Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I just noticed this.
In photos of  our girls with their Dad; with my sisters and Don and of myself and Don, a huge percentage of the photos taken even going way back to when the girls were younger have someone with their hand outstretched upon his chest. They are not there holding him upright or anything - and when we were having them taken there was no conscious thought of where to put hands - we just all seemed to fling together but someone would have their hand there - and it was only recently I realised this as i was looking though the photo albums (the power was out so had nothing else to do). I would have thought that over the 25 years since his accident Don would have made some comment - its a nice gesture - sort of one of unconscious protection fro someone who was physically vulnerable - but we never babied him because it wasn't our nature and he wouldn't have allowed it because he was first of all in control and am happy to admit that  - he organised and i did and that worked so well.

Its funny to note that the older he got (and the less well) the more often it seemed to happen - and although people could see he wasn't all that well Don and I didn't speak about this to anyone. We wanted to kids to have a good life and to come hoe with anticipation not dread that something was going wrong.

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John O'Donohue
Quite a few years ago I came across this Irish Poet and Philosopher and was quite taken by his slant on life the universe and everything. Sadly he died suddenly aged only 52 in early 2008 and his last book as far as I know was a book of verse called Blessings. The Blessings were for every facet of human life and death and as it was soon after my own husband died it really struck a chord. Especially his poem "For Grief". Only yesterday I found this and wanted to share it with you.

The Invisible Sanctuary of Memory

August 28th 2011

“In the existential biography of human subjectivity there is no threshold more creative than that between memory and possibility.  Though possibility is always hovering near and experience is the arena where possibility is realised, the future of every experience is still disappearance. Transience makes a ghost of experience.  Human life is a threshold where lived experience is continually falling away and vanishing.  One of the key questions of identity is: where do these experiences go?  As the Medievals put it: Where does the flame go when the candle is quenched?  Is there a place where our vanished days secretly gather?  Perhaps there is and the name of that place is memory.  Experience is the continual conversion of possibility into memory.
While experiences vanish, memory remains.  Indeed, the narrative of an individual life is the secret construction of this invisible sanctuary of memory.  This is where all the known and unknown substance of our days and nights is gathered and selected until it finds the form of memory.  This is subtle imaginative work.  Memory is not merely the reception of the raw imprint of experience nor its simple storage.  There is a harvesting imagination that works at the heart of memory which searches the lived substance of our days until it clarifies and settles into a form that abides.  Almost without noticing it, the individual sanctuary of memory is forever finding its way further into structure and shape.  This work continues until the substance of our last hours on earth is received into its deeper lived form.  When at last the body falls and the visible life vanishes, the finished sanctuary of memory holds all the harvested possibility.” From an essay titled “Towards a Poetics of Possibility” by John O’Donohue that he delivered in January 2005 at Trinity College, Dublin.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The other evening Melissa sent me through on the mobile phone this photo of herself and her dad taken back in free and easy 70's (1977)...the doggie was a poor silly dog called Boris - I knew when she sent it through why, without there being any words - sometimes the girls just flick a photo or something representing their time with their dad through - and it breaks my heart - those of you out there who have a good dad - and some aren't - make sure he is loved as much as this one was and make good memories - and dads - be a kid occasionally  - kids love it when someone is being a bit naughty especially a dad. She sends stuff like this when she is missing him - and with others you can't keep talking about someone who is dead - people actually get sick of it - if that person were alive they would be included and talked about - for us in our family just being dead doesn't mean you don't get talked about - for better or worse.

Sometimes I wonder did the family that was us split off somewhere and not have the accident - not become paralysed and is somewhere else living a life that went that away. But them in that parallel universe maybe worse things happened to that family - I suppose better the life you know.

