Sunday, 30 June 2013

Hello everyone, time to do some blogging again - is that actually a word????

Last week was the roughest week so far and I'm pleased it's over.  Monday saw me having a total meltdown, the trigger being that I had no hot water when I went to take my morning shower - I thought the cylinder had finally given up as it is pretty old.  As I said this 'smallish issue' caused lots of tears and a rather hysterical phone call to my parents who very quickly came to my aid - love them so much.  The electrician was called and he finally came at 4.30pm - I'd stayed home all day waiting for him. :0(  He was really nice and knew my youngest son.  He found out that it was a blown pole fuse which he couldn't fix himself so he contacted Electra but didn't know when they would be able to come and fix it was they were backlogged because of the bad weather over the weekend.  Thankfully they did come even though it was dark and by 10.30pm I had hot water again.

Looking back now I definitely over reacted but at the time it was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak.  Sometimes it doesn't take much to tip you over the edge.

Tuesday saw me packing for a few days away with a friend.  I had a lovely time but I think maybe in hindsight it was a bit to early to be doing something like that.  Coming home on the Thursday was hard and to make things even harder I received Roy's death certificate that day.  Although you want it to come because you need it to get all the official stuff done there is a finality to actually having the piece of paper in your hand.  No longer can I pretend that Roy is away on an extended trip and that he'll eventually be home - the reality is that Roy is already home with his Lord and I'm the one away - still travelling.

Friday saw me doing another first which was to go to the Post Office.  I have been dreading going there because it would mean seeing people who knew Roy but eventually you have to face these things too and it wasn't as hard as I'd thought it would be.

Friday night and Sat morning were filled with lots and lots and lots of tears and to be honest I'm not really sure why.  I just felt terribly alone and adrift, not angry but very very sad.  The loneliness is something that is actually really, really hard to describe, and I think for someone who isn't in this situation it's really hard to understand too.  The grey weather didn't help my mood at all either.

What a blessing in times of feeling down family is.  My Dad came and fixed the letterbox and now the mail will stay dry - thanks Dad.  Then my brother and sister-in law popped in on Sat afternoon.  While Ron and I got stuck into the accounts my darling SIL did a spot of gardening for me - thanks so much hun.  Ron and I made very good progress (Roy wasn't quite as organised as I'd first thought) and we are about ready to fill in the much needed tax forms - what a relief it will be to have them done as then I can actually move ahead with what I want to do with the business.

A friend once told me that I needed to make sure I grieved good grief rather than bad grief, because Satan will use the bad grief to encourage you to wallow in self pity, depression and to turn you against the Lord.  Last night in my quiet time before bed I prayed that the Lord would give me peace, remove my negative grief and sorrow and give me a positive outlook on my new life and He has.  What an awesome loving God we serve.

Today I have had an awesome day.

I went to church this morning with joy in my heart, sat in our usual spot - alone - and it was fine, no tears at all during any of the service.  After church I came home, had lunch and then I took Jack for a nice long walk in the sunshine at the dog park wearing my funky new pink gumboots - I'm glad I wore them cause the park was pretty wet and boggy in places.  I just pottered for the rest of the afternoon reading and doing some knitting.  I feel content, at peace and ready to face tomorrow and the days to come.

I'm still going to take one day at a time and I know that there will probably still be many days of tears, frustrations and hardships, but I'm going to try to look forward and not back - saves you from tripping up and falling on your face.  I can't change the past - the Lord for His reasons has called Roy to be with Him - He probably had some statistics that needed doing ;0)  and although I might not like it or understand why, it is something I can't change, but with the Lord's help I can shape my future into a future that will eventually be full of happiness again, a future that will bring glory and honour to the Lord. He has some exciting things in store for me I'm sure ;0)

I want to take this opportunity to say a great BIG thank you to everyone who attended Roy's funeral your presence meant more than words can say.  Also many many thanks for the cards, flowers, gifts, thoughts and prayers my family and I have received during the last few weeks.  I feel truly blessed, loved and honoured to know that so many of you care and continue to think and pray for us.

Wishing you all a blessed week.  Till next time.

Love and hugs

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Another first under my belt this weekend with a family wedding on Sat.  It was cold, wet and did I mention that is was cold???!!!  Despite the weather it was wonderful to witness the marriage of two young people who obviously have not only a great love for each other but also for their Lord and Saviour - may God be the center of your marriage Ray and Emma, may His Word be your guide throughout your life together and even when the hard times come - which they will - may you lean more and more on Him as your source of strength and comfort.  Blessing and much love to you both.

The weather today has been glorious with blue sky and sunshine - what a contrast to yesterday.

