Weekend Coffee Share – 20th June, 2021.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

How are you and how was your week?

My week seems to fall under one very simple word – stressed!

As you may recall, our daughter was in hospital having tests last week, and since she’s come home she’s generally improved and is having more good days than bad days, although can’t always arrange the good days where they’re needed most, and is still needing to get her head around changes to her diet, which will hopefully settle things down as well. She has a condition called gastroparesis, and has been having a tough run of it lately.

Our daughter at the Sydney Eisteddfod

Anyway, where some of the stress crept in this week, was that she was due to compete in a jazz dance duo at the Sydney Eisteddfod today, and there was a huge question mark about whether she would be well enough to go. Dancing at her level is full-on. So, she’s not just pointing her toes and smiling at the judges. The dance is fast paced, acrobatic in a sense, very precise and clearly demanding top physical fitness. It is also a duo. So, if she didn’t compete, she’d be letting down her friend and this is her very best friend who she’s known since she was a baby through playgroup. It’s a very personal, intimate thing they’re doing together, and to miss the premier competition would have been very disappointing. It also starts redefining her as “sick person” and “dancer” as more of a dream, and that was also something to be cautious of. We were leaning more towards pulling them out. However, they went well in class yesterday and so Thunderbirds were go!

They were on, and the madness was back on with the addition of a fairly extensive detour to buy some new jazz shoes which pushed the departure time forward by a couple of hours. I didn’t feel like a detour. Indeed, to be perfectly honest, I just wanted to stay in bed. The weather was wet, freezing, and horrible. I don’t cope well with wet, freezing, and horrible. That’s code for staying in bed. Or, at the very least, staying home. Yet, off we went. However, the performance went really well, and although they didn’t place they scored an impressive 87.

Geoff and I having Vietnamese in Chatswood with our invisible friend. The food was divine. I’d been seeing Vietnamese food on Masterchef this year and pining after it. Now, I’m a definite convert and will definitely be back!

Meanwhile, Geoff and I caught up with a school friend and had Vietnamese for dinner. Tickets to watch were highway robbery and I was also concerned about covid as cases in Sydney are almost at double figures and we need to be careful.

We spotted a few unnatural kangaroos out and about in Chatswood

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Last week, my son and I attended the funeral of a dear friend, Tom. He’d had a stroke a four months ago, and you could just imagine his horror when he comes to and found he was paralyzed on one side. It was cruel. However, it gave him extra time with his family and the opportunity for a slow, lingering goodbye, even if his passing was ultimately a relief. We’ve been friends with Tom and his wife or about ten years. They’re in their mid-70s, but fostered two children as babies who are the same age as our kids, and all the kids did dancing together, which is how we met and the kids used to ride their bikes together and we talked. You can get quite close to people in these most simple of circumstances. Anyway, our son reconnected with his friend via our Church youth group and they have a very tight group of guys. He rang our son just after pop had the stroke and I went round as well and we were right in the thick of it and drove my friend to hospital after the ambulance had gone. So, needless to say, by this point, we were tight.

Even though Tom had reached a good ag, led a good life, and t was a relief to see him released from a body which was no long his friend, a funeral is still a funeral. Unless you’re a robot, you’re not just going through the motions. There are memories, grief, sadness, joy – a real kaleidoscope of emotions. Then, there’s also being confronted by death, which is obviously very different from having a friend move away (which also happened last week). The funeral was held at the grave side and was right near the entrance to the cemetery and I was watching hearses coming and going, which was a macabre and almost troubling experience. After all the cemetery is an airport for the deceased – a one way departure lounge and of course, this was very different to visiting the old cemeteries for my family history research and there’s been no one new for 50-100 years and you’re talking to the birds.

However, in between all these thoughts, I focused on a stunningly beautiful Autumn tree, which was decked out in all its splendour and even though it was a cold, Winter’s day, the sky was a dazzling blue and the fusion of intense colour was absolutely magnificent. although I know Tom is now spirit and has gone to heaven to be with the Lord, being human and still of the earthly realms myself, it was rather comforting to think of Tom resting there looking up at that beautiful tree and just being. It was a very pretty spot to spend eternity and he might also enjoy watching the people and the cars come and go. Welcome in the newbies. He would have loved that.

On Saturday, I went to the dance studio to watch the singers perform. It was magic and such an antidote to dealing with hospitals and funerals. I do try to do that. Throw in something uplifting in the midst of the stress. While it might not seem appropriate to enjoy yourself when someone you love is very sick, dying or gone, you need to be able to pace yourself so you come out the other side and most of us don’t have the luxury of going down for the count.

Anyway, as you can tell it’s been a pretty deep week I’d better get this posted before cut off.

The Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie the Explorer https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/ and here’s the link: https://fresh.inlinkz.com/party/6112e69b786a4bd8a9178dd0c5fe1ade

Love and blessings,

Rowena

8 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – 20th June, 2021.

