with while she shops. This week she took a cake and some other goodies to have a morning tea for one of the men who turned 94 on Monday. He was so pleased that after we had sung "Happy Birthday" (to the amusement of other people in the Food Court) he got quite tearful. It is amazing what a small act of kindness can do. Which is why I continue to associate with the WAGS group and other groups that I have belonged to. Your caring does not cease when the person you are looking after dies, we all need care of some kind, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a friend to share a laugh with. And that is what I look forward to in my widowhood. I could stay at home isolated and depressed or I can get out and join the world. And maybe do a good deed or two out in the community.


Summer is here now, both officially and in reality. The hot days and humid nights have begun. Some times I have a lot of trouble sleeping, I have a fan but not an air conditioner in my bedroom. I don't like air conditioners as I much prefer to feel a breeze in the room if there is one. Unfortunately the last few nights have been pretty still so I have not had not a lot of sleep. This was a problem when I was looking after Ray but now I can have an afternoon nap if I need one. Today when I came home from the party I slept for two hours. I guess all that dancing tired me out, but it is a good tired when you are worn out from doing something you enjoy. And of course I am getting older and dancing is a vigorous exercise.


I am doing some Christmas cards now. I am not sending out a lot as I will send greetings via Facebook and email as well, no sense in doubling up. If you are on my Facebook page you know what I am doing most of the time, not as much as if you read in the blogs of course as I don't put a lot of personal information on line, more often I'm posting pictures with an occasional comment. You see pictures of my grandchildren, my church activities and my thoughts for the day. I advertise the Lions Club events sometimes and details of other things I am involved in. It is a pity this has replaced personal letters but that is the mechanics of the world we live in. I am grateful to be able to stay in touch with so many people as that too stops me from being isolated.


Life is good. Well not good every day though I do like to stop and think about the good things at the end of each day. My word for this year was "Joy" and I think I can find some joy in every day including the days when things go wrong. It is harder then but if you look at each day there seem to be rays of sunshine peeking through the clouds wherever you look. It is better to look on the bright side of life rather than the gloomy side. I have had many occasions in the past when I have sat on the pity pot and sometimes I still do. That again is things like seeing those couples walking arm in arm or when I am at a function and realise that I am completely alone. Because I am no longer a member of a couple and when I go home I go back to an empty house. Then I might feel sorry for myself for a moment or two. But on the whole I am okay and my life is manageable.


And to a certain extent like Asha is always telling me, I do go with the flow, take the path of least resistance, try and find something good in every situation. And that is when I see that glimpse of an angel delivering good things into my life.


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Sue you are a great asset here at Stroke Net and no doubt an even greater asset there at home working with all the wonderful people you know and be around all the time..... We all love you dearly for your caring about others......

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