Today I notched up a second by going to church again - thanks for your company Ryan and Ineke.  And even more amazingly there were no tears at all during the whole service.  One of the songs we sang this morning spoke a lot to me and gave me great comfort and I'd just like to share the words with you.  It's entitled I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say by Horatius Bonar
  1. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    “Come unto Me and rest;
    Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
    Thy head upon My breast.”
    I came to Jesus as I was,
    Weary and worn and sad;
    I found in Him a resting place,
    And He has made me glad.
  2. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    “Behold, I freely give
    The living water; thirsty one,
    Stoop down, and drink, and live.”
    I came to Jesus, and I drank
    Of that life-giving stream;
    My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
    And now I live in Him.
  3. I heard the voice of Jesus say,
    “I am this dark world’s Light;
    Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
    And all thy day be bright.”
    I looked to Jesus, and I found
    In Him my Star, my Sun;
    And in that light of life I’ll walk,
    Till trav’ling days are done.

Late one evening this past week I had a total meltdown.  I was so overwhelmed by everything that has happened, everything that I have to face in the days, weeks, months and years to come, worry as to what the future may hold and this terrible loneliness. In desperation I cried out to the Lord and surrendered it all to Him - my cares, my worries, my sorrow, my loneliness and my future - because I knew that I could no longer carry that HUGE burden and survive and that I could trust Him with it all.  

Do I feel better? Yes. 

Do I still feel lonely?  Yes at times I do, not because the Lord isn't there because I do feel His presence and nearness but because there is no physical presence of someone in my life anymore.

Do and will I still have moments of deep despair and sorrow? Yes of course I am grieving a great loss, but, I also have many, many moments of happiness, laughter and joy and that's when as the words of the hymn above say I know I have found my resting place in Him, He has made me glad for He is my Star and my Sun and in His light I'll walk till my travelling days on this earth are done.

I want to say thank you for the feedback I've been getting about my blog and also for taking the time to read it.  My prayer is that each one of you who read this blog may come to trust the Lord with and in all aspects of your life and for those of you who haven't done so yet that you will accept the living water He so freely gives making Him the Lord of your life - for only in Him will you find true freedom and peace.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16  

What an awesome and amazing gift.

Love and blessings

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Just so you know I'm doing ok - most of the time.

Some days are easier than others and will continue to be so. I have decided that I need to travel this journey at my pace and no one elses. I will take one day at a time, doing what I can when I feel I can and what I want when I want.  I know that many of you are concerned about me and although I do sincerely appreciate your encouragement and your wanting to help, please be understanding when I decline an offer you make to me and please don't pressure me into doing something that you think will be good for me, because honestly until you stand in my shoes ......................!!

I know that eventually I will need to get out there and in time with the Lord's help I will,  I can't pretend that life is normal because it isn't and it will never be normal again.  I have to find my new normal and that will take time - how much time I don't know, but I think slowly but surely I will know when I am ready to take certain steps in my life and move forward.

A friend sent the me following:
"Today I am thankful for butterflies.... not only for their beauty but also for their reminder that beauty can come from something not so beautiful given time..... 
Sometimes we might feel like a caterpillar.... worthless and feeling like all we do is eat and sleep, or our circumstances may overwhelm us and feel like its just too hard ... we might even start to hibernate from the world for a while but with God and time and love of family and friends we can start to come out of our cocoon and start to spread our wings and fly like a beautiful butterfly.
Never give up hope of a new tomorrow.... His mercies are new every morning."

So for a while I'll be a caterpillar, but one day with the Lord's help I'll blossom into a butterfly.

I've decided I hate mornings - actually I've never been a morning person, but now it's become way harder to face them.  The weather doesn't help either.  Evening aren't so bad as I keep busy reading a book, Facebooking, blogging or watching a bit of TV, but waking up in an empty bed to an empty house is very hard.  Roy spoilt me by bringing me a cup of tea almost every morning since we've been married (that's a lot of cups of tea!!) and although he wasn't able to do it anymore the last month or so I did it instead for him and I miss it.  It's only because Jack sits next to the bed looking sad and hungry that I get up.

That's the other thing I'm finding lately - food has no appeal at all.  I eat because I know I must and not because I'm hungry. Cooking for 1 sucks too.  Thank goodness Joel is keen to come for dinner a couple of times a week.  The upside is I'm going to need to go clothes shopping soon ;0)

I am slowly making headway with the business accounts - I need to get these sorted so I can pay the tax man. Roy had actually done much more than I though which is a real blessing.  On Monday I had my appointment with Winz and the lady gave me forms to fill in with a list of paperwork that I need to bring along and I see her again on the 8th July.  I have also decided to take the house off the market I don't need the stress of that at the moment and I am actually very happy to carry on living here.  I'm amazed how many Rawleigh customers I've had this past week even though I haven't had the sign out yet - another first I am putting off.  Maybe next week.

My brother mentioned that we now have a personal connection to heaven what with Roy being there and we got to talking about the people he will be meeting like his brother Jim and others that have gone before - we suddenly realised that he's now also meet Moses, Noah, David, Peter, John, Paul and so many other people from the Bible who we often forget are also in heaven.  What an awesome thought.  It makes me smile every-time I think about it.

I thought today might be hard being one week since Roy's funeral, but it has gone really well.  I decided to go out for a while so I went to the library to get some books to read and did some groceries.  It felt good to be out and about for a bit even if it was cold and wet.  Another little step.

