Diary

Yesterday, on Thursday, I had some real quality time with some of my family too: We went for three hours to a beautiful park at Lake Illawarra with four children of our family! 🙂

There were heaps of other children there too, since the kids were still on their Easter holidays. Granddaughter Natasha was great in watching her nephews, aged 4 – 6 – and 8 years, as well as 18 months old niece. My daughter Monika had picked me up from home with my rollator. The two older kids are the kids of one of Monika’s sons, the two younger kids are the kids of one of her daughters. So all of them are my great-grandchildren! I enjoyed watching all of them playing to their heart’s content in this beautiful park area with lots of other children and lots and lots of playground equipment on a perfectly beautiful sunny autumn day. For lunch we had fish and chips from a nearby shop. We had brought our own drinks. I was so grateful to Monika that she had asked me to come along with them! 🙂

There was opportunity for some interesting conversations with granddaughter Natasha. She is a care worker. To be able to have some longer talks with her was very interesting! 🙂

Hypertension

The infection in my lower leg, well all the doctors think that there is no more to worry about. So I hope, they are right, and that I will be able to handle it a bit better from now on.


From the 14th to the 28th of March I had a lovely two weeks with my son in Benalla, Victoria. Before that, that is from the 7th to the 14th of March, Martin and his dog Millie were here with me in Dapto, and on the 13th of March we did attend the wedding of one of my granddaughters. During this one week stay here I first did get this itchy dermatitis on both of my lower legs which may have eventuated from doing a bit of work in the garden!

So, Martin drove me to the doctors for some prescription. Towards the end of my stay in Benalla, one of the sores had flared up into a pretty bad infection. Back in Dapto, I was prescribed some antibiotics as well as several more visits to the medical treatment room. Two weeks after that it was detected, I suffered from ‘hypertension’. Now they are working on it to get my blood pressure down!

About Grieving

A good friend of mine pointed out to me that the Grieving Process can take a long time. I googled ‘Grieving Process’ and ended up reading this article:

https://www.verywellmind.com/decisions-to-delay-if-youre-grieving-4065127

Avoid Making Big Decisions After Experiencing a Death

By Chris Raymond  Reviewed by Rachel Goldman, PhD, FTOS Updated on July 21, 2020

. . . . .

I find reading about the five stages of grief is worthwhile too:

https://www.verywellmind.com/five-stages-of-grief-4175361

STRESS MANAGEMENTEFFECTS ON HEALTH

The Five Stages of Grief

Learning about emotions after loss can help us heal

 Reviewed by Amy Morin, LCSW Updated on February 12, 2021Print Table of Contents

“When we lose a loved one, the pain we experience can feel unbearable. Understandably, grief is complicated and we sometimes wonder if the pain will ever end. We go through a variety of emotional experiences such as anger, confusion, and sadness. . . .”

The following I did write into my Diary recently after having visited my son in Victoria:

What Stage of Grieving am I at? And what Stage of Grieving about their Father are my children at?

Well, this is the question, isn’t it? Also, I’d like to know, how I, an 86 year old, can help my children at this stage?

Everyone knew already in March 2020 that Peter’s cancer was well advanced. So, it was only a matter of time, when his bladder cancer would spread into other areas.

By June 2020 the head oncologist at the hospital advised Peter, to bring his affairs in order. It looked to him, that the cancer had already spread to his bones. A few months later a nuclear test was done, that showed without doubt that the cancer had well and truly spread to his bones, which meant then, that in all probability Peter would have only a very short time to live anymore. It was obvious, that he was in the last stages of cancer and so was in need of some palliative care. . . . Soon, it was organised to give him palliative care at home with adequate pain reducing medication administered by Hospital staff who came to our home at scheduled times. To make the total care possible, quite a few family members were involved in helping to give this, plus we did get some subsidised respite care.

I would say, very often it was very difficult work for all the family. For sure it took a lot out of them, whereas overall I, the 86 year old wife, had not to do all that much physical work in looking after Peter. It was so amazing, how all the children did very lovingly look after their Dad! Also there was a constant stream of visitors by other family members, and a lot of friends were showing that they cared for him very much.

