Well, please accept my apologies Tuesday night chatters as I missed chat as I did go to Camp Breakaway with Ray. I wasn’t notified that we were accepted into the Camp so I just went on with Tuesday as usual and they were all frantically trying to find us it seems. Even going so far as to ring the local hospital “just in case”….lol. I had some forms early in the New Year so knew the camp was on but when I wasn’t notified we were on their list I just decided they must have filled it without us.
When the organizer caught up with me it was 4.30pm and I did a hasty pack and up we went. It meant we missed the afternoon entertainment but were there in time for dinner. It was sad to learn some of our former friends were now in care but hilarious to find out a 92 year old former roommate of Ray’s was now married! He married his 94 year old girlfriend and they share rooms in a retirement village now. Proves there is hope for all of us!
We had two lovely blue sky days and I found a sheltered corner after lunch two days in a row and read a book. Only the Readers Digest condensed kind but it was nice and quiet and restful and peaceful and someone else was keeping an ear open for Ray to buzz for help. Mind you the second day I was the one who stopped him from sliding on the floor, he was trying to get up by himself and got stuck across the bed and said he couldn’t reach the call button! He was so lucky I came back when I did.
I like the way one of the carers greets Ray with a slap on the back, a joke, a story or two and his undivided attention. Ray loves the way Chris calls him “my mate” and treats him like a friend for the whole three days, as if they are buddies off somewhere together. Ray smiles and laps it up. This could be the same with male friends and the boys if only they could put in the same effort Chris does to make Ray feel welcome and wanted as a person. Bless him for what he does.
Being away from home puts a lot of things in perspective. From this Friday night till Sunday afternoon the Camp Breakaway staff are hosting a Camp for Families - parents and siblings and terminally ill children. It is a huge job with twelve families, 13 babies and infants and as many siblings, three separate settings, three teams of workers all combining to take the pressure off suffering families. I felt so blessed that my own kids are so normal. That they grew up and had families of their own and gave us the blessing of grandchildren.
The staffers are so good, we have been so many times now that we know almost all of them and so it is like visiting a distant part of the family, catching up with news, sitting sometimes with a couple of the staff at the table for meals, sharing part of their stories as they also share ours. I can’t overestimate what that does for me as a person and a caregiver. I get so much emotional support from them.
So here I am home again. I did the Thursday night West Coast chat and it went well with six participants all together. We talked as usual over a range of subjects. As we go we will build a family feeling there too. As we have on Tuesday nights. A friendship is build like a wall, one brick at a time so as we come back again and again we add to our knowledge of each other till we know the names of the chief people in the lives of others and can ask sensible and sensitive questions of each other without fear of being off target.
My son told me he prefers real friends to cyber friends. I think cyber friends are real, bound together by mutual need and mutual trust and respect. I think cyber friendships, like the old pen pal system, are a good way of drawing like-minded people together. I am not able to visit a friend locally at 11.30pm but I can chat to one of my Strokenet friends on Facebook at that time. They might be starting the day as I am just finishing mine but what does that matter?
I have my grand daughter Tori here tonight and we will take her and Lucas with us to the Church fete tomorrow. They are both good at spending my money so I can be very generous with their help. They get on pretty well together and both know a few people at church as they sometimes come to Sunday school. Tori is growing so fast now, amazing how mature she looks at almost ten! I guess society is that way now. Children don’t remain children for long; they grow up way too soon. So I will enjoy her visit while she still wants to come here.
Hey ho, hey ho it’s into life we go.