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Connections (meeting Elizabeth)



Life has many ways of connecting people. I have just been up to visit my daughter and her family for a few days. It had been three months since I had been up there, I get entangled in issues locally and it soaks up my time.  I have to reset my priorities.  The weather was what we have been having here, brilliant sunshine followed by pouring rain, the left over vestiges of a cyclone in Northern Queensland. It has been wet most of the month of March and now April is looking as if the weather will be similar. In fact we have had so much rain one of our major dams has filled to what may soon be a dangerous level. I feel so sorry for people as the news presents stories of ruined homes and businesses in the worst flood affected areas. What a struggle it will be for them to recover from that.


I enjoyed being with my family. It is good to sit down and even just watch TV with someone else in the room.It is also good to engage in conversations with them as individuals. Like most families we don't talk a lot except the occasional phone call so just the opportunity to catch up with what is happening in school for the grandchildren, both now in high school, was very pleasing. My grandson is very like me, very language orientated and so he wants his essays and projects to be perfect. Perfection is a hard taskmaster. I hope he eventually can see that life is not all about perfection. I learned that the hard way when Ray had the strokes, I had to put up with the imperfections of life and just do the best job I could.


On the way home today I called in and saw a member of Strokenet “elizabethc”. We knew each other on an Aussie site before she came on here. The Stroke Foundation offered forums and a lot of information but not chat which is why I fitted in so easily here. Elizabeth is a stroke survivor and lives with her husband who is also her caregiver a few suburbs over from my daughter now so my daughter led the way for me and we found her house quite easily. Elizabeth and I have been promising to catch up with each other for some years so that was another “members meeting members” promise fulfilled, I'm doing well on that this year. We ranged over a wide area of discussion in the four hours we were together and it was great to catch up with her and her husband and we have promised to meet up again.


Elizabeth was the person who recommended one of my blog to be published in The Stroke Foundation's newsletter. She was taken by the idea of the wonderful Women's Weekend for Survivors and Caregivers that the WAGS group I still belong to holds in November each year and by my description of my experience there. It was good to be able to share with her some of the stories from our (Ray's and mine) journey through stroke recovery and finally Ray's passing. There is a lesson to be shared in every experience we have. I have always been very grateful to this site for the wealth of knowledge and the great support I have received here. It certainly kept me sane as life changed again and again for Ray and me. Thank you to all who have made a contribution by offering a comment on a blog or post I have made or met with me in chat.


I also went to Shirley's Salvation Army meeting on Sunday and marveled again at the benefits of joining a group of like minded people where we are able to share our experiences. Several of her members were overseas missionaries and had a good deal to share about their adventures in India, Papua/New Guinea and South America over the morning tea which followed the service. I love to talk to people who have had an interesting life and love to listen to their stories. That was the benefit of the groups I have belonged to over the years, those exchanges of ideas. We can learn so much from others as we do here as we share the ups and downs of the stroke recovery process. I would always suggest joining a stroke recovery group if possible. Elizabeth talked about the lack of knowledge given when a person first has a stroke, hopefully that has improved over the years. I know from my experiences with Ray what she was talking about. It is like rehabilitation was some kind of secret and you only got to do it if you knew the password sometimes. I have learned so much over the years that I wished someone had told me in those first few weeks after Ray stroked.


I am trying to avoid having another busy week after last week with it's two funerals so am taking tomorrow off to do various things around the house. Hopefully my handyman will come despite the rain and my washing machine will be back in place by mid-afternoon and I can go on with some of my other chores. There is so much to do in a house and garden and that sometimes means I have to have a few days at home to tackle some of the tasks on my list. Not popular with my church affiliates sometimes but a girl has to do what a girl has to do....lol. I also have a few small chores my handyman may be able to do, some of them a little more costly but it is worth it  to be able to tick off a few ore items off my "must do" list.

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My washing machine is back in action and I have clean sweet smelling clothes to wear...yahooo! Our weather is still showery but there was enough sunshine today to get the clothes out blowing in the wind. I love the smell of sun dried clothes.

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