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Busy January



January always used to be my wind down month after the rush of Christmas. The run up to Christmas was busier than ever last year. With our minister due to retire at the end of December (which he did) more work came down to the ministry team of which I am a member. Then there were the other end of year parties etc in the  organisations I belong to. And  I spent a few days selling cakes for Lions in the shopping centre, something I love to do as I often catch up with old friends there.


At the end of December I had a visitor for five days and then Alice and Trev arrived for their two weeks holiday. They keep me very busy, what shall we do today Grandma, says Alice so out we go, to different shops, out to lunch, off to visit the other cousins who were visiting their Mum about forty minutes drive from here. Trev and Alice were able to go to one of the local beaches three days in a row, three days without the onshore winds which blow in the stingers known as "bluebottles " up onto the sand.


Their visit was followed by a visit from my friend Peter from Armidale who enjoys a visit back to the coast. So I had a full schedule throughout January.  But there were highlights. I get out more when I have visitors, I become that socialising person, enjoying shared memories. I always find it good fun having the grandchildren around to lunch or just going out for the day even if it is just a picnic in a local beauty spot. I don't get out as much by myself. I need companions to enjoy it with. And I believe having other people to make precious memories with is a bonus in my life.


My life for the thirteen years of looking after Ray and my mother were precious years but very hard work. One carer looking after two people is a big strain. It was easier when I got my mother into care and only had Ray to look after. Of course his continuing to have strokes throughout those years took its toll on him and on me. I was very grateful for the other caregivers and survivor's on this site who knew what it was like and supported me through it. Those who haven't been in my position just can't understand. Better for them if they never have to go through it.


I think back to those years looking after Ray and I don't regret a minute of them but they were very restrictive. We could never do anything on the spur of the moment, everything had to be planned and catered for.  Everything had to be planned so take into account Ray's disabilities. Everything was work for me rather than pleasure. Which is why I am now an advocate for disabled people and their carers to get as much help as they possibly can. Our care system is good but very limited in the way care is provided. There needs to be a lot more help for our long term caregivers.




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