Well that's all the wonderings for this week.

For those of you living in NZ stay warm.

Love and blessings

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Now it's just me, the dog and the cat!

Today Richard and Aimee and Noah headed home and it was suddenly very quiet here.  Boy I make it sound like Roy was always making lots of noise which he wasn't, but the last week has been pretty busy so the quiet is noticeable.

I had a bit of a cry after they left but it didn't last long as I received some visitors who stayed for dinner and a lovely long therapeutic chat and I had a phone call from my SIL. Thanks guys.  It is so good to share memories, thoughts and feelings with people who care.

This morning I did go to church which was hard but very good. Thanks Pastor John for another awesome sermon.  It was a first step.  The will be lots of firsts coming up and I'll face each one as they come and with the Lord's help.  Some will be easier than others I'm sure, but they will all have to be faced.  I can't just hid in bed and ignore the rest of my life - as much as that idea does appeal esp on a cold and wet day like today.  God will direct my steps and He will give me only as much as I can handle at any given time.  I can trust Him with my future.

Well I'm going to have an early night to catch up on some much needed sleep.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day - a visit to Winz, an afternoon out with very dear friends and then dinner out to round off the day.

Oh in case any of you are interested caustic soda isn't good for your skin even if you think you've washed it off in time - the skin on my hands has gone all flaky and yuck :0(  I'm going to need lots of hand cream I think.

Sleep well all.

Love and blessings

The following was on the program that we put together for Roy's funeral.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

It's been one week!  I guess this is the first of many little milestones that I now have to face.

The house is quieter now - Tim and Yvette and Ryan, Ineke and Inge all went home on Friday.  Aimee and Richard and Noah will be here till tomorrow and then it'll be just me, the dog and the cat.  When I go barking mad you'll know that I've been talking to the dog too long ;0)

Today I did my housework - I know to some this might sound crazy, but for me it's about regaining some control in my otherwise out of control life.  It actually felt good to do those mundane chores and it gave me some purpose for the day.

Aimee and I also started to tidy up the garage as I really want to be able to get the car inside again.  All the stuff that we used for markets earlier in the year has now been neatly stored away to be sorted at a later date.  We also added some things to the already big pile for the Arohanui Hospice Op shop to come and collect and we made another pile that needs to go to the tip.  A close encounter with a container of caustic soda whose lid wasn't on properly saw me making a mad dash to the nearest tap to wash the stuff off.  Boy that's nasty stuff, I have a few red patches on my arm that I missed when washing.

At the funeral it was mentioned that Roy loved to collect things - bottle tops, match boxes, stamps, coins, flags, pennants, old Rawleigh containers - what was not mentioned was he also collected, manila folders, ring-binders, partially used exercise books (handy for scrap paper) old unused diaries (handy for note taking) and paper - but not just any paper - no this paper includes old bills, receipts, letters, newsletters, instruction manuals and much much more.  In all honestly I am very, very tempted to file it all under R for rubbish and set it alight, however I've been advised not to do so as I need to sort out all the papers relating to the business or the tax man may not be too happy.  One of these days all that paper and I are going to have an encounter and I'm pretty confident that I'll come out on top, however should that not be the case the match option is always still a possibility, after all accidents do happen!!  ;0)

Tomorrow we plan to go to Church - I know it'll be hard, but I need to take that step (another first one alone) sometime and it'll be a bit easier to do it with the support of family. Having seen most of my Church family at the funeral helps too.

After I wrote yesterdays blog I felt this huge sense of peace - I think it was the fact that I had put my thoughts down and it helped to clear my head and sort out how I am feeling.

Thanks to all who continue to read what I write and for your words of encouragement to keep it up.

Wishing you a blessed Lord's day.

Love and hugs,

Friday, 14 June 2013

I thought I'd try and write something on here today but I'm not really sure what to write or where to start.

How do I write about a week of my life that I wish I'd never had to experience.  A week that although it has been filled with laughter has also been filled with overwhelming heart wrenching grief.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with funeral preparations, sorting out 'stuff' like Winz, the IRD, the banks etc etc.  Things are moving along but everyone needs a death certificate before things can be finalised and that will all take time so everything is a little in limbo.  I am so blessed to have wonderful children and children in law who took over organising so many things for me so I could concentrate on the important things that only I could see to.

On Monday Thursday seemed so far away, but it arrived so very fast.  We had had beautiful weather up until then but on Thursday it was cold and rainy - I think the angels wept with us yesterday.

The funeral service was beautiful - Roy would have loved it.  A HUGE thank you to Pastor John for the simple yet powerful message he gave based on a text that Roy had chosen from John 14:1-6.  It doesn't matter how good you have been in this life or how many kind deeds you do if you don't have Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour you have nothing and there is no way you'll to get into heaven.

