Hello all

Now that the pressure of my nephew’s operation outcome is over, you would think I would feel good today.

The truth is, often after you have had an emotional day you suffer the ‘let-down’ of exhaustion the day afterwards and this is how I feel today. I feel fragile and could cry very easily. Still, this is ok and part of the healing process. I had to hold it together yesterday and I did. Now it is time to let go a little.

I spoke to my sister today about Andrew and his ordeal and she is feeling the same way, the ‘day-after’ affect. We cried together when she told me about the note she and Andrew’s wife found amongst his things last night. Bascially, he was writing in a no-nonsense way, to say farewell to all of them. Most of all, he thanked them for loving him and hoped he would get a second chance at living but in case he didn’t, he wanted to say goodbye. Heart wrenching!

Apparently, it is still early days yet with his recovery and he is in an induced coma to facilitate healing of his damaged heart. So as I face the day alone today (Geoff is at work and there’s no Isaac to distract me) I have become aware of the pain I am carrying in my heart from yesterday, at the thought of losing a beloved nephew.

My sister cannot believe the outpouring of love she has received for her first-born son: a lovely man. The closeness of the whole family has been tested and not found wanting. Thank you to those who sent messages and to my own children – Maria and Daniel and Dan’s wife Belinda, who were such a comfort and showed how much they have caring hearts for their cousin. My sister is right when she said that sometimes these painful times change your life forever and amidst the sadness you find love and even joy. 

And so as I come to write on my blog today, I am reminded of what is important in my life right now, but I am also reminded – thanks to that colourful husband of mine – to laugh a little despite the gloom! With this in mind, I will lighten the mood by telling you about an incident that occurred late yesterday after we had been given good news about Andrew.

Geoff had come home from work, and I was having trouble taking off the child lock from my oven door (due to Isaac’s visit). I can click it on, but I can rarely get if off! I called to Geoff to do it for me. He did so kindly and graciously but as he was walking away he said “you might want to think twice when you’re thinking of “getting rid of me” (killing him) in the future.” Off in my own little world, I was baffled and asked “What do you mean by that?” He replied with a smile: “Well, you will have no one to undo the child lock on the oven!” Not to be outdone, my response was quick “Well Geoff, I will certainly keep this in mind when I am contemplating it!” With that, we both fell about laughing.

John-Paul Bell comedian, with a resident

In the midst of pain, we did manage to laugh and it sure felt good! I must remember this incident when I want to ‘clobber’ (see below) him for something he has done. In fact, by co-incidence I watched a program on TV today about a SMILE study (2008-2011) done in a number of Aged Care Facilities in Sydney, where a comedian regularly visits the residents and makes them laugh. It was delightful. The results showed humour therapy “decreased agitation and increased happiness and positive behaviour.”  Check it out on this link: http://thesmilewithin.com.au/sample-page/

I have aided my therapy today by remembering too, the lovely time I had with my two granddaughters on Sunday at their 50th Anniversary school celebration where Alice was a Tour Guide for the day. She had been really good and the day was coming to a close around noon with three lucky door prizes about to be drawn out. Alice stood between her mother and me, and was jumping around with excitement as she had her name on a ticket.

I looked at her and in my heart said one of those quick flash prayers to God that I make at times, which went something like this: “Oh Lord, look at her. So much hope, is it possible to pray for her to win?” As this thought was coming to an end, the principal called out Alice’s name: “ALICE PARMITER!”  I am not sure who was more shocked, Alice or me?! Days later, she is still jumping for joy I am sure. She won some photography as a third prize.

Isaac, the handsome prince, tries to fit a rubber shoe on my foot: is it Cinderalla or the Ugly Grandmother?

Isaac gave me joy too yesterday and confounded me as well. While he was eating his chicken sandwich in his high chair (well, not very interested really!), I was sitting next to him eating a piece of chicken with a salad. He kept pointing to my plate trying to say something but I was unable to understand him, so I handed him the plate and asked him what he wanted. To my astonishment, he took a piece of lettuce and started eating it with glee! Next he took half a cherry tomato. And then another. And another. Then avocado!

What was going on here? When does a two-year old prefer lettuce and tomato over chicken? He ended the meal with a heap of grapes and some pieces of fresh apricots. The magic painting had given him quite an appetite for fresh food. It had given ME an appetite for hot chicken!

Now, because I have neglected educating those of you who are having trouble with the Australian language, I will give you the meaning of the word “clobber” that I used earlier. Here is what the Australian Oxford Dictionary says:

CLOBBER: (pronounced KLOBA; colloq.) 1. hit repeatedly; beat up 2. defeat 3. criticise severely (20th Cen. origin unknown).

Another meaning is: clothing or personal belongings (19th Century) but this is NOT my intended meaning in the sentence above! No I think I mean to hit repeatedly or at least give him a good tongue lashing (I hope you know what that one means?!)

Remember, there is always somewhere in us, if we dig deeply enough: a SMILE LURKING WITHIN.

Until tomorrow…

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