Monday, 24 February 2014

Days 38 - 46

So this week..............

Monday February 17th 

 The bus driver who drove me to the hospital today. A friendly, very funny chap, who got one of his passengers to buy him an ice cream, and joked with her as she waited to eat hers. He made me laugh when he said to her "You'll have to drink it in a minute!' He made me smile! Very grateful for this moment on the bus.
Tuesday February 19th

I've spent a lot of time mid visit with Mum over the past 4 weeks in here. Coffee and conversation, whether it's with family, nurses and hospital staff or people I've just met have provided me with many moments I've been grateful for. The barrista  now knows my order, he smiles and jokes with me and it's a place where I always feel welcome and comfortable. It's provided some welcome relief during some very stressful times in the past few weeks, and for this I am truly grateful.

 Friday 21st February 

Today was a day devoted to Charlie, and so we went down to the Mildger park in Mandurah for a play. Today I am grateful for Charlie's growing courage. He has a fear of water and would usually never do what he was doing in this picture, but today he got his face wet, his clothes wet, his feet wet and his hair wet. He was so happy and seemed to forget about his fears as he splashed in the "water spout" as he called it. Grateful for his steps to overcome his fear today!

Saturday 22nd February

Today I took Hanna to see her Grandma for the first time since she has been in hospital. Hanna was very very excited to travel on the train and bus - something I simply take for granted. It made it an exciting journey with Hanna so excited. Hanna was so gentle and understanding of Mum when we were there. I was so proud and grateful for her being the beautiful, kind hearted, loving soul that she is, and the joy and happiness she brought to Mum with her visit.

Sunday 23rd February

 Today I am grateful for the way in which my brothers and I surrounded Mum with love and family. Narada brought the kids in, my brother Graham came in with his wife Jenny and my beautiful niece Ellen, and with left over roast lamb and bread rolls we shared an in hospital 'picnic'. So grateful to have had this moment. 
In the later afternoon I let Mum get some sleep and went for a walk in the city. I captured some moments as I walked through that surprised and delighted me. It was a magic Sunday afternoon. 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Day 37

15th February

Saturday I headed down to Silver Sands Resort with Hanna and Charlie where my dear friend Lorraine was staying with her two kids, Ashlea and Jasmine. 

Today my gratitude was for long and lasting friendships summer holidays, kids play time, swimming pools and BBQd sausages cooked in a frying pan! 

Lorraine and I have been best of friends since we were in Primary School, and have seen each other through highs and lows over the past 30 years. Today it was lovely to catch up in a relaxed environment, reflect on the past month, laugh and reminisce.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Day 36

14th February

Happy happy Valentines Day to all those who love and love to be loved!

My first moment of gratitude today was for the love of my life, my husband Narada. 
The other day I was eating a little Bounty Bar and I said to Narada "I really really love coconut It's the best" So this morning it's Valentines Day and Narada comes out with a bag of coconut and says "Happy Valentines Day. I know how much you love coconut so I got you a bag if it. " I was amused and flabbergasted and then he said "There's something else in there...." A Cherry Ripe Bounty Bar and a Coconut Rough. Lucky I love coconut! What a quirky lovely gorgeous man is my husband!

The next moment of gratitude came at the end of the day when my daughter brought home a card she  had made at school. She had made it by herself with some help with the cutting. The writing was all hers. I was so proud of her at this moment. 

My gratitude today is also for simplicity, and how a couple of simple ingredients can bring joy. I decided to make the kids play dough. We have plenty of manufactured stuff but it lasts five minutes before it gets mixed up with the other colours and  all turns into a brown colour. These moments I captured show the enjoyment that was had, there was quietness for about half an hour as they played, no fighting, no disagreements. It was just pure simple pleasurable play time. 

Friday, 14 February 2014

Day 35

13th February 

Today's gratitude is for my psychologist who I see on a regular basis. I'm grateful for the way she lets me talk and listens, and I'm also grateful for her questioning me and encouraging me to delve further into my thoughts, feelings, reactions and experiences. I come away from my sessions feeling opened up, cleaned out and put back together again, and that I have a plan in my mind for the next two weeks.