It was very hard walking into the church and seeing the coffin up the front draped with Roy's campfire blanket and his hat. Little did I know that a harder moment was still to come.  A John Denver song was playing and when I heard the words I remember thinking how appropriate they were - I think the song was 'Perhaps Love' but I can't remember anymore.

Roy's brother Henry spoke about Roy as a youngster esp about him wanting to change his name from Chris to Roy as he didn't like being called Chris.  He finally did this when he was 18.  Even as a little guy Roy was into collecting things and doing statistics.  Both Tim and Ryan spoke about their Dad and they did so well - Roy would have been proud and honored by what they had to say.  Ryan included a beautiful poem which I will add at the bottom of this post.

I want to say a HUGE thank you to all who attended Roy's funeral.  I was blown away by the number of people who I haven't seen in a long time and who took time out of their day to be there, many having traveled long distances - you guys rock and it made my day to say hi and share a hug with you all.

On our way to the cemetery we drove past our home and as a mark of respect the hearse slowed right down as it went past.  It was a very moving and tearful moment.  The burial was way harder then I expected esp when Roy's coffin was lowered into the ground. Although I knew that he was no longer there, the finality of that moment was heartbreaking.

When we arrived home the house was full to overflowing, and although the day before I had thought it would be ok I actually couldn't face it.  I think I had used all my bravery to face the funeral, the burial  and all the people and I had no bravery left.

I was also overwhelmed with a sudden sense of loneliness.  You can be in a room full of people who you know love you, and yet you feel totally alone. No longer is there someone in that crowd who belongs totally to you. I no longer have someone to share that special look with that says I love you and I want you.  I no longer have someone to share my inner most secrets with or intimate moments.  I am alone. Even when I'm with people I love I am alone.  As I lay alone in bed last night I thought of the song by the Donut Man that my children used to sing - Life without Jesus is like a donut - there's a hole in the middle of your heart.  That's how I feel without Roy - there's a hole in the middle of my heart.

I didn't sleep very well last night and this morning when I woke up reality hit home that I'm 49 years old and I'm a widow - this is not how it was meant to be and it makes me sad and just a little bit angry.

I thank God for my wonderful children and their spouses, my darling grand-children who have been a wonderful distraction over the last few days, my wider family and good friends who continue to not only encourage and support me, but who daily pray for me as well.

I feel a great sense of relief that Roy's suffering is over and that he is now in glory with his Lord and although I know that the Lord has a plan for my life the future scares me a little as I have never had to walk it alone - humanly speaking.

I'll finish with the poem that Ryan read and that Roy would agree with.

Feel no guilt in laughter, he'd know how much you care.
Feel no sorrow in a smile that he is not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever; he would not want you to.
He'd hope that you could carry on the way you always do.
So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.
Let memories surround you, a word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day,
That brings him back as clearly as though he were still here,
And fills you with the feeling that he is always near.
For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
And he will live forever locked safely within your heart.

Love and blessings till next time.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Week 2:  Friday and Saturday Update.

My children and others have told me that I should continue with my blog, because it will be good for me to do so and because I write so well so for now I'll continue, but prob not everyday.  I'm not sure life will be so interesting further down the track but we'll see how we go.

On Friday morning I received a phone call from the Hospice nurse who was looking after Roy to say that they had been unable to wake him and that they thought it would be good for the family to come as soon as possible.  Phone calls were made and we set off to Palmerston.  Aimee, Richard and Noah were there when we arrived and Tim and Yvette had advised that they would be there at 3pm having had to fly up from Christchurch.

Roy was asleep and seemingly unresponsive when we got there, although Aimee said he had been talking when they arrived and she thought he'd asked for me.  The nurse was pretty sure he could still hear us and encouraged us to talk to him.  We found this to be true as he reacted when Ryan read Psalm 23 and when we sang his favourite hymn for him - "By the sea of crystal".  He also seemed concerned when Noah suddenly started crying, he became restless and had a frown of concern on his face.

Most of the time Roy had his eyes closed and when they did open they would rolled up into the lefthand side.  The nurse and doc think Roy developed a brain bleed from a tumour pressing on his brain - hence his sudden rapid decline.

We told him that Tim and Yvette would be coming this afternoon and he seemed to relax a bit.  When they arrived we again read from the Bible and sang the hymn and then all the children said their goodbyes to their dad.

Roy continued to decline with his breathing becoming more and more laboured - at times he sounded like he was snoring like a train - he was always very good at that.

At dinner time the children went out to get something to eat and have a bit of a break.  The staff came to turn Roy but when they lay him on his left side he became very agitated and restless.  We asked them to please turn him back as he was obviously in pain and discomfort.

As the evening progressed Roy's breathing became much more rattly and shallow and laboured, but we were advised to get some sleep as it could still take a long time.  Some of the children were able to bed down in the family unit they have available at the hospice while the rest of us slept on the fold out couch they had in Roy's room and a recliner chair.  At about 12.30 Aimee and I were both awake.  Roy had become very agitated and at times seemed to almost try to get out of bed.  The nurse came and gave him an injection to help him relax.  She again advised us both to get some sleep which we both reluctantly did.  Sometime later I suddenly woke up because it was quiet - too quiet.  Roy had stopped breathing so I rang for the nurse which woke Ryan and Aimee - just as the nurse arrived Roy breathed out and then was still again. This happened about 4-5 times. We quickly called Tim and Joel and they arrived just as Roy breathed for the last time.