Somehow, all of us had finally to be prepared that is was highly unlikely that Peter would still be alive by Christmas. This prediction was close enough: Peter died on the 12th of the 12th 2020 and was cremated on the 21st of December 2020, our 64th Wedding Anniversary!

But now back to March 2020. By that time, Peter had enormous kidney pain. A solution was found, to drain the liquid around the kidney and his heart: A stent was inserted by an urology team. The stent went from the kidney to the bladder. The stent did its job quite well for a while. However we knew, the stent would have to be renewed after a few months. Finally this was done in August 2020.

On my birthday, on the 21st of September, Peter could hardly walk. I think he realised then that he probably would not last much longer. But somehow he may still have been in a state of denial. And I believe, one of our daughters and her husband were both in a state of denial too. The way they acted and looked after him once he did get palliative care showed to me a denial of very closely impending death.

I, on the other hand, I was already in 2018 convinced, that either his bad heart or his cancer would be the cause of his death. For instance, once the BCG treatment (Bladder cancer: What to know about BCG treatment)

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324385#about

was stopped, there was not much left, that could be done. It was said, that because of his heart trouble, it was not possible for Peter to survive a five hour bladder operation!

So Peter’s cancerous bladder could not be removed. That meant, Peter’s cancer would sooner or later be spreading outside. . . .There was just no denying it!

I think my sadness started already in 2016, when Peter first found out about the tumour in his bladder. I did not want him to die before me: He would have been able to cope without me so much better than I can cope now without him!

I was sad, that Peter developed a terminal sickness, of course I was sad. But for sure I was not in denial that eventually the sickness turned out to be terminal. I was just grateful, that we could still have a few good years together, for Peter was most of the time still pretty active and not in severe pain since he was always well medicated.

Yes, there was sadness, but we were also grateful that we were still able to enjoy a lot of togetherness! Really, most of the time life seemed to be still quite enjoyable . . . .

Come to think of it, the five stages of grief somehow may not have effected my life so utterly, since we had such an early warning, and I was never in denial of the situation and learned to accept it early on. The grief may have effected our children much more. So, I would like to know, how I can help my children!

Very recently I found out, that as early as March 2020 our son was extremely depressed and in tears about the condition of his Dad. This was the time when his wife decided she did not want to see him anymore. I think she had not seen his tears, but she saw his neighbour who had recently moved into the house next door. This neighbour is a very compassionate woman and willing to be a good friend to Martin, however she is due for some rehabilitation for she drinks too much. She keeps telling over and over again, that she had quite a lot of bad experiences and suffering, partly because of her mother.

This neighbour is divorced. However she has a very lovely daughter from an earlier relationship. The daughter is divorced too and has a new partner, she also has a very good job. The neighbour’s 27 year old daughter has a sweet little four year old daughter and shares that little girl with her ex-husband. And when she is feeling well enough, dear grandma can look after the little one for a couple of nights as well. I met the whole family. They are all very nice.

My son lives in Victoria and is already retired, whereas my two daughters still work full-time. The daughters live in NSW both of them close enough for fairly regular visits, and one of the granddaughters comes to help too, whenever her work schedule allows for it.

So, the son lives some 600km away in Victoria. But he’s come to visit quite often whenever he was needed for something or other and when it was possible to visit without having to go into quarantine!

DIARY

We are in the midst of HOLY WEEK 2021. So tomorrow is GOOD FRIDAY, a holiday. Sitting in front of my house in the early morning sun – this is what I am looking forward to for tomorrow.

I am not looking forward to asking someone for a lift to the MEDICAL CENTRE. Do I really need a change of the dressing on my lower leg? We’ll see.

Sitting in the sun. This is all I am longing for . . . .

Last Sunday I returned from my two weeks holiday at my son’s place in Victoria. With the help of one daughter and one granddaughter I was able to go to the MEDICAL CENTRE on Monday and on Wednesday. I was able to use the ROLLATOR, which was really a great help. Right now, I do not feel confident to walk with my walking stick!

And anyway, I get some more visitors on EASTER SUNDAY. This is in only two more days!

I wonder whether I can adjust to be living totally on my own. My brother reckons, I sound alert on the phone, Then what about my mobility? Has it become better or worse? I would say unfortunately at present it is a lot of the time quite bad. But maybe this has to do with this terrible infection I had in my leg. And this infection may also have to do with my constant tiredness.