This photo of a blue wren hangs from the wall in the waiting room.Blue Wrens are my mother's favorite bird and each time I see this picture I think of her. I captured my grateful moment in this picture:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Day 33 and 34

11th February 

A day of tearful gratitude today, but in a place where I don't feel comfortable to photograph. Today Mum left the Intensive Care Ward and we said goodbye and thank you to some of the most amazing human beings I have ever come across. The nurses caring for my mother over the past three weeks have done so with the highest amount of dignity, love and care, and as we said goodbye today, a number of them came up and hugged my Mum and kissed her on the cheek. I wept tears of gratitude for all of Mum's carers over the past three weeks today, and also tears of relief and excitement for the next steps in Mum's recovery. Really the journey is only just beginning. 
So today's' gratitude is for the ICU team at the Mount Hospital for your care of not just Mum but all of our family during this really rough and scary few weeks.

12th February 

Two moments of gratitude today, and both involve spending time with our parents and taking that time to listen and absorb those family connections.

While the nurses took Mum for a shower today, my father and I went over to the park across the road to eat some rolls made of left over brisket Narada had made the night before for dinner. This park, although right next to a major arterial route was an amazingly peaceful place, and Dad and I watched numerous waterbirds flying and diving in and out of the lake.

A lunch date with my Dad is not a regular occurrence, but it was such a special and valued moment to have with him. We talked about everything and anything, the trepidation and fear as Mum starts rehabilitation and progresses through her recovery, my kids, my brothers and I as kids. After we'd finished eating we took a walk down the path and could hear a rushing and trickling of water. We discovered a waterfall in the middle of the park, not far back from the main road. We stood there watching it for about five minutes, and it a really relaxing and de-stressing moment. Here is my first moment of gratitude captured for today:

My second moment was taking Hanna out to the shopping center this afternoon and having a "Churros Kids" from San Churro. I was grateful for the one on one time with Hanna, we don't those moments very often anymore. Here is my captured moment of gratitude.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Day 32

10th February 2014

Two moments of gratitude to share today. 

The first was sitting on the balcony at the hospital with my Mum (and my Dad too) looking over the city. For all three of us this was a lovely moment and another step in the right direction of my Mum's recovery. She looked across the landscape with us, smiled and held both my Dad and my hands in either hand. It was a special moment and I captured this moment with this photo of the view from the balcony. After I took this picture I showed Mum and she gave it a nod of approval.

 The second was going to my first scrap booking group for the year. I have been going to this group with my Mum-in-law Deb since I first moved back from Melbourne in June 2011. All four of the other ladies are educators, or retired teachers, and each month Katrina gets us together to make a scrap booking page. It's a great example of the process and not the product. We create, we talk, we laugh, we reminisce. It's a familiar and comfortable routine that we are part of, and I'm always grateful for my Scrap booking night and these inspirational and fantastic women who are part of it. 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Day 29, 30 ,31

OK, some days are harder than others to capture the grateful moment than others. The last few days I've been grateful to watch my Mum slowly beginning her journey of recovery. I was blessed on Friday to accompany her as she was wheeled outside for some sunshine for the first time in weeks. I could see the hairs on her arms stand on end as the breeze went across her skin. It was overwhelming for her senses, and she was very tired afterwards, but it was another small step on her way back. 

Day 29 Thursday  6th February 

Today was finding ourselves getting back into some familiar routines for the year. One of those familiar routines is going to Hanna's school with Charlie and visiting the Malibu Cafe. The cafe is run by teachers and students in their final year at Malibu school, and provides these students with hands on training to prepare them for life after school. The ladies who run the cafe have become very good friends to me and are always welcoming and ready with a baby cino for Charlie, his drink of choice. It was lovely to get our first coffee their for the year, and this was the first grateful moment for Thursday that I captured.

My second grateful moment for Thursday, still in theme of getting back into routines was taking Hanna to her Western Cheer Sports training session with her group the 'Western Lions" This group is run by an amazing young lady named Jess who coordinates each member of the group to be paired with an assistant. It gives young people with disabilities a chance to participate in Cheer Leading, performing, and being part of a group. Hanna loves Cheer Sports and over the year and a bit that she's been doing it i have seen huge leaps in her confidence, coordination, social skills and overall happiness. today I captured her "flying" - being hoisted into the air by the assistants. Such a gleeful moment for her.