The sorrow we felt was overwhelming and yet we soon also felt a great sense of peace.  The nurse came and told us to take as much time as we needed and she brought us cups of tea and cake.  We even talked about playing a game of 'Up and down the river' one of Roy's favourite games and if he'd been able he'd have loved to play too, but in the end we just spent some time talking and remembering.

None of us have ever seen a dead body before and although it might sound morbid we were fascinated at how the body reacts after death and how white Roy's hands became to the point where the nails and the skin were a translucent white.

Eventually some of us went to bed to at least get a wee bit of sleep and the nurses came to attend to Roy's body and tidy things up.

In the morning we all at different times went to say goodbye for the last time. The man we have loved and respected was no longer there, he had long since departed to stand on the shore of the sea of crystal, dressed in his white robe with all the other saints.

Arrangements were made with the funeral director to come and collect Roy's body and we ourselves made the hardest trip home that I have ever made.  Since being here life has been a whirlwind of activity with the funeral to organise and lots of people coming and going and lots of family time, sometimes with tears but also lots of laughter.

I am so grateful to my loving family and friends who are supporting me by just doing the things that they see need doing like removing the loan items we had received in case Roy was to come home, making meals, cups of coffee/tea, organise food or just being there to comfort when I need a shoulder to cry on.

Most of the time I'm doing ok, but little things set me off like seeing Roy's shampoo in the shower or opening the wardrobe for the first time since his death and seeing all his clothes hanging there.  For 2 weeks now I have been living alone, but now it's real and the thought that I will never see him again this side of glory is the hardest thing to come to terms with. I still expect him to walk in the door with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye and give me the wink he always had for me.

I know that Roy lives on in my heart and also in all my children and grandchildren and it is a comfort to see little glimpses of him in them from time to time.  Life will be hard for a while I think, but I know that the Lord is watching over me, that He will guide my steps and that with that support and the support of those who love me I'll get through and one day I'll be able to say that I really am doing ok.

Thank you for your ongoing love, support and prayers.

Love and blessings to you all

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Saturday 8th June 2013

At 2.20 this morning our beloved husband, father and Opa went home to be with the Lord.

His battle with cancer is over and he is finally at peace.

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  2 Timothy 4:7

Rest well my darling - till we meet again in a twinkling of an eye.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Week 2 - Thursday Update.

I'm not sure if I'm up to writing today's blog as I am feeling pretty drained.  Today has been a much more difficult and emotional day than I had expected. and some of the emotions that I've felt last night and today have also been ones that I didn't expect.  Lots of tears have been shed in frustration, sadness and anger today.

Yes today the emotion I was surprised to feel was anger.  I am angry that Roy is leaving me, I'm angry that we wont get to celebrate anymore of life's milestones together, and I'm angry that Roy is leaving me with so much 'stuff' to sort out - stuff that I am finding totally overwhelming and very daunting and hard to get my head around, because it's all stuff that he always did and that he was sure he would get sorted in time and now he hasn't and can't.  So today I have shed tears of bitterness, I have at times felt overwhelmed to the point of despair and I just want this to all go away because I don't think I can survive this.  I know that God is in control and that He has everything worked out and that I need to trust in Him, but today that trusting has been hard to do.

Roy continues to slowly decline. Today he ate very little, he is unable to walk unaided or use the bathroom unaided.  He has however had a busy day with the family spending a lot of time with him.  It was decided to move him to a bigger room to accommodate us all.  Ryan, Ineke and Inge are here for a few days and so is sister in law Helen.  A very good friend also brought Roy's Mum up for a visit and although I know it was extremely hard for her to see her youngest son slipping away, it was also good for both of them.  Aimee, Richard and little Noah were also there so it was a full house.  Roy slept off  and on through out the day, but he did seem to enjoy having everyone there.  Having Inge and Noah there is a good distractions for us all.

We did take a walk outside at lunchtime which Roy enjoyed.  We talked about heaven and how beautiful it would be and Roy said 'at least it wont be cold'.  I told him I was a little envious that he was going to be there before me and he said he'd see me there in the twinkling of an eye.

Tomorrow I want to ask the doctor if she thinks there is any possibility of Roy coming home, because if not than I want to arrange for the bed and other stuff to be picked back up.  Also tomorrow Helen hopes to take both Roy's parents up to see him (Roy's dad is not very mobile and in a rest home)  and our youngest son Joel will also be popping up after work to see his Pa.

I really need to go to bed as I'm starting to not think very straight because I'm so tired.

Thank you for listening.

Love and blessings

PS: I'm not proof reading tonight so please excuse any mistakes.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Week 2 - Wednesday Update.

