Trev has one computer up and running, HIS, but he has loaded flashplayer and I am allowed to use his computer to do chat. So "I"M BACK"!!! Well, that is the good news for tonight anyway.
Ray and I have just been out to a Christmas/end-of year do. Our old friends from Apex40 were a fairly rowdy mob tonight, but we love them dearly. We joined this group 23 years ago so we know most of the members well. Some of course don't respond to us as easily now and there is some awkwardness in that but most are great people to be friends with. Another member of the group had strokes two years ago so he came tonight in a wheelchair, escorted by his daughter as he is a widower. We hold our meetings in restuarants and now because of Ray and Lyn someone always checks first to see they are wheelchair friendly.
Our Apex40 Club, as a group, have supported us over the years since Ray's major strokes in 1999. They arranged for our shower room to be built. The other bathroom contained a bath and a small shower cubicle which was nowhere near big enough for the shower nurse or me to walk right around Ray, which I think is the only way to give him a really good shower. Now it's easier and quicker to shower him. I think it gives Ray much more dignity, he sits and we work around him so he doesn't feel like a sack of potatoes being lifted and pulled around. Ray's life has changed since his mobility was compromised by the broken pelvis, I guess he feels more of a burden now, so anything that eases that feeling is good.
I've started my Christmas shopping. Ray and I are pretty frugal as we live on a fixed income but as long as I shop carefully we manage well. I was brought up to look for bargains and make the most of the money we have so we don't struggle, we have a good life, just not a self-indulgent one. A lot of folk tonight were talking about the lavish entertaining they will do between now and Christmas. Once I would have found myslf envying them, now that is okay, I don't feel jealous or envious. I know Ray would no longer deal with a busy, busy lifestyle so I am content to just do the things he is capable of doing.
Trev had his birthday today. I bought him a nice dress shirt to wear out if he has any "special" invitations. He came home as I had just got onto the computer and found a recipe for a "Chocolate Cake you microwave in a mug" so I tried it out and told him I had "baked" him a birthday cake! We cut the mug cake into four and sang Happy Birthday to him. He seemed okay with that. We'll take him out to dinner over the weekend sometime.
Sometimes we forget to count our blessings, we are too busy looking down at the mud at our feet to appreciate the stars shining over our heads. I am blessed with friends and family that I adore. I could have lost Ray in 1999 and he is still with me, a little battered and the worst for wear but still by my side. I am so lucky. I have three children and five grandchildren. I know many people have no family so I am grateful for mine. I am not always in total agreement with them, I can disagree with what they say and do but I really love them.
There was a saying when I was young: "Kind hearts are worth more than coronets". If you understand that against the British background of the plebs and the aristocracy ( the coronets) then it makes more sense. I think you find the best and kindest hearts in some of the lowliest places. Today when we were shopping a little boy dropped his balloon, his mother burdened by shopping, ploughed on. A Downs sydrome boy came running after them and returned the balloon to the crying child. A knight in less than shining armour but a fine example to all of us.
I must get to bed, I never know when Ray will wake me for some reason through the night so value those first few hours. It is one of those things caregivers have to get used to, a part of the job. Today has been a good day and I look forward to more of them to come.