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doing what you can




In the past week, with Ray in respite I have been supposedly having a rest from my caring role. but it has not worked out that way. My Uncle Don in Canada passed away and I have been emailing people on his email list with the news plus ringing people here whose lives he had touched as part of his many visits here. Over the past thirty or so years he came out on a visit to Mum and Dad, and then to us every second year or so and stayed 6 - 8 weeks each time so he touched a lot of lives.


Also my little friend down the road was sent home from hospital on Tuesday in the last stages of cancer. I have known Beryl since I was eleven years of age as she used to visit her sister one road over from where I lived. I also went to the same school as some of her nieces so I guess I am a "friend of the family" too. Her niece who is a nurse and various family members and a few friends have been staying with her to make a few days at home a possibility. I said I would help out as I have had Ray in care and so have been available. I am really glad I did as last night, while another niece was there she became really ill again and went back to hospital. Those four days at home may be the last she spends there.


I was there Friday afternoon and Friday night and came home at 10 o'clock on Saturday morning. She was fairly easy to look after as she is not demanding but I can say honestly that I slept very little. At 4am Saturday morning she decided she was hungry so we sat on her bed and ate toast and and jam (jelly) and drank cups of tea. It made me giggle and I called it our naughty mid-night snack. But by late Saturday afternoon she was vomitting again so that is why she is better off in hospital now as the end approaches.


On the forums I often read that people should ask for help and one of the sources of help listed is always churches and church organizations. Now I don't know about America but here in Australia the congregations in the main stream churches are ageing. Admittedly we are still able to do a lot of charity work but jobs like nursing people in their own homes or dealing with people with disabilities on the whole is beyond what we can manage. We do host dinners as fund raisers for various charities. We have just held our annual Disability Christmas dinner which was a great success. We also packed gifts and hampers for the disabled people who live in local group homes. I know this is much appreciated particularly by their caregivers. But when you realise those who cook, serve the food for the dinners and tidy up afterwards are mostly in their eighties and nineties it is a huge task to have 60 - 80 people to lunch!


We also have an "OP SHOP" now I don't know what you call your charity shops the "Op" is short for Opportunity and of course getting good clothing and household goods cheaply is a great opportunity. They too are mostly staffed by the seventy to ninety year olds and the money raised supports various funds and foundations as well as local charities. We do it all with tremendous good will but with church attenders ageing and getting to be a smaller percentage of the community now who knows how long we will be able to continue providing the services we do now? I'd love to be a volunteer but I have Ray to look after and that takes a good slice of my time.


As Ray and I are both Lions on Monday afternoons in December I am selling tickets in our Lions Club Christmas stocking in our local shopping centre. The Stocking has $4000 worth of goods in it mostly donated so ticket sales are brisk. But it is a lot of people-power to staff it for a month. Our Lions Club have a singing group and one of the members who also goes to the church I go to said they put on 80 performances this year. That is another big contribution to the community as they entertain at retirement villages and nursing homes, the holiday camps such as Camp Breakaway, charity dinners etc. They are great ambassadors for Lions and people love their harmonising and the jokes the Master of Ceremonies tells as part of the hour or so performance.


I haven't managed to go to the movies yet, or put up the Christmas decorations or finish up the Christmas cards but I will somehow manage to do those things in the week to come. Plus I need to get my car serviced, set Mum's room up with some decorations, bring Ray out to go to our Lions Club Christmas dinner and anything else that needs doing. It won't have been the rest I planned but then when does anything go the way I planned?


I don't think I am good at taking "ME" time anyway, after caring for Ray for so long I am simply out of the habit. So in this week as in any other week I will just do the things I can do and do them to the best of my ability.



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sue i honestly don't know how you do all that you do. you are right also in saying the things you plan don't always work out the way you planned it. i am sorry to hear about your uncle passing. bless your heart, you have had alot going on lately and now the car needs things to help it keep going. but how about you too, to keep you going, do you need servicing now to keep you going?LOL i think so. dear lady i think you need to put a few things on the back burner for a bit, so you can rest while ray is gone. you are only 1 woman with only 24hours in a day. you are going to get yourself down before to long keeping up this pace. you need to rest. let people help you for a change. no one understands what a caregivers responsibilities entail unless they have done it themselves, i think you would agree with me here. i am just worried about you and i would be more than happy to get subs or myself to do your chats for awhile if that would free up some time for you to do whatever you feel you need to do. all of us here care about you and ray. please let me know if i can help you out. please get some rest.

hugs n love,


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Darling Sue. I am sorry to hear of your Uncle's passing. Your "Me" time may not have worked out as you had hoped but a change is as good as a holiday, or so they say, so I hope the change in routine has helped a little.

Sending Huge hugs your way.


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Yes, Sue, the same thing is happening here in the mainstream churches. I belong to the Methodist and all the workers are in their 70s and 80s. I am unable to help anymore, but I am on the prayer line and can help in that way. Prayer requests are passed along by telephone and I will get 2 or 3 calls in a week.


Many of the young people attend the charismatic churches where they can be entertained. I hope they are getting the message of love and sacrifice that is essential to our faith, in my opinion. And you are the perfect example of that message, my dear.


Try to get some rest while Ray is away.



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My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family in the passing of your sweet Uncle Don.


Hope you can get a bit of Sue-time this next week. On a plus note, the old chat is up and running so God willing we'll get to talk tomorrow night to you dear.

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