My husband is dying a little bit more each day and it is so heartbreaking and hard to watch.

Today when I arrived with my Dad and Mum Roy was asleep in the chair.  He sort of woke when he heard us but he had a lot of trouble staying awake.  He was able to tell us that he had had visitors already this morning, but he seemed pretty vague about it so I wasn't sure if it was true or not until I received a txt from the said visitors to say that they'd been.

Interestingly the nurses apparently always report that Roy is doing very well first thing in the mornings when they see him, but by the time the doctor gets there he has declined - a lot.

Roy only managed to eat a little of his lunch - half a cup of soup and half a bowl of butterscotch pudding.  He needed help as he keep falling a sleep and nearly ended up wearing the soup.  He told me during lunch that he had slept all night from 8pm - 8am without getting up to go to the toilet - something he hasn't done since before he had his bladder op, due to having no feeling in his bladder and needing to empty it at regular intervals - Roy said that the nurses weren't worried about it.  I spoke to the nurse and she confirmed that because he was drinking less they expected less output so I guess that makes sense.

After lunch Roy had a sleep in bed  - he is definitely jerking less but his breathing is very shallow now and he makes some funny hic-up sounds.  He slept through one lot of visitors although did seems to see them when he left and later when he woke he remembered who had been, so he must of heard the voices.

When the next lot of visitors arrived Roy was relatively awake and he was able to interact a bit - although he did often seem to drop off.

Something I have noticed is that Roy has become emotionally detached - he doesn't ask how I'm doing, what I've been doing or if I am doing ok.  When a friend thanked him for all he'd done throughout the years they'd known him his face was very passive and he seemed distant, although he did say thank you. It is actually very hard to describe.

This afternoon I did ask Roy if he was ready to go home (meaning to be with the Lord) and this big smile spread across his face and he said yes, I'm at peace.  My prayer is that the Lord calls him home soon so that he no longer has to suffer, as much as I hate the idea of living life without him.

When I prayed this morning for the Lord to remove this cup of suffering, I suddenly realised  that my suffering is just a drop in the bucket compared to what our Lord suffered before His death on the cross.

I feel very emotionally drained today and very tired even though I haven't done anything physical.  It is nice not to have to travel all the way home as I am spending the night with Aimee, Richard and little Noah.

Blessing to you all, sleep well and remember life is short so love and cherish those close to you.


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Week 2: Tuesday Update.

I don't actually have a lot to report today.

When Tim and I got the the hospice it was lunchtime and we found Roy in a bit of a state as he was feeling really really nauseous - he told us that breakfast had been fine but when lunch came he didn't feel very good at all.  The nurse came and gave him an injection of anti nausea medication and Roy was pretty much out like a light.

We left him to sleep for a while and went and had lunch, having made an arrangement to talk to the doctor when we got back.

When we got back Roy was still asleep and he pretty much slept the whole time we were there.  We were able to talk in normal voices and it didn't wake him.  I must say it is the most restful and natural sleep I have seen him have in a very long time.  He was still jerking a bit and moving his hands around, but not nearly as bad as it has been for the last few weeks.

While Roy was sleeping the doctor came and spoke to Tim, Aimee and myself.  She said they are really getting to the stage where they are running out of things to do and she is pretty convinced that the things that are happening are cancer related rather than the medication.  As the kidney function decreases thing like the jerking and dreaming increases.  There is also a good chance that the lymph nodes in Roy's head will also be growing due to the cancer and probably putting pressure on areas of the brain.  They are not going to be any scans to see what is going on as it just isn't worth it, as they wont be treating anything to 'make Roy better'.  The doctor expects that Roy will sleep more and more as his body becomes more and more tired.

Roy's right leg is still swollen and today for the first time he need to be helped by a nurse to get to the bathroom.

It was such a blessing for Tim that Roy woke up in time to say goodbye to him. Roy was very with it wishing Tim a good trip, passed on his love to Yvette and told Tim to work hard.  His parting words were 'till we meet again'.

Well I think that's it for tonight.  Thank you for all your love, support, prayer and gifts.

"I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."  Philippians 4:13

Love and blessings

Monday, 3 June 2013

Week 2: Monday Update:

When Tim and I arrived to see Roy this morning we were both shocked.  He was totally out of it and talking all sorts of nonsense.  His breathing sounded pretty laboured and he couldn't seem stay awake for very long.  It was very distressing to see.

The nurse came to talk to us and change Roy's syringe driver.  She told us that they have decided to again change Roy's anti nausea med to see if it helps with the sleepiness and that for the time being he would be staying in the hospice until he was stable.  I guess eventually they will run out of meds to try.

This afternoon after Roy's sleep he was a bit more alert, we took him for a walk outside in a wheelchair and he really enjoyed it and I think it helped blow away some of the cobwebs.  Roy felt quite refreshed afterwards.