Yes, always feeling tired. However when my brother rang from Berlin, my tiredness soon became less and less. After a while it felt good talking to him and his wife.

I like living in my own home. Every Thursday I get two hours home help. There are a lot of plans, that I should get some more help in. Strangely, this makes me feel even more dependent!

Is this kind of dependency really better than living in an AGE CARE HOME? Living in such a home, how would that make me feel?

Maybe I should look into some kind of HOSTEL type accommodation? What a HOSTEL is like, I described in a blog I wrote many years ago.

I had a friend, who lived in a HOSTEL for many years. She died before she needed to be transferred to a NURSING HOME. I think, she was very lucky in this regard. She was 93 when she died.

Well, this was 17 years ago. Maybe what used to be called HOSTEL is now being called AGE CARE HOME. Why then do I have such a horror of ending up in an AGE CARE HOME?

It was acknowledged some time ago. that the house I live in needs a lot of changes and renovations, especially the outside area. I think it would be increasingly difficult for me to look after it even with some extra home help.

Why can’t I just organise everything myself? The two weeks away from home were good for me. I discussed with my son and his friendly neighbour that it would be good for me to join a SENIOR’S CITIZENS CLUB that organises outings and trips to holiday destinations. But since we are not out of the woods yet with COVID 19 maybe this is not such a good idea. Should I just stay as much as possible totally on my own?

What can I still do? I can still shower and dress myself, even if it takes a long time. I can still go for slow walks with my rollator. I have often trouble with my eyesight. However, I can still do some things on the computer and I enjoy some TV programs and listening to music. When I can get hold of a shopping trolley, I can still do my own shopping. I love cooking (mainly vegetarian meals), I have a good appetite and I do not mind doing the dishes. I definitely can do the dishes. I can do my personal washing. The home help on Thursdays hangs out the bigger washing for me and does a lot of the cleaning and sometimes drives me to the shops.

Recently some friends gave me a lift to go to Mass. But I have not contacted them yet since my return from Victoria. A while ago I took up joining my friends again for our Friday afternoon games: Scrabble and Rummy Cub. Well, of course for the last two weeks I was away, and this week on GGOD FRIDAY there won’t be any games.

For the next few days I’ll be sitting as much as possible outside to enjoy some sun, and maybe I can do a bit of walking too with my rollator. If I get sick of being by myself for every meal, I can walk with my rollator across the road to the bowling Club for some lunch. I do like their prawn cutlets!

Benalla Art Gallery

Thursday, 25th of March 2021

Today, Martin and I visited the Benalla Art Gallery, and we had lunch at the Gallery Cafe, the same one where we had lunch with the family in June 2017. I copied here, what I wrote in 2017:

To be writing regularly, oh, I find it is not so easy to get around to it at all times. I always intend to write, write, write. I seem to have lots of things to write about in my head but somehow before I have a chance to write it down, it is gone again. Maybe I should at least take some notes, that is, get into the habit to write some notes down. Maybe, what is a bit of a diary to me, is, when I take some pictures of persons and places. Looking at the pictures, it is easier to remember some of the things in my life.

Recently we have been visiting Benalla in Victoria.  Unfortunately, because of bad eyesight, I cannot drive anymore. So  Peter had to drive to Benalla and back all by himself. We were driving to Benalla to visit our son Martin and to see his new place. Door to door it was about 600 km only, whereas when the son lived in Melbourne (Essendon) the distance was about 800 km.

Since we are in the midst of winter now here in Australia, daylight hours are only about for ten hours, namely from ca. 7 am to 5 pm. Well, Peter had no problem driving the distance within daylight hours. However, I suggested that on the way back we could stay in a motel in Holbrook  for one night to interrupt the journey, and that would give us the chance to look around a bit and familiarize us again with some things in the area. But oh no,  Peter insisted on driving straight home. I like to call it ‘homeritis’!

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On our last day in Benalla, a Saturday, all of us went for lunch to the Art Gallery Cafe. We were very happy that our Grandson and his wife and two daughters could meet us there.

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On the way to the Cafe
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Here grandson Tristan arrives with his family to meet all of us.
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Son Martin having a rest in the park.