Saturday 8th February 

Today I was grateful for solid long term friends. Had lunch with one of my oldest dearest friends Shayne and had such a great time reminiscing, moaning and groaning about getting old and flabby and chatting about this that and everything.

The moment I captured was my kids singing along to "Twinkle Twinkle" from a Wiggles DVD this morning. I loved their synchronized hand gestures and the honest beauty and love that they give this song when they sing it. This is my captured moment of gratitude:

Sunday 9th February 

My first moment of gratitude today was seeing my Mum smiling for the first time in a while. It's such a beautiful and special thing after she has been so ill to see the smile returning to her face. It's something I am truly truly grateful for.

Second moment today was watching the kids in the park this afternoon, appreciating and being truly amazed at their beauty and pure joy. Here are some moments I captured.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Day 27 & 28

4th February

Today was my Mum's birthday so a good part of the day was spent sitting with her in hospital holding her hand, playing her some of her favorite music, thinking about the good times. My gratitude today is for my Mum, not just because today she turned 64, not just because I miss the chats we always have every day, but because she is the most inspirational and courageous lady who has spent her life putting others well being first. Without my Mum I would not be the Mum I am today. Happy Birthday Mum.


5th February 

Today it was a real treat to have lunch with my gorgeous university friend Peta. 
Peta has such wisdom and insight into the world around around her, and her perspective always helps me to see things in a different light.She is always so genuine, warm and has the loveliest smile as you can see here! So today I am grateful for my friend Peta.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Day 26

February 2nd 2014

Saw this sign in the cafe at the hospital today and had to use it to capture my gratitude for nurses at the moment.The team taking care of Mum not only take care of Mum in the most respectful, dignified and compassionate way possible but they also take care of us, her family as well. Intensive Care is a busy and sometimes intimidating place, but all of them take the time to talk to us, see how we are, answer our questions and reassure us when we are overwhelmed by Mum's situation. So I'm going to take this posters advice and thank all of the nurses in my family's life at the moment. You have my gratitude for the day.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Days 24 and 25

31st January & 1st February 

Combining two grateful days into one again. I know it's kind of cheating but the days are blending into one at the moment anyway. 

Friday's grateful moment is appreciating the walk I've been doing from the Esplanade train station in the city to the hospital my Mum is currently in - about a ten minute walk away. I've been catching the train in to see her everyday, and I I'm finding I really enjoy the journey when I don't have to drive or face the freeway. It gives the opportunity to centre and relax myself before going in to see her. My photo today is taken along the walk past some beautiful old gum trees in the medium strip. This journey I have been taking everyday has been giving me a positive for my Mum's illness at the moment as it's getting me moving and active, which is what I really need to do. 
Saturday I took the kids out for breakfast (pancakes for them bacon, eggs, toast, coffee, mushrooms, tomatoes for me!) at Dome. After that we headed across to their favourite park at the foreshore and I watched as Charlie tried to climb a tree for the very first time. In this moment I was so grateful for the freedom of childhood and the fantastic, simple, pleasurable experiences children can have when they are allowed to explore. Here is the moment I captured as Charlie explored this tree.

In the afternoon I journeyed into the city to visit Mum again, and met up with my dear friend Ken and met his partner Julie for the first time. Ken and Julie were old flames reunited about a year ago and are so compatible and content. I also got the chance to acquaint myself with their two rescued Husky dogs, Flame and Husky. What was amazing and uplifting was the way these two dogs made everybody smile as they went past. Whether it was their beauty, their personalities shining through or just peoples surprise to see these two large dogs walking along in the city, who knows. What was really interesting as well was the number of conversations and people drawn to talk to Julie and Ken about their dogs whenever we were stopped. We went into the shopping mall and Ken came into a shop with me to look for a present for my Mum while Julie sat down on a couch with the two dogs beside her and enjoyed her coffee. When we came out of the shop we couldn't see Julie, only a crowd of young men and the two dogs lapping up the attention they were getting, and Julie sitting in the middle. These boys were fascinated and drawn to the dogs, and it really was an amazing sight to see.

So this afternoon this was my grateful moment. My dear friend Ken, the love of his life Julie and their two dogs Flame and Husky.