I’m going to keep this brief (for me) because I don’t have the heart for a longer version. Mum had a stroke just over two weeks ago and ended up in Base Hospital initially, where she had a fall; not their fault I hasten to add. Once they were sure it was a stroke, and that she was doing okay, they moved her back to Hawera Hospital for rehab.

Mum’s speech is fine, but her swallow reflex might be a bit dodgy; she can’t eat bread or similar for now. Her brain is okay, but there are certainly holes in both logic and memory from time to time. That may get better over time. She walks okay, but is always on a walker now, not just a walking stick. The biggest hurdle was transferring from bed or chair to walker and back but she has that sorted now.

However, she is very frail and has lost all confidence, and needs support to go to the toilet etc as she is scared of falling – I think her eyesight got worse with the stroke too.  She is up 3 or 4 times a night so it’s quite a challenge.

Mum has decided that she no longer feels safe being at home alone in the afternoons when we’re at work, and also doesn’t want Tony and I having to get up that often at night. She has chosen to go into Te Mahana Resthome, where she was going for two days day care each week, on a permanent basis. In theory, if she’s a lot better after a month, she can try coming home but I honestly think the most she’ll manage is some Sundays and Mondays when I’m not at work.

Tony and I feel sad it has come to this; we all wanted her to stay with us till she died, but she shows no real sign of doing so and now it is out of our hands. It is a huge change for us, as we’ve been living with her for 14 years as carers now.

So, that’s where we are at. My heart is heavy and I have cried a lot, but I know it is best for Mum. 


Full moon

Tonight it is full moon, but not just any full moon, it’s the biggest full moon of the year. Spectacular! ABC News says “It happens because — despite what our senses tell us — the moon does not orbit us in a perfect circle. It follows a slightly elliptical path every month. At 11:35 p.m. EDT, say astronomers, it will come within 221,802 miles of us — coincidentally about one minute before it’s at its fullest. The result: When the moon is closest to Earth, it appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when it’s farthest from us. Two weeks from now, on the opposite side of its orbit, it will be about 252,000 miles away”.

I love the full moon and am often *very* wakeful – I can sense the full moon and need to paint, often in the middle of the night. My friend Sandra Robinson, whose passion is photography, sent me this amazing photo:

Here are some paintings of the moon that I have done over the years; there might be more by tomorrow!