Roy's right leg is still very swollen and I'm not sure what they plan to do for or about it.  Because it's been a long weekend there hasn't really been a lot going on so maybe we'll learn some more tomorrow.  His speech has also become slower and much much quieter - sometimes making it very hard to understand what he is saying.  This seems to get even worse when he gets tired.

The throwing up continues to happen - 2 times while we were there today and Roy said he'd also thrown up after breakfast.

Tim noticed that when there are too many visitors Roy tends to fade out more as he finds following the conversation that go on around him difficult.  When you come to visit please keep it short as Roy tires quickly and please try and keep him involved in the conversation.

I have really enjoyed having Tim here for a few days and later in the week Ryan, Ineke and Inge are coming for a few days which will be great.

I am always amazed - although I really shouldn't be - how God send just the words you need to hear at just the right time.  Today I received the following from my niece in Australia - thanks Melinda.

Devotion by Kathy Hicks.
"Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10
This verse always speaks to my soul.  Maybe it's the hectic pace of life that makes the thought of being still and meditating on the "Godness" of God so appealing.  One day as I was contemplating this verse I wondered "What does being still really mean?  And just what does God want me to know about Him?"
Here are some thoughts God spoke to my heart:
"Be still, and know that I am God."
*  Be calm and realize that I am in ultimate control of what touches your life. It is my love for you that motivates me as I work on your behalf.
*  Be quite and listen to what I want to say to you. Allow me the chance to speak to your heart about what I'm doing in your life.
*  Be content and believe that I know what your needs are before you ask and that it gives me great pleasure to meet those needs - and even to give you the desires of your heart, as you delight yourself in me.
*  Be patient and realise that what I'm accomplishing in you and through you may take weeks, months, and even years to complete - so what may seem like unanswered prayer to you is really my perfect timing for you and for those in your life.
*  Be thankful because I am all-powerful, all-wise, loving, just, patient and so much more. I am all these things on your behalf. You can trust me with your life.
"Be still, and know that I am God"
Father, quiet my heart so I can listen to yours. Muffle the distractions and show me what I need to understand about you today. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do on my behalf. Amen.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog.

Love and blessings
Sunday Update:

Today was family time - Tim is here from Christchurch for a few days and Joel also came to see his dad. It was really nice.

When we arrived at the Hospice this morning we found Roy looking very frail.  Things had not gone very well this morning for him due to excruciating pain in his right leg - which is still very swollen.  Tim commented later that he thought Roy had been better the day before than he was this morning.

While we were all there the doctor came to see Roy and it was very good that she could talk to all of us.  They have dropped the methadone a bit, but will be increasing it again because Roy's pain is increasing.  We talked about Roy coming home, which he wants to be able to do and if things become stable this will be looked at further.  The doc also told us she'd talked to Roy about where he wanted to be when he is dying, and initially Roy thought the hospice would be the best place to be, but the doc assured him and us that things can be put in place to make it possible for him to be at home.  Which thinking about it I think I prefer - but we'll see what happens.

The doctor is really really lovely and she is also very astute - she commented that she thought that although Roy's body is weak and failing his spirit is still very strong. And I think she's right.

We left Roy at lunchtime to have his lunch and have a sleep as he was very tired and having trouble staying awake.

When we returned at just after 2pm Roy was much more 'with it' and we had a lovely few hours together.  While we had been away Roy's sister and his Mum had been to visit which he really appreciated and during the afternoon a niece and her husband popped in for a quick visit which was also very nice.  Roy doesn't talk a lot and sometimes the things he does say don't really make sense.  He is also still very busy even though he's awake with imaginary things - brushing his teeth, drinking a non-existent cup of coffee,  doing a puzzle and collecting fluffies.  He does appreciate people coming to see him and I want to encourage anyone out there thinking of doing so that if you want to see Roy and say good-bye, actually he prefers 'till we meet again' then you need to think about doing this sooner rather than later.

The hospice has an open door policy for visitors, but be aware that you might arrive at an inconvenient time and you might have to wait before you can see Roy.  When and if he comes home visitors are also welcome, but we do not have an open door policy so please knock or ring the bell.  Again at times it might not be convenient for you to visit so please be understanding.

I found this prayer that I just wanted to share.

Lord, I trust in You. I believe in You. I hope in You. You are my confidence, my assurance. I lean upon You, for You are my Rock; I depend upon You, for You are my Provider; I delight in You, for You are the joy of my life. My heart rests in You; my faith responds to You, my soul rejoices in You.
I trust You in life - for the wisdom of Your ways, for the blessings of Your favor, for the sufficiency of Your grace, for the power of Your Spirit, and for the endurance that comes from Your strength.
I trust You for all things.
I trust You with all things.
I trust You in all things.
I trust You through all things.
I trust You above all things.

Until tomorrow.

Love and blessings

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Saturday Update:

This isn't really an update as I have had a stay at home day today so haven't seen Roy.  I did ring him at lunchtime and he sounded very tired.  He said he hadn't had a wild night and couldn't remember dreaming, but I think that just means he didn't get out of bed, as he doesn't remember even if he does dream.  He also reported that his foot was still very swollen.