Son Martin took these pictures of Peter and me on the terrace of the Cafe.

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View from the cafe’s terrace

It was a bit too cold to sit out there. It was better to have lunch inside.

Here is some of the food that we had.

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This is grandson Tristan.
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Kia
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Jaki

After lunch we had a look at some of the pictures in the Art Gallery.

It was lovely to see great-granddaughters Kia and Jaki again as well as Tris and Steph. And now I include some more pictures from another park nearby that we took on another day.

What I published two Years ago

Diary, Palm Sunday 2019

auntyutaDiaryLife in AustraliaOld Age  April 14, 2019

The week ahead, Easter week, is going to be rather busy for us, especially for Peter. He has an appointment with his dentist in Corrimal for tomorrow. On Tuesday he has to drive to Corrimal again for an appointment with the skin specialist. Sometime during the week we’ll go to Wollongong to pay the Hearing Clinic a visist. They did send one of his hearing pieces away for repair. Peter hopes that he can get it back pretty soon. He really needs it back urgently. His hearing is absolutely shocking at the moment!

So, on Thursday is my slow movement exercise class on. Peter drives me there and picks me up again an hour later. It would be nice if he could bring himself to join this class, but alas, he’s very reluctant to do this.

So comes Good Friday. This is a Friday where my friends and I won’t have a games afternoon. That means,  I may be able to help Peter a bit in the kitchen since Peter is planning to bake a few cakes for Easter, hoping this is going to attract a few visitors!

This leaves Saturday for us to do a bit of extra cleaning and probably some extra shopping as well.

Today, I already published a post with the pictures that Peter took on our last trip. I took a few pictures with my camera. I finally downloaded them yesterday with a bit of help from Peter. Now I see, that I can still publish some of my pictures as well.

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Leaving home at 9 am our first stop was Moss Vale for brunch. So, here is the picture again that Peter took of our piece of cheese cake that we had at our much preferred cafe in Moss Vale. Before consuming this excellent cheese cake we had had an excellent ‘half’ breakfast each there at this great cafe. The ‘half’ breakfast consisted of two small wonderfully crispy pieces of bacon and one egg, mine was beautifully poached, Peter had a scrambled egg and toast, whereas I had Turkish bread that went very well with the poached egg. We also had delicious mugs of coffee to go with our meal.

I think it was close to 11 o’clock when we were ready to leave Moss Vale. With a couple more breaks we reached our motel in Gundagai by around 3 pm.

We stayed again in the Gundagai Motel:  http://gundagaimotel.com.au/

Of course we had our own Tea and coffee making facilities and stayed in the motel for a relaxing afternoon and evening. For supper we just had some cup a soups from Aldi with a few bread rolls that we had bought in Moss Vale. We had planned to go for breakfast to that heritage bakery in Gundagai just up the road. When we arrived there at 7 am, it was still closed. Not far away was a huge Woolworth Store that was already open. This Woolworth store had of course heaps of things. But nothing fresh from a bakery as far as we could see. We bought tubs of yoghurt and portions of cream cheese for our breakfast in our motel room. Since there were no fresh buns available, we just used the left over buns from Moss Vale. Anyhow on that Saturdy we arrived for a very good salad lunch at our son’s place in Benalla.

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So this Bakery was still closed early on that Saturday morning.

I took a few pictures along Gandagai’s main road before we decided we’d buy a few things for breakfast at Woolworth.

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This is where Peter took his sunrise pictures in front of Woolies.

On the Way from Gundagai to Ballina we stopped here:

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Visit to Benalla in August 2019

At the beginning of the month we travelled again to Benalla to visit our son. This time we took the train to Benalla. We arrived in Benalla on Sunday, the 4th of August. Our return journey was on Thursday, the 8th of August. We had a great time in Benalla. Twice Martin went with me to the Benalla Swimming Centre. Peter did not want to come with us even though we assured him that the water was well heated.

Every day Martin drove us to a different place. So we saw at Glenrowan a multi-million Dollar anamatronic show. It was Ned Kelly’s LAST STAND at the Glenrowan Tourist Centre. I took the following pictures:

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I copied below what I cold find about the show. Maybe you’d like to have a look at this:

https://www.glenrowantouristcentre.com.au/the-show/

The Show

“This mulitimillion dollar anamatronic show  IS NOT A PICTURE THEATRE it is an interactive theatre production

Through the brilliance of animation and computerised robots, you will be transferred back in time, over 100 years, to witness the events that led up to the capture of the Kelly Gang.

