It is Saturday morning. It is 10:30 a.m.. It is quite dark, in this ‘secret garden’, in south-western Sydney.
There’s sure to be more rain. It is deathly quiet.
(That’s not true. Vague sounds of bird-life somewhere, across the creek and a car revving up.)
It feels so much like the calm after the storm.
Ninety-year-old father, needed ambulance, three days in a row, a few months ago. Ended up in hospital. Then nursing home and now in a lovely unit, in the retirement village, built by Dutch-Australians.
Some time ago, I heard the apparently well-known expression: “Even the dog died” (which then relieved the owners of any more responsibilities and they could do what they liked, like join the Grey Nomads).
Well, even Jemma, my 16 year-old cat, indicated clearly that she’d had enough. She ‘complained’ so much. Stumbled so often and, as happened to me before, with another cat, I found her lying in the garden, in damp weather, having great difficulty getting up, a week or so ago.
I took her back to the R.S.P.C.A..
It’s all stopped.
The routine of looking after my father, going to him, roughly ever 1.5 or 2 hours. Even the feeding of the cat.
Felt a bit like when you’ve been of a roller-coaster-ride or any other busy, fast, noise journey and, suddenly, it’s stopped!
I felt dizzy. Unwell. Sure enough. Doctor found the blood-pressure too high.
No more coffee. (After all, it is a drug_, he said.) No more red wine in the evening, with dinner. (It’s pure sugar, you know_, he said.)
(When WE are younger, he said. – He IS! – we can drink these things and think nothing of it, but as WE get older, our bodies don’t cope as well, anymore. We have to make a decision. Come back and see me again BEFORE Christmas!)
I’m having no coffee. No wine. Lasted four days, so far!
Did not attend the awards ceremony, to which I’d been invited, as (longest-serving-) assessor for the Keep Australia Beautiful , Clean Beach Challenge_) – Thus, passing up a chance to breakfast, ON Sydney Harbour, and the chance to find out which of ’_my beaches’ had done well, in the State (of NSW) awards.
(None did, this year!)
Congratulations Tathra Beach – WELL-DESERVED!
So. That’s it.
It’s too deathly quiet, outside.
Even the little children from next door cannot be seen or heard and that keeps me superstitious.
They were ‘out-of-control’, just as the storms were raging in my life_, a few months ago. (_Why do all these things always happen, at the same time?)
Rode extremely noise mini-bikes, between 4 and 7 p.m., most evenings, leaving the strong smell of fuel, hanging over my garden.
They were upset with the girl living on the other side of me and threw many, many dozens of stones, intended for next door, but landing on my property, my roof.
Calling the police was not pleasant. Talking with the parents was o.k., but not like a friendly chat across the fence.
And, now, suddenly, it’s quiet.
#A friend has urged me to come for coffee because I haven’t been for a while.
#My, now adult, son and daughter enjoyed celebrating St Nicholas Day, with my father and me.
#On that morning, I thoroughly enjoyed playing St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) songs, accompanied on violin, by Hanna, for the Chester Hill Primary Schoolchildren, the Abel Tasman Retirement Village residents and Sinterklaas and Black Pete (Zwarte Piet).
#A postponed meeting of the D.A.C.C. board, allowed me to stay home, this week. The second-last art class for the year, was very pleasant and the teacher appreciated my gift, of the RedBubble calendar.
There’s lots to do.
It’s a mood, a feeling, a milestone. I’m still working on a series of paintings, on the theme of Sans Famille, Alleen Op De Wereld, Alone in the World, and in spite of my son, daughter and ex living not far away, it feels a little bit like that.
And it’s not bad!
It never stands still. Life. Changes happen. Suddenly the routine of being committed to being a carer, is lifted. Even the cat’s gone. It’s so quiet!