Saturday, July 05, 2008

July the Fourth!

Happy Independence day to my US friends.

July the fourth is Don's birthday, (he'd be 58) and also the day my mother died back in '93. When Don was alive I used to make sure the day was as good as I could make it and then after dinner I'd light the candle for mum who didn't die till after 10pm.
(Don and Melissa in 1974)

I have a terror of seeing police cars coming down the driveway, as it was the police who found mum. She'd been minding my sister's house in Qld and dropped dead in the kitchen. Don was stuck in bed and mum was hundreds of miles away in Brisbane - I rang and rang then we called the police. like many families we've had the police come down the driveway to bring awful news more than once and I have to give it to them its a bugger of a job to have to go into someone's home and bust up what happiness was there with the worst news.

So yesterday I took a cake and candles and bought Don's favourite bad food which he only had once in a while - A Chiko Roll! - and flowers - and had my own little party. Call me weird but have always been this way. For me cemetaries are not really places for the dead, they are places for those still living to have a moment out of the day where they can commune without interruption, cry, laugh or just be quiet.

But I will not be eating any more Chiko rolls - a fact I informed Don rather firmly about - I was as sick as a dog after... and he used to feel sick after about half and say to me "Why did I eat that" some foods are like that - its a memory thing like with hot chips - you remember how good they tasted once and you try to find that taste again - I think they are putting extra shit in the Chiko Rolls or is it I have abused my digestive system so much over the years....both maybe.

Anyhow I now have the wording from the NSW Coroner's office as to the changing of Don's death certificate which is really important and their reasons

They have said that the died from, and the certificate now reads

"1a Respiratory Failure (due to)

1b Recurrent Pleural Effusions and its Treatment


2 Quadriplegia."

I am not happy about the recurrent Pleural Effusions as he was only operated on six weeks after it was discovered, and it was the same effusion which had not been treated, but its a really big thing to get them to change an official document -

The coroner goes on to say, "The reason for the modification to the second line of the Death Certificate is because it is most unlikely that the deceased's rapid, but lengthy deterioration would have commenced when it did but for the patient undergoing the various transfers and treatment."

Now I have this document I can use it and its not just the stupid family being paranoid any more - it helps to see that the person who said this is the Chief Forensic Pathologist, Dept of Forensic Medicine for the NSW Coroner's office.

This letter arrived the day before Don's birthday - and it validates what I knew all along, but its a sad thing that what I knew and saw and understood has no value till someone with a Professor or Dr before his name gives it the A Okay.

Not sure what to do with myself today - I haven't settled since I came back home - got a bit of wanderlust in my bones, but need to be here till the things I started have panned out. The old Dog has got himself all burrowed into his bedding and we need to encourage each other to get moving. The mandarin tree is just covered with fruit, so will take him down the back for a forage.

Since I have been back I have realised what I have been feeling living here where everyone knows or knows about me. It was good to be away where I could just be myself - could be a bit of the black dog in my head today - a come down from yesterday. Its not like me to feel this down and it'll lift soon.

Could be the winter cold and overcast weather affecting me.


cs said...

What a great pix of Don and sweet Mel. I can only imagine how hard the 4th is for you! And especially after receiving your letter. sheesh! You are right about cemeteries;they are for us who need to go and have some quiet time. I told HHM I want some of my ashes sprinkled in the air over the lookout point we hike is my favorite spot and I feel so free there. It overlooks the lake and forest and you feel like a bird way up high, Then HHM can keep the rest of me in a jar on the mantle. That way I can still nag him and keep an eye on him! ha ha

I wish I could fly down and meet you too MC...maybe someday dear southern friend. It would be a grand thing...
try to enjoy your day as best you my prayers and sending extra love and comfort.

cs said...

PS: I just viewed your U-Tubes...excellent! I am so proud of you. You hold yourself with poise and dignity; good for you MC!

Sling said...

It must surely be a difficult day for you MC.You are in my prayers.
..The 4th is also my sister's birthday.
Guess I should call her.

Middle Child said...

CS - One day - who knows where any of us will be??? Poise and dignity - not so sure about that... the interveiwers were pretty friendly - its small town stuff but a good record.

Sling - hope you rang your sister - sorry - it was a real shit of a day but bitter sweet also- Don was/ is everywhere - but I would expect nothing different from him - thats how we were and thats whats so hard. You know the old two peas in a pod stuff.