I have had an emotional morning - most of it due to the amazingness of people around me - a huge thank you to a wonderful caring group of ladies who I have gotten to know via a Facebook page for those of us who are addicted to fabric.  I've have never actually meet any of these lovely ladies face to face and yet they have banded together to organise something very special to help our family out.  I am humbled by their thoughtfulness and love.  Here is the link if you want to go and check it out -

Today while doing my housework - some normality in an other wise chaotic life - I was reminiscing on Roy and my life together and thought maybe I should share some parts of it.  There are probably parts that even our children don't know.

My family emigrated to New Zealand from Holland when I was two and a half and we settled in Dunedin.  Through mutual friends my parents became friends with Roy's (Chris as he was called then) parents.  My earliest memory is visiting Roy's family down in Kiatangata on a Sunday I think.  I don't specifically remember Roy, but I remember doing rolly pollies down their back bank - which in my mind was pretty steep, but wasn't really when I revisited the place years later.  I also remember getting an ice cream from Roy's mum out of the shop which they owned.  Roy I don't remember at all.

My next memory is from when I was about 12 or 13, we had moved to Palmerston North and Roy's family to Wellington. We went to stay with the Nugteren's in Lower Hutt for a weekend.  Roy being 3.5 years older than me was prob 16, maybe 17.  Again I don't remember much about him specifically except hearing him come home  late on the Sat night and tossing his broken bike into the carport.  We learnt in the morning that he'd gone over his handle bars on his way home from his girlfriends.

A year later Roy and his parents moved to Palmerston North and Roy went to Massey.  We went to the same Church and hung out together with the youth group and I remember thinking he was pretty cute, even with a beard ;0)  During a youth group tramp in the Tararua's we became an item - as it was called in those days.  I think I was 14 nearly15 at the time.  Roy went off to Aussie to do some cycling before he went to the Aussie youth convention, and while he was away I got to babysit his 10 speed bike - wow that was so awesome, I'd never had a bike like that before - lol!!

When he got back he had bought us each a necklace with our initials - he wore the J and I wore the R and it was official we were going out.  I of course was still at high school, but every morning (nearly) I'd wait outside the front of Girls High School for Roy to come past of his way to Massey so we could have a quick chat.  I have often wondered since what the teachers must have thought, but no one ever said anything. Roy got a hard time from his Massey friends and they called him a cradle snatcher ;0)  The other thing we did was spend long hours talking on the phone - my parents can attest to that and we wrote lots of letters to each other as well.  No email in those days.  We sure kept the postie in work.

At one stage it looked like our family would be moving down to Christchurch as my Dad got a job there and boy was I upset about it.  There was no way I was going - not that I had a choice.  Roy even talked about changing his course so he could study down there - we were so in love.  In the end it didn't happen and we stayed in Palmy. Phew!!

When I was almost 17 and had finished high school we decided we wanted to get engaged and after talking to my parents we did but the stipulation was that we had to wait 2 years before we got married.  2 years!!!!!   Finally the day arrived and on the 10th of Dec 1983 we became husband and wife - I was 19 years old.  Boy that seems so young now.

We started our married life in Wellington where Roy had a job as a programmer at a computer company, it was a big adjustment for me as I was a small town girl, but the city soon grew on us and we had 20 very good years in Wellington.  We had a wonderful Church family and a busy Church life, we bought and sold our first house and bought a bigger house.  We were blessed with 4 wonderful children - 3 boys and a girl. By this stage Roy had been diagnosed with bladder cancer but we learnt to live with it and it just became a part of life.

But Roy became restless in the corporate computer world and the call to work with young people - something he'd done for years both as a Scout and Cadet leader grew strong and so we investigated the possibility of doing Christian camping.  After a number of applications Roy finally became Camp Manager for a Christian camp  in Inglewood.  He loved working with the school groups that came to the camp and the country life style was awesome.  Sadly the camp ran out of funds as they hadn't counted on it not being so well used over the winter and we had to look for another job.  Roy started selling Rawleigh products and we knew we could really do that anywhere so we decided to move closer to family and Church and so we settled in Levin.

Life here in Levin has been good too - most of that has been covered in a much earlier blog so I wont write about that again, we have been blessed to see 3 of our 4 children married and we have also been blessed with 2 beautiful grand-children.

Our life together has had it's highs and lows but we have journeyed it together, with the Lord as our guide and the center of our marriage.  We have learnt to trust more and more in God as the years pass and to take a step out in faith when He called us to do so.  We have been blessed in so many ways and I give thanks to my Father in heaven for each and ever day I have been able to spend with Roy.

Our time together is soon coming to an end and I must again trust in the Lord as I take a step out in faith, this time alone.  Although this will be scary I know that He will be there to guide me every step of the way I just need to focus on Him.

Thank you for taking the time to read what I write and thank you too for all the love, prayers and support we continue to receive.

I hope you all sleep well tonight I think I will and have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow.

Much love