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Sunday, February 6, 2011

I've been a bit slack lately...

It's a week since I updated the time flies!
Yesterday, Sunday, we had a long car trip to the town of Goondiwindi. Goondiwindi is near the border of Queensland and New South Wales and is the birthplace of DH's father. There were 4 of us, DH, myself, SIL Mary and BIL David and we set off just after 5.30 am with heavy hearts. Neville, an elderly cousin of DH has cancer and Parkinsons and his (Neville's) sister had warned us that he is failing fast. As we drove along through the various communities we saw the aftermath of the recent floods.
We had breakfast at McDonalds in Toowoomba, as the Coffee Club is still in ruins after that 'tsunami' through that main street.

We got to Goondiwindi at just on 10am and headed around to Margaret's place. Margaret is Neville's carer and also his younger sister. Her niece Susan,  gives her a hand with the heavier work involved with caring for someone so ill. They greeted us cheerfully and said he was having a 'good day and wasn't it lucky we chose that day'? They also warned us that he looked different from the last time we saw him...but even with that warning it was hard not to cry when he was wheeled out to see us. It was much harder for DH as he remembered the times when he stayed in Goondiwindi and Neville was such a livewire. This is what DH wrote on Facebook about the day and I think it just about says it all...

 'Travelled to Goondiwindi to visit my 84 year old cousin who is terminally ill. It is so sad to see someone lose all his dignity as he awaits the inevitable. We treat our pets more humanely than this man who used to double me on his bike more than 50 years ago. Such a vital and energetic man reduced to being treated like a baby - nappies and all. '

Early in our visit

A little later and he is getting tired

I said that it just about says it all...but this is what I 'absorbed' on our visit...the love of those 2 women for their brother and uncle. You could see it! You could feel it! The absolute devotion as they tended him. Neville was weak and had troubled breathing but he listened to all the conversations as the family recalled times long gone...some poignant memories, some painful memories and others that recalled mischief and mayhem from some family members. It was a difficult trip to make, and we all felt sad as we left knowing it would be the last time we would see him but as one, we all agreed we were glad that we went!

This used to be Grandma's House

This used to be Uncle Pat (Neville's brother) and Aunty May's House

This used to be Aunty Olive's (Neville and Margaret's mum) house

On visits to Goondiwindi, the family always visits the cemetry. This is the grave of DH's grandfather and his father Nelson

This is the grave of Margaret's husband

1 comment:

Claud said...

I'm sure he was glad to see and spend time with you all also.