It is ages since I've gathered my thoughts together to write here and lots has happened in 2017.
Thank you to those who have missed me and enquired after my well being.
I'll do my best to fill you in on what's been happening in my neck of the woods.
1. A Death in the Family
Back in March we lost one of our three Oldies - Tony's mother.
She was a couple of weeks off 97 and passed away peacefully after spending five years residing in an Aged Care Facility where they looked after her very well right to the end.
As you can imagine Tony has been much engrossed in dealing with the business of arranging the funeral, winding up her estate and organising plaques etc.
She leaves a hole in our lives
2. The Other Oldies
My parents are soldiering on . Both are 95, Dad almost 96 and both struggling.
Dad is increasingly fragile but still very alert mentally. He looks forward to his epic games of 500 every Saturday and Sunday where he has an aid to help him hold the cards and battles with very poor eyesight and almost complete deafness.
Mum looks like a million dollars. She is always dressed beautifully and takes great care of herself but her mind is failing and Dementia is well developed. She still fusses around Dad, taking care of his every need that she can, but her ability to cook has deserted her and she is no longer able to take care of family finances, her job for the whole of their 72 years together. This had caused many unpleasant disagreements in their once very argument free marriage but Dad is amazingly patient with her tirades as he understands she cannot help it. It is a very difficult time.
At the beginning of October we finally moved them from their own home in the Retirement Village they loved into Aged Care. It was difficult to persuade them at first but Dad finally realised he could not manage and although she was unwilling wherever Dad goes, Mum goes.
And guess what ? They LOVE it !
A brand new facility where they are the first residents.
I have never seen anything like it, it looks like a 5# hotel. It has the capacity to take 150 residents and there are now only five at the moment so they are being very well looked after with lots of attention....and Dad is able to go off to the old Retirement Village for his beloved card games on Saturday and Sunday while family and friends ( and eventually the staff at the facility ) keep Mum occupied.
It was my job to arrange the move and to pack them up with their clothes all marked etc. and clear the bedrooms and wardrobes of unwanted stuff before I returned home to Tony who has spent quite a lot of time home alone during this process and the preceeding time where visits to Hervey Bay were often week long and more and more frequent.
The packing up of their little house and selling off of furniture has fallen largely on the shoulders of my brother who lives nearby and has borne the brunt of the many emergencies over the past two years.
We are greatly relieved that they have settled in so well and are very happy and well cared for.
3. A Birth
Yes, we are finally GRANDPARENTS !
Brett and Sarah have a delightful little boy, born on 3rd September in Sydney.
Jackson (Jax) Anthony's arrival was not without drama. He was born by emergency caesarean four weeks early when Sarah became very ill with a type of Pre Eclampsia. Weighing just 2.5kg he was so tiny in a family used to 9 pound babies.
I am pleased to report that he is progressing well and has doubled his birthweight in 7 weeks and Sarah has now recovered well. They are proving to be the very capable parents we knew they would be and delighting in their little boy.
Grandma and Pa are delighted too and can foresee a lot more visits to Sydney in the future. ( we went down last Saturday !)
It is such a shame they live so far away.
4. News of Sally
Sally continues to follow her dream of becoming an animal physiotherapist. It is a very hard direction she has chosen with working two days of human physio, one and a half days animal physio and study while still trying to have some time with friends and doggy fun with her two fur babies. She has also moved house and making friends in the new place has not been easy.
Add to this, the cost of gaining this new qualification . It is only available through Liverpool uni in the UK so she is doing it externally with many others but discussion times and lectures over the internet are often done at 2:00AM Australia time and her final exam means she has to travel to Liverpool in May for one short exam - a huge expense. There are quite a few Aussies and a couple of Kiwis who would be better served by sitting for the exam here, supervised by an Australian university but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
5. Planning the next holiday
Flights have been booked for mid April - ones that can bee changed. (You never know what is ahead with our Oldies.) Plans are still sketchy but we are thinking Yorkshire Dales, Whitby and then Ireland. Sixish weeks.
We are feeling the need for a more relaxing holiday where we drive on the same side of the road and speak English if not Australian ! Walks through GREEN countryside, tea and scones, country pubs, stately homes, castles and beautiful vistas. Nothing beats the UK for all of that and we are really looking forward to it.
Well there you are. All caught up.
Life has been very hectic and mostly not in a good way.
We have had family visiting from overseas too and that is always busy with family reunions and group picnics on a smaller scale than last time but in this large family of mine nothing is ever small.
I will try to come here more often and blog more. I do visit your blogs from time to time an try to comment when there is time but I try to do this from my ipad and find it is not easy. Tony has just bought me a new one so perhaps that will improve.
Nice to chat with you again my friends.