Life at a Standstill

I have two daughters. Both of them are still in full time employment. They do depend on these jobs. During the past few months, while Peter had terminal cancer, they sacrificed already a lot as far as their jobs is concerned., because they were constantly helping out in looking after Peter, so that he could stay at home during the final stages of his bone cancer. They admit they would like to be able to catch up on their work now. Over the Christmas period they had some respite, which I felt they very much needed. Because of the Coronavirus both can work mostly from home. But when there are too many distractions, working from home is not always possible.

I know, that Peter on his deathbed kept worrying about the jobs of his daughters. He kept saying they should not neglect their work because of him. They kept assuring him, that it was alright. Their employment was such, that they could always get compassionate leave when it was needed. And I reckon this says a lot about employment conditions in Australia, well at least for those people that are lucky enough to be in full time employment!

Now to my son, who is already retired and lives on his own in regional Victoria. Even though his father had not much time to live and needed constant care, and even though a most senior Oncologist attested to this, and even though people were always told in special circumstances the border could be crossed on compassionate grounds, Martin, the son, still was not able to get a permit withiout going on a 14 day quarentine first. This stressed out Martin no end, for he did not know how many days his father would have to live! Peter could have died any day, really. Nobody could forecast how many days he would have to live. We were just told that it was unlikely that he’d still be alive by Christmas.

Miraculously, on the 23rd of November the border between NSW and Victoria was opened! Martin could finally rush to his father’s deathbed. And he could bring his dog along in his car. Millie, the dog, was loved by all in the family. She was no bother at all, for Martin took excellent care of her. He treated her really like his baby! He also helped tremendously by sharing in the care of his more and more disabled father.

Millie, the dog, was great therapy for everyone, especially for Peter. On the 12th of December Peter took his final breath. And one day after the funeral, that is on Sunday, the 20th of December. Martin had to rush back to Victoria. He arrived with Millie at his place in Benalla just before the border was closed again! Originally I had planned to go along with Martin to Benalla and stay there for a few weeks. However, at the same time it had been decided to have the family over to my place here in Dapto for our usual Christmas Eve celebrations. Martin having to rush off so suddenly did bring me sort of out of balance. I thought I could not go with him because of our Christmas Eve celebrations. But maybe I should have given the celebrations a miss and gone off with Martin – Who knows?

Martin hopes, the border can be opened again soon. He says he is already preparing my room, that is I am always welcome to have his spare bedroom and to stay with him for as long as I like. At the moment he feels kind of useless, because he cannot do anything for me.

I must say, these border closures are of course necessary because of the Coronavirus. Trying to keep the virus in check. for sure is very important. This brings a lot of peoples’ lives on hold! These closures turned out to be frustrating, especially for Martin. And I must say, for me too. So, sooner or later I have to get over it. It just takes some time. Overall we have been lucky. We must be grateful for the timing, I mean Peter was able to die in peace surrounded by all his loved ones! This is really something, when so many people are immensely distressed because they cannot see their dying loved ones because of the virus.

Is it only a bit over two weeks since Martin had to rush back to Benalla? I guess in about a week for most people the holiday time will be over. So from next week on we might be able to organise some of the planned renovations. I trust Caroline and son-in-law Matthew to do this for me. The question is, will I be able to escape to some other place, while the painters start working here? And then comes the laying out of a new floor! I reckon, it would be nice, if I did not have to be here, when all this is going on.  

hen Australians want to go on holidays right now, they have to book holidays in the state they live in. The hospitality business suffers a lot because of this. Bookings in other states that had already been made, had to be cancelled! The borders are only going to be opened again, when for instance the clusters of Corona cases in Sydney and Melbourne are adequately handled, and when there aren’t any new cases for a while. Fortunately the tracking system works here pretty well. As soon as they find out that there is the possibility that you came into contact with someone who became a known case, they urge you to get tested. Thousands and thousands of people get tested every day to find out the people who might be carrying the virus. The bad thing is, that virus carriers, who do not show any symptoms, can still infect a lot of other people!

10 thoughts on “Life at a Standstill

  1. What Martin had to deal with…and you and Peter, too, was horrible. I’m glad Martin was finally able to be there with you two. You have a wonderful family, Uta…I’m so glad some of them could be there with you and Peter.
    Your children will treasure those last days and conversations with their dad.
    Oh…it sounds like Millie added some joy. 🙂

      1. When my mum died in Berlin in 1994 we were for a visit in Berlin at the time, but we could not stay for the funeral. That upset me very much at the time! 😦

  2. Dear Uta, I’m so very sorry to hear about your loss. I knew Peter had been sick but didn’t realize he’d passed away. I’m glad your children had the chance to say goodbye and they he passed peacefully. It must be so hard for you now. I hope you’ll be reunited with Martin soon and that you’ll be pleased with the home renovations. Australia sounds like they’re doing well tackling the pandemic, although it’s hard for everyone with the border closures. Let’s hope the vaccine will help us to see a return to normality this year! Wishing you good health, comfort and peace in 2021. ❤️ Robin

  3. Losing a husband, father and friend is a terrible grief any time in our lives, but to go through this during Covid-times/a pandemic, is just unfathomable. I know you have strong and loving supports, and I pray that your children have a chance to heal and be comforted as well. Hard, hard times.

    1. I do count my blessings, Debra. Yes, they are hard times because of all the travel restrictions and always having to be extra careful to avoid anything that could bring one into danger of catching the virus. But here in Australia we have been really luckier than most countries in that our medical services have not suffered to an unacceptable degree. I am amazed and tremendously grateful that Peter was able to get the best possible medical care right to the end. I am so glad that he did not get into contact with the virus on top of everything else.

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