It’s six weeks today since we left home and embarked on our rites of passage into the worlds of hospital wards and hospice life. If you read my previous post, Sustaining one’s spirit in tough times, you will know what led us on this latest journey. My last words on that previous post were, ‘next stop, home’. I am very pleased to announce, that we did make it back home, being discharged from Caritas Christi Hospice, Kew, on Monday the 20th of March. We ended up staying at CCK for just over three weeks, and in that time, with the help of a wide range of people, medical staff and family and friends, we sorted through all that needed to be done, to return to our home.
I have always liked that proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, and I have adapted it to our purposes today, it has taken a village to bring our darling Peter home. This month, our story is mainly told in pictures, I hope you get a sense of just how fortunate we are to live in such a village.
While this is not a photo of the Occupational Therapist at Caritas Christi – they have a strict policy of not photographing staff – the content reflects just one of the many pieces she put into place for us; providing Peter with the ability to be mobile. She also checked out our house to make sure the entries, exits and surfaces were suitable for wheelchair access.
Melissa and Philip provided love and support in many ways, including making and delivering the best risotto in the entire universe, supplying light cotton trousers (a necessity in air-conditioned rooms), and organising all kinds of things behind the scenes. they are excellent company at ‘drinkies’ time as well!
My sister, Jann, travelled from Tasmania twice while we were at CCK, taking me out for dinner on her first visit (Yay!) and doing some much needed garden watering on the second visit, as well as being here to meet the equipment deliver guy, allowing me to head back to the hospice for any final organising that needed to be done. Those Tasmanians!
Dean Richards, one of Peter’s long standing friends, visited several times while we were at CCK. Each time he played guitar and sang with Peter, and was happy for me to go shopping for items we would be needing back at home.
Lisa and Darren, our closest neighbours in both vicinity and affection, were kind enough to drop over and mow our lawn THREE times over the period we were at CCK.
It’s difficult for friends who are overseas to know how to contribute. Shannon, another very good and close friend of Peter’s, sent over this graphic novel, knowing that it would be the kind of story that Peter would enjoy.
In the midst of it all, my mother turned 90. We had planned a family get-together at the Sofitel, the same hotel where our parents spent their 50th wedding anniversary. Because Peter was still at Caritas Christi, we had a smaller version of the celebration, with just mum and her four children. Here we all are: Rod, Jann, me, Edna and Hugo
Louis stayed overnight at CCK while I stayed with my mother and sister at the Sofitel. After only a few hours, he had already gained a reputation as being a devoted son. Yoshi also spent time with Peter on a couple of occasions when I had medical appointments. (Okay, I can’t help being a proud mother!)
The big day came and we made it home! The paramedics almost sent us back because we couldn’t get the control for the bed to work. Suki couldn’t contain herself on seeing Peter for the first time in five weeks.
We are still pinching ourselves, it feels like a victory, to have been through so much and to make it back. We will continue to need our village to support us, maybe even more so.
…and here is the view from here. You’re welcome to walk up the path some day soon, just make sure you contact me first! 🙂