• entries
  • comments
  • views

sharing some experiences



I guess we can be of help to others wherever we go. I have been down to visit with my daughter and her family for five days. I wouldn’t say it was as good as where they live now as when they lived in Cairns and I had those lovely mini tropical vacations but it is still good to be there with them all. I love them and I miss them and it is special to be with them.


Unfortunately the rain and the untimely cold weather lasted throughout the visit. I had only taken a few clothes so they saw me in the same thing with variations day in and day out. We didn’t get a lot of rain but it rained on and off most days. We got out for one long walk beside the lake but it was raining by the time we finished. Their two big dogs enjoyed it anyway, more than we humans did, who are fussy about the rain and getting wet!


While I was down there I was just taken along when they did their work so I got to go to a luncheon for over 55's, a Home League meeting and a playtime group called Mini Music, for the under fives – quite a contrast in terms of who I saw and what they said but at each one I was able to share some of my life, hear other’s stories and share some of my experiences.


At the end of the dinner I found myself sitting with four other caregivers and we had a mini support group meeting out of which (I hope) will come a lunch for Caregivers once a month. In any area there are too few support meetings to go to and a lunch once a month should be accessible for a few people at least. I think my son-in-law liked the idea and would support it.


I found that with the older ladies they just saw caregiving as their lot in life. They had often cared for parents and now cared for their husband or in one case brother. They didn’t seem to think it was harsh that their retirement years had been gobbled up, except for one lady about my age who spoke wistfully of the holidays her friends had overseas and said with a sigh: “That was meant to be us.” I could so relate to that. And one Mum who had a daughter with a disability and had cared for her most of her life and asked: “Who would not do what I am doing?” I thought that was what applied to some of you here too.


I wonder do children ever see us as PEOPLE? not just as Mum or Dad but the ones you feel sorry for and give a helping hand to? I wonder if they see themselves as capable of giving a helping hand? Maybe not, maybe we simply didn’t train them to care for others? I can say that my daughter has some sympathy for me but sees what she herself does in her caring job as a reason that is holding her back from being here, our older son uses his wife and three kids as the excuse and our younger son does do what he can as you know from past blogs.


I discussed some of my current needs with my daughter but she still seems unable to give me a time when she can come here. It is as though she has the intention but not the priority to do some of the things I want her to do. I can understand this in a way as her life is busy with “helping others” and I would be just one more person on her list. I want her to sign some legal paperwork but she thinks there is “plenty of time”. Do we have that plenty of time I wonder?


I am having trouble getting the family together for Christmas as it is. We had planned a "weekend before Christmas" party at Shirley’s place but now that has fallen apart. I wish I could get the family to consider their FATHER for a change, and their mother as his caregiver. Ray’s condition is deteriorating, this year I should be able to get him down to Shirley’s, next year I may not be able to. This year I have no intention of putting on a Christmas Day lunch for them all, I don’t want to and I don’t intend to. I know that sounds selfish but I have done it for so many years that when Craig volunteered to cook us a nice dinner I jumped at the chance. Please couldn’t the family just co-operate for once?


Was my respite break a success? I’ll tell you when I have looked after Ray again for a few days. I have to pick up Ray from respite in the morning, go see my mum in her nursing home and pick up some food lest we starve, or have a very strange diet. It is good to be home again though.


Recommended Comments



I think you should tell your kids and ask for help. Sometimes we all are so wrapped up in our own life that don't think about other's issues.if you don't tell then they will never know amount of energy you have to put in it from your valuable respite time. you need that time to be able to take care of their dad little longer right at home.



Link to comment


Digging your heels in on the Christmas lunch are ya? And I planned on dropping in for the meal. Welcome back anyway Sue, sorry you ran into some sour notes on your vacation time. I know you have what it takes to do what it takes. I hope you have some easy days getting back into the routine with Ray. Smiles from Mike

Link to comment


Family is family...I know about the strange diet thing. If I don't shop ...who knows what I;ll feed us.

I am glad that you got away. You are such a trooper and a mini support meeting for caregivers. Great.


Link to comment

Kids kids kids... you love them but they drive you nuts! They think nothing of making demands on you but rarely reciprocate. But I guess that is the way it suppose to be...to a certain extent. My fourth child took Dick to lunch on Father's Day and I hawled my oldest in for a short visit this summer. That is all the time my children have spent with Dick since he went into the nursing home in March. They do not seem to understand that a few minutes of their time would mean so much to ME as well as Dick. And as much as they are concerned for me, I doubt that they will ever take the time to care for me as I care for my parents. But then I stop and think about the times that I must put my parents on the back burner so to speak. Lives are so so busy. So I have learned to have new expectations; especially for the holidays. Thanksgiving will be at Old Country Buffet. And if the kids don't plan for Christmas, we will do nothing. I'm OK about that and they are adapting.

Link to comment

Hi Sue Haven't been on here for so long & was wondering today how you were getting on, came onto the message board & looked for your posts, Baz has been in & out of Hospital this year since we came back from NZ (We had to go over for 3 months as my Dad had cancer he died 2 weeks after we arrived ) we sdyayed & made sure Mum was ok for 3 months after, Baz got sick & has been in & out of Hospital, much better now but has left him very confused...

Glad that you are ok but seems Ray has gone down a bit ?

I identify with the children as long as I am looking after Baz they don't want to know, his kids & mine I always tell him it is just us now !

You do a great job with Ray & your Mum.

x Anne

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.