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trying to live without regret



This is a funny time of the year. Our spring often comes with rain, grass growing briskly and the greening and blossoming of the countryside. This year we are still in drought although we had the rains in June there has been very little follow-up so it is a dry, dusty spring not a green one. This in some ways makes a difference to how we feel as we look forward to summer with some trepidation, thinking of bushfires and heat stroke and other byproducts of living in a hot, dry land.


We have almost got back to an established pattern after our holidays but not quite. The car which I picked up as being "fixed"on Friday is "unfixed" now. That means confronting the repairers with the news that they can have it back. I will fight for a car to use while they are deciding what is wrong with mine as this is a busy week and I need wheels. I got by last week by getting a lift a couple of times and doing my chores on Friday by public transport but that can't happen this week too.


I used to get "hopping mad" if this sort of thing happened in the past. I don't know why but just don't have the energy to do that now. One big thing that I have notice in year eight past stroke is that passions are fading, for Ray and for me. Ray lives a life almost entirely without passion now, his dementia and his post-stroke state-of-mind have made him milder and arguments are rarer now. I find that living with a person with dementia is easier if I take away the "naming and blaming" that is so big a part of everyday conversation in some households. So to blame Ray for whatever he does, deliberately or inadvertently is counter-productive. So I find "clean up and shut up" is my best alternative. I guess I am using that in other parts of my life too.


We had a long phone call from our daughter and family from Cairns last night. Now I can picture them going about their daily rounds. It was her turn to conduct their church service yesterday and just about everything that could go wrong did, like the volunteer who was doing the music skipping one song and them having music that didn't go with the words until the mistake was discovered! Her daughter fell off a step and busted her lip so her husband attended to that while Shirley did his children's story straight out of her head. And one of the church folk said it was the best one he had ever heard! She has a sense of humour and looked back and laughed but it is just as well she can do that. I guess that is still a regret, that they live so far away.


One of our old church group is in hospital recovering from an op to clip an aneurysm in the brain as she had a mini stroke on Friday. She is too far away to visit so it is prayer around the clock for her for a few days. The funny thing was that someone actually rang and asked if there is still a prayer-chain going 18 months after our old church closed! But yes, we did rally a few folk who were willing to go and do that so all was well. I can almost view that painful time in my life without regret, it might take a while to do that yet.


I read in the posts about the raw emotions of people who have newly stroked or newly come to the position of caregiver and feel their pain. But I know it isn't my pain now. I have the dull ache of the person with a missing limb or a long term broken heart. It is a different kind of pain all together. But I can empathise with the newly grieving as I have experienced that pain more than once on this long stroke journey. Some posts I cannot reply to as to go back there is too painful. Maybe there are still things I need to face up to.


And so life goes on, day by day, some happy, some sad. Today I will hopefully spend some time sitting beside my dear old mother while she twirls a piece of skirt between her fingers or stares unseeingly at the floor. At 89, intellect diminishing, she sits and life slips by un-noticed. Too far gone for regrets, regards or worries, beyond passion, even thoughts long gone now. So I must enjoy my days and make sure I make the most of them, before they too slip away.


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Your blog touched me very much. I know my life is very different from yours, the challenges we face day in and day out. That being said, I can relate to your feelings very much, more than most would know.


Thank you for sharing your feelings.


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It sounds like you've got a daughter to be very proud of.


I know what you mean about reading posts from some of the newbies. I remember feeling the way they do but it was so long ago that it seems like a different live time. You get farther out from the stroke and the issues change, don't they.


I like your new signature...at least I think it's new.





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