Starting as hostages in the Hotel, and then onto gunfights – burning buildings – a decent hanging, and finishing in our magnificent painting gallery.

The show is educational, historically correct and entertaining.

The show runs for 40 minutes every half hour (separate rooms) from   10:00am   to 4.30pm daily.

The Glenrowan Tourist Centre is fully air conditioned. The theatre can seat up to 50 people at any one time.”

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g552175-d2569926-Reviews-The_Ned_Kelly_Story-Glenrowan_Victoria.html

https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/ned-kelly

1880: Ned Kelly’s last stand at Glenrowan, Victoria

“On 28 June 1880, Victorian Police captured bushranger Ned Kelly after a siege at the Glenrowan Inn. The other members of the Kelly Gang — Dan Kelly, Joseph Byrne and Steve Hart — were killed in the siege.The gang had been outlawed for the murders of three police officers at Stringybark Creek in 1878.

Ned Kelly was tried and executed in Melbourne in November 1880.

The Kelly Gang’s last stand has become an Australian folk legend, however views are divided about how it should be remembered. . . .”

After the show in Glenrowan Martin drove with us to Wangaretta where we had an excellent lunch in the Preview Cafe.

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We also had coffee and some desert!

The next pictures are from the following day:

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We did stop at the Tolmie Tavern, and true enough: Nothing did happen! And we had thought, we’d get some lunch there! Everything looked closed and deserted.

We ended up having lunch a bit further on. I think it may have taken us close to two hours before we actually did have some lunch and decent toilets! Before we arrived at that beautiful old Tatong Tavern we had a good look at the Stringybark Creek Historic Reserve:

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So, at the Tatong Tavern we ended up having a splendid lunch. I asked for vegetarian and did get this beautiful meal:

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We also had coffee and some desert!

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This was probably on Tuesday when we were here at the Tolmie Tavern, and true enough: Nothing did happen! And we had thought, we’d get some lunch there! Everything looked closed and deserted.

We ended up having lunch a bit further on. I think it may have taken us close to two hours before we actually did have some lunch and decent toilets! Before we arrived at that beautiful old Tatong Tavern we had a good look at the Stringybark Creek Historic Reserve:

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So, at the Tatong Tavern we ended up having a splendid lunch. I asked for vegetarian and did get this beautiful meal:

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Benalla

Benalla is the place where our son Martin moved to in 2017. In 2018 we took some pictures of Martin’s outside area. We loved to sit outside there, especially we loved to watch the fish in the fishpond.

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Now in March 2021 Martin still has this lovely fishpond and more and more fish in it. It is so relaxing to sit outside and watch the fish!

Uta’s Diary

Last year, on the 23rd of December, I wrote about Plans for the New YEAR 2021 and I copied it here today:

https://auntielive.wordpress.com/2021/02/27/utas-diary-towards-christmas-2020-and-the-end-of-the-year/

This is what I wrote in this post about how our climate seems to becoming somewhat tropical:

“Conditions seem to be becoming rather tropical this year, meaning warm temperatures and constant precipitation makes everything grow enormously. I find it hard to keep everything a little bit in check. I feel like I live in a jungle. Up to a point I do like this lush greenery. But then comes a time when everything needs to be trimmed for the space on my property is limited. I intend to apply for reasonable help in future, because the work I am still able to do myself is quite limited. I quickly get out of breath, and if I am not careful, I am in danger of falling. I am so glad that I can still do some walking, even if it is slow, and I have to do it with the rollator, it is still very good to be able to walk outside and enjoy nature!”

So, now towards the end of February conditions are still very much the same, and a lot of weeding has to be done!

“I also wrote the following: The last few days I have been totally on my own in the house. I am still not quite used to have the whole house to myself after the hectic times when any number of people were involved in looking after my dearly loved Peter. Palliative care to moderate the pain of a dying person, especially when it can be done at home, is mind boggling. I am so grateful that this could be done for Peter.”

Well, I am still not quite used to being on my own in the house most of th time!