I have always loved writing. Even as a small girl I would write little books and hide them in my drawer. So, what has been going on for me these past few years. I have tried to write this blog so many times, but apart from a few short articles, I have written very little. It isn’t as if there has been nothing to write about.
As everybody knows, there have been a few men in my life, some absolutely lovely and some more challenging, but every experience has been rich in learning experiences. I thought I was done. Maybe time to settle into the rocking chair with a book. Of course, those who know me well will have a giggle at this notion. I found that being single had some positive things going for it. However, one sunny June day in 2020, I met my Irish leprechaun. Here before me was this cheeky smile, surrounded by a mop of white hair worn in the style of Rod Stewart. This was just going to be one casual date, but what unveiled on that first meeting had us both realising that this was not going to be just a casual date. Some things are just meant to be. We were absolutely on the same page which over these past few years has been very comforting.
I gave up my lovely Currumbin retreat and moved to the Sunshine Coast which has been quite an adjustment. Covid had blown up and I felt surrounded by an immense curtain of fear and suspicion. It was sad to see that the New Year’s Eve invitation from our lovely neighbours began with the heading, “To all our double vaxed neighbours, you are invited …” It made me long for my Currumbin retreat. However, with some of the triumphs and tragedies experienced by our residents here, there has been a real shift and the divide is not so great.
On the anniversary of our meeting, John took me to a magical place called, “Secrets on the Lake.” At exactly the time and date of our meeting, he unexpectedly proposed and we married four months later.The unique ceremony was conducted by beautiful Margit at the Phoenix Sculpture Gardens. How special is the memory of my handsome grandson guiding me through the gardens dotted with Graham’s exquisite sculptures, on the way to the top to complete the ceremony. All the more special as just a few short weeks ago, Graham left this earth, leaving behind not only Margit, but his beautiful paintings and sculptures and a wealth of knowledge. I’m so glad he was there on our special day.
We had no idea what was ahead for us. When I met John, he was extremely fit as the result of a strict exercise routine which included yoga, running up six flights of stairs to his apartment and lots of long walks. A year ago, I noticed a change. Very subtle at first but I noticed he was taking more rests and there was something that was not quite right. He had a bout of mercury poisoning which took a lot out of him but there seemed to be more.
April Fool’s Day passed uneventfully, with no real hint of what was to come. Breakfast was over and we were both in the kitchen cleaning up. I had my back to John and I heard this strange noise. As I turned, he fell backwards and immediately huge amounts of blood spurted out of his ears and head. He didn’t appear to be breathing. Except for the blood, this is exactly what happened to my lovely Mick. As I called 000, I panicked as I wondered why this was happening again.
Two ambulances arrived, thankfully very quickly. After assessing the situation, they advised me that I should come in the ambulance as they were not sure he would make it to the hospital. To cut a long story short, they found that his collapse was caused by his slow heart rate and he badly needed a pace maker. Of course, that wasn’t possible as his brain was injured and it took almost four weeks of very intensive care in ICU to get him conscious and well enough for the pace-maker.
I was having mobility issues and it was a long way from the car park to ICU. I was offended when my daughter bought me a wheel chair but that wheelchair became my best friend. I could put it into the back of my car as it was quite light. I would drive to the hospital, take it out and off I would go. The result is I have much stronger arm muscles after almost six weeks of action. I thought it was vital that I be there and talk to him each day, even though there seemed to be no response. The doctors did feel it helped. I told him that I would not give him permission to die even though initially it seemed like there was no hope for him.
On the second day I felt an incredible increase in the energy in ICU. Later I found out that there were hundreds of people sending out prayers and positive thought. I could feel them, just as I had so many years ago when my Matt was so seriously ill. Every morning I would rise early and meditate. I cannot emphasise how much this helped me and also gave me the opportunity to ask the universe for the staff at the hospital to be guided to know the best treatment for my husband. I was then able to let go any anxiety I might have about the care he would be receiving. I have nothing but praise for all staff in ICU and then Cardio Care and such gratitude for the many people who sent out prayers and positive thoughts. The worst part of it all was the three weeks of delirium with doctor’s telling me that he may not get any better cognitively, but he has. Still a little confusion but we can work around that.
Once again, there have been so many learning experiences. I am much more conscious of the need to love and validate ourselves. I’m far less conscious about what people may think after experiencing being this eccentric old woman flying through the hospital in an orange wheel chair. One of the biggest lessons is firming up on my own gut feelings rather than a long-term affliction of accepting that others know better. I do think this is linked to self-esteem. As my lovely grandson said to me once, “Mema, when you stop learning you will die.” I guess I’ll keep living as I’m sure there are still more lessons to learn. Yes, like most people, there have been a lot of traumas in my life, but it has been a wonderful journey and I’m still working out what I am going to do when I grow up.
I am still busy being a ‘carer’, but life is gradually returning to a bit of normality and there is so much to be grateful for. I’ve had a few writing opportunities come up so, maybe that is my signal to ramp up some activities. It has been tough for so many these past few years, but the insights I have been getting show me that we are moving towards a far better world.
Bring it on! Meanwhile, we are always reminded to visualise what we want to happen. Our thoughts really do affect our reality and the best is yet to be.