  1. trentpmcd

    I did not read that your daughter was sick, I must have missed that post. Glad she was able to perform and did well. As you said, she doesn’t need to be defined by her illness. Sorry about your friend, though I am sure you are right that after the stroke it was a release more than anything.

    I hope you have a wonderful week!

  2. Tails Around the Ranch

    Your autumn images are so welcome given that triple digits have been the norm lately in the states. Sorry for the loss of your friend. My mum passed away recently and even when you know a passing is inevitable, you really cannot prepare yourself for dealing with the notion that none of us get out of this world alive. We had her celebration of life memorial a week ago and there were loads of tears and laughter recalling an incredible life. Sending loads of thoughts of comfort. Congrats to the beautiful Miss on the competition. Well done, Amelia.
    P.S. Stay warm and toasty as winter descends on your part of the world. Hugs and tail wags from me, Norman and Elsa 🐾

  3. Gary A Wilson

    Well ooffph.
    Sounds like you’ve been the foundation of an emotional pile on. Sorry to hear about the difficulties in finding reasons to smile. As a dancer parent myself for a while, I know how hard they work and how invested they get in their performances. I’m glad your miss was up for it and did so well.
    But funerals. . . These can never be fun. I think the best we can hope for is honoring to the deceased and any form of comfort to those left behind even if it’s us.
    Hang in there my friend.
    Your summer is coming.
    We’re just polishing it up some before sending it your way.

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thanks so much for your thoughtful and caring message, Gary. Turns out the Grim Reaper wasn’t done with my friends yet. All up, I’ve lost four good friends in about the last six weeks, and had the funeral of one of my closest friends today. It’s been awful and I feel like I’ve been run dry, but am getting through it. At the same time I’ve xperienced these terrible losses, I’ve also gained a richer appreciation for what’s been and the preciousness of everyday life and perhaps not every moment, but certainly have a heightened awareness of all around me, especially family and friends. I’m also pushing through on getting my book done. Don’t want to leave that unfinished.
    Hope things are going better there.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

  5. Rowena Post author

    I’m particularly glad she got to dance that night, because we’ve landed back in lock down with the Delta variant on the loose in Sydney. We are considered part of Greater Sydney here and I’ve been getting more and more thankful for the Hawkesbury River Bridge with divides us and every bit of distance is welcome. We had 50 cases yesterday, but none up here and Geoff and I are also fully vaccinated although I’ve not going to put it to the test, despite having a letter which enables me to provide pastoral care from Church. I do food deliveries once a week, but only to people who I know and are very secluded.
    I jumped on here tonight to say hello to you. We’ve just watched Ash Barty watch onto the hallowed grass at Wimbledon for the women’s final. wever, this prestigious establishment doesn’t quite seem to place to shout out : “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!” We’ll see. I don’t think I’ve ever watched the tennis much before but it’s been a long time since we’ve had an Aussie woman win, and hopefully she’ll come through tonight. Australian Dylan Allcott won the men’s wheelchair singles championship. He’s a dynamic character .
    Take care and best wishes and wish us luck in the tennis.
    Ro

  6. Rowena Post author

    Hi Monika,
    Great to hear from you again, and I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your Mum. Both of my parents are 76 and seem to be doing okay, and I don'[t think the loss of a parent is something you can really prepare for or understand until it happens to you. Your parents are like breathing, They’ve always been there.
    I’ve been spending the last couple of nights watching Glee on Netflix. We’ve only just signed onto Netflix. I’ve been enjoying it and all the songs. It’s very much the world my daughter lives in and me by proxy. I’ve also been doing my research on the WWI soldiers and getting stuck into the writing side. It’s coming along really well and this lock down sort of helps because an underlying concept is that it’s my covid project.
    My friend’s funeral was livestreamed on Thursday. I did okay until the last song was played as they left the chapel. It was “What I did for love” from “A Chorus Line”. I hadn’t heard it before, but I’m thinking that my friend gave up her creative side to provide for her and her son. I’ve asked my daughter if she would do a dance to the song but she hasn’t heard it yet. So far, it’s a maybe.
    Anyway, as I became emotional during the song, Geoff picked up Zac and put him on my lap and said: “This takes a dog”. Zac was asleep and all floppy. To all intensive purposes, it looked like he had no idea where he was or anything about his mission. However, being a dog, I’m sure he knew.
    We’re watching Wimbledon atm. Australia has Ash Barty in the women’s final so we’re here to offer our support from the lounge. It’s been 40 years since an Australian woman won Wimbledon.
    How has your week been?
    Love & best wishes,
    Rowena

  7. Tails Around the Ranch

    Your COVID time seems well spent. Good for you. It’s been another week of loss, a good friend lost her Old English Sheepdog so I’m out of sorts emotionally. Perhaps I should have the two Ranch hands sit in my lap! What a lovely gesture Geoff gave you. No doubt it helped you process your emotions. Will spend tomorrow donating blood platelets and getting Norman ready for another visit to hospital. It should be heart-healing to focus on other things. Stay well and keep smiling. 🥰

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