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Great fun with some wonderful caregivers and stroke survivors



I have just been on the WAGS Women's Weekend.  I can say we laughed and cried, told of our journey, played silly games, ate together, played together and danced with wild abandon on Saturday night and had so much fun.  The pink boa in the photo is a tribute to Terry who was her daughter's caregiver and sadly died this year.  I was sad, as we all were, to recall those who were not with us for so many reasons. I have been going to this weekend since 2007, some years I have only gone on the Saturday night, some I have gone for the whole weekend as i did this weekend. Each year is different with unexpected events living in our memories.  Sometimes the caregiver is called home as something has happened to the survivor, some years there is a family crisis of another kind, this year one of our ladies became ill and had to go home to recuperate.


I have watched them age and they have done the same with me. They supported me during my recent recovery after the melanoma operation as they supported me after Ray died. They are caring women and I love them all.  We are not the same, but we are all on the stroke journey.  I am no longer a caregiver but I can still encourage them in their caregiving roles. Life for all of us is influenced by the stroke event.  There is no "them and us" we realise we are all in this together and the more we support each other the stronger we become. We are not noticeably caregivers and survivors but  all strong and supportive women.   It is incredible what we have shared over those last ten years since I have been involved with them.


This year I roomed with another widow, our stories are very different but we both know the meaning of loss and grief.  We both know how to scope with whatever life dishes up to us now.  We both have had our moments of fear, anger and feeling we were losing it.  We talked almost right through the first 24 hours, I guess we both needed to unburden to someone who knew what we had gone through going from caregiver to widow. We know there are things you can tell another widow that your friends who are members of a couple will not understand. It was a good experience for me. Of course I also talked to a lot of others there, some I only rarely see.  One of the girls who has only joined us a couple of times after becoming a member several years ago said she was so proud to say she had been away on a weekend with 20 of her best friends, I think we all felt the same way.


Apart from that life goes on much the same as usual for November, church, social days, nursing home visits,meetings etc. I did a hospital visit today.  It was my turn to be "treasurer" at the Lions Club BBQ this morning, tomorrow I am selling tickets in our local shopping centre (mall) in our Lions Club Christmas Stocking.  There is planning to do for the  Christmas gatherings and I'm looking out the Christmas cards to send as not everyone is on Facebook or email particularly older friends.  I guess it is the same for most people.  We are making up Christmas hampers at church for those who are less fortunate and still going on with the weekly services and other events.  I am visiting my daughter for a few days next week.  Always good to spend some time with my families.


My left leg is still painful sometimes, mostly when I spend too much time on my feet.  Of course now we have humid days now it is getting closer to summer too and that doesn't help as my leg swells. I may have to go to a local Lymphodema Clinic to find out more about that. My friends remind me that it takes time to heal, I know that but am impatient to get back to full fitness again.  It was a joy to find I can still dance but because of muscle damage cannot spin around successfully so I am doing slower moves.  Who cares as long as I can dance in time to the music? It is such a blessing to be able to do almost all that I could do before.  Of course my age slows me down somewhat but I can laugh at the mistakes i make and my inabilities as well as my absurdities hopefully make my friends laugh too. As the song says:  "Be a clown, be a clown, all the world loves a clown."


women's weekend.jpg


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A year later and looking forward to this coming weekend when we women gather again for the WAGS Women's weekend. Thanks be for surviving another year.

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sue :


I am so glad you got such a great set of friends & family you can spend time together. I have realized lately it all in us we can choose to go & have fun anywhere we go or get grumpy because some of the things didn't go right way, happiness is a choice enjoy your family & friends, none of these things have guarantee in life, so got to enjoy every minute of it




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