Only just home and it is after midnight. I am happy to be home but sad to have to leave my northern family behind. Ray and I had a nice time, quiet but surrounded by family. It was good to be with the grandkids in the midst of their everyday lives, to catch up with all their news, see how they've grown, have the time to sit and share a story or a joke or just play "bouncy ball" for a while.
We did do some special things, we ate out, went shopping, walked along the beach in a couple of spectacular areas. It was nice to have someone else doing the cooking, supervising the shopping, being in charge of the household. It was nice to have Craig take over the pushing of the wheelchair, Shirley doing most of the driving. It was nice to just sit in the passenger seat and stare at the scenery instead of being in the driver's seat as I usually am.
The best thing was just having time to read and relax. Because once everyone went off to pre-school, school and work Ray and I had the house to ourselves. It was good though when everyone came back home again. Granma and Pa became a great excuse for all kinds of excesses. If Dad came home and we were all watching a movie it was because "Granma wanted to". If the kids wanted to stay out of bed a few minutes more Granma reading them a pile of books was the reason. If they wanted icecream it was because Pa likes icecream. It was a lovely idea of course and a great excuse while it lasted. I was glad that Shirley and Craig joined in too and saw the situation as funny. After all it is all over now and normal discipline resumes tomorrow.
I found it hard the first few days showering Ray in their tiny shower cubicle and getting Ray up and dressed early so we could have breakfast together and they could all leave the house by 8am. I showered Ray about 9am and it soon became part of the morning routine for him. Yep, we did have a few incidences of incontinence, three days running ( no pun intended) in the first week but I worked out how to do a quick clean-up and get everything back to normal again in double quick time. In someone else's house you just have to do it as quickly and quietly as you can. I did laundry most days as I only took one large suitcase for the two of us and that meant just four changes of clothes each. But wash and wear had to be dry quickly and wear again tomorrow for Ray at times.
The Cairns Salvation Army Corps were very welcoming again. Shirley and I played the worst table tennis at the "Girls at Play" night. It was so funny apparently that some of the "girls" rolled on the floor laughing. I catch the ball more that I manage to hit it so the score was about 1000 to 1 against me in the ten minutes or so we played. We went to Home League and the regular meetings as well so it was good to catch up with old acquaintances from our last couple of visits. If I do say so myself my daughter sure knows how to preach a sermon too. And with a lot of Islanders in the congregation the singing is pretty good so most enjoyable being there to worship with them. I made a pledge to be a "prayer warrior" too so if you need prayer just PM me with a short request and I'll add you to my list each week.
While we were away one of the trees in our back garden came down after a powerful wind blew up one night so tomorrow I have to assess the damage and see if I can contact someone to take it away. The house smells musty because it has rained most of the time we have been away, the benchtops need wiping down, the showers cleaned etc but who cares? I will get to that. It is as usual "one-day-at-a-time" time here. Why spoil a good holiday by letting the cares of the world choke all the goodness out of life? I am sure soon enough the normal cares and concerns of life will crowd back in on us.
Of course there may be bad days ahead. There will always be good and bad days, whether we are here or away. Ray's confusion worstened for the first week, but by the second week he had settled down and was enjoying being away. The grandkids don't notice that he is different, to them he is just "Pa". I was able to do some serious talking to Craig and Shirley, the changes in Ray are more obvious to them. I maintain that I will keep him home with me while he is happy to be here and while my health holds up. I agree with Craig's assessment that there will have to be changes in our lives but the ultimate goal for me is to give Ray as good a life as I can.
Maybe I'll see some of you in chat "tomorrow". I'll try to read the blogs, check out the posts and generally get back into the saddle again. But I'll take life as slow as I can for as long as I can and go on enjoying that "holiday" feeling.