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Our "Red Dog" - I am going to see the movie "Red Dog tomorrow - have as you might know a liking for red kelpies and you can see here that our old red kelpie was a handsome one - some say its a bit sad but have at least told me its not like those cutsie doggie stories they usually do - I think I would upchuck of they made a kelpie behave like they usually have dogs do in movies. Supposed to be a pretty authentic representation of outback Australia in the 1970's -
have a look at the trailer -
shook me up a bit to see this doggie - his eyes so much like out Thorn - barring the white bits of fur ours had - he was the most intelligent dog I have ever known and so easy to train - you only had to show him twice and he remembered - except if a cat came close by - am looking forward to seeing this - they made a few rough edged films in the 70's and 80's but not so many of later years -

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Agree or not politically - these cartoons about our Prime Minister Gillard are very clever and she does lend herself so well to caricature. 

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

 Copperwitch (Jahteh)'s blog post about her grand daughter's formal dress and the big store set by formals for kids in year 12 reminded me of when Melissa aged about 16 had to go to her formal - it was for year 10 - Her dress cost $5 from Vinnies - the gloves also from Vinnies - she did her own hair - and she still wears that necklace thingie - hard to believe it was way back all those years ago, 1990 to be precise - Don took the photos - he'd figured out that even having no hand usage tripods and other ways worked for him and he took some lovely photos...

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Good cop, bad cop

No reason at all for posting this  - just looking back at some photos taken in 2004 of the girls playing dressup - they were living in Coogee in those days and I would go down to see them when we could afford to hire someone to stay with don a few days - we always had fun. Still do when we get together. I just wish they lived in the same city still and that we could see each other more.

Just noticed the excessive hair growth in the last one - (underarm!)

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

A wonderful visit with my sister ended last night  - she is back home now. We had the best of times - a bit bitter sweet really with the last day being an "Open House" for the sale - but at least I get my cats back - here she is down on the floor in the winter sun early morning and the cats are in heaven - another cat in the house as she tried to handle the NSW cold - she comes from hot old Brisbane and needed her woolies  - but here in this spot in the house she was in her element - Tiger and her had some fun but Tiger was not amused at her style of play - the eyes have it - it was as if Tiger was thinking - "one day I will get my revenge - I know how to wait". We went to the local wineries - the beach - the shops...cleaned the house furiously - packed - drank a little - ate prawns - and took tons of photos. Veronica has been my most constant visitor since we moved here in 1976 - and so many memories of wonderful family gatherings we both carry - the numbers diminishing year by year. She took the lovely shot of the kangaroo crossing the paddock in the late afternoon.

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Port Macquarie News 3rd August 2011 -
Click on the pic if you can't read the writing - I was amazed that the health Minister told the paper there would be no Inquiry before even responding to my letter to me - must be the way they do business these days

and my response for the PM News

Dear Editor,
I would like to thank the Port Macquarie news for excellent coverage in today’s (3/8/11) paper titled, “Quest For Inquiry” which explained my request to Jillian Skinner NSW Health Minister via our local MP Leslie Williams that,
“the NSW State Premier Mr Barry O’Farrell and Health Minister ¬ Ms Jillian Skinner instigate a full and open investigation into the preoperative treatment, surgery, medical neglect and subsequent death of my husband, Donald William Mackay, as a result of the five weeks he spent in Royal North Shore Hospital between 11th April 2007 and 17th May 2007 (the day he died).”
I was hopeful that Ms Skinner would notify me about her decision not to hold an inquiry, rather than my finding out in today’s Port Macquarie News. There has been no communication whatsoever between Ms Skinner, nor anyone from the Coalition and no discussion about my request for an Inquiry, just a blanket “No” via the media. It would benefit Jillian Skinner as well as Leslie Williams in her new role as “Chair of the State Health Care Complaints Committee”; the very body who declared the dreadful treatment my husband received “acceptable to speak with those who have genuine complaint about the HCCC’s bias.
Those who have a relative with severe disability such as Quadriplegia or Cerebral Palsy are afraid of leaving relatives alone whilst in hospital as often there are mistakes made, leading to complications, as in my husband’s case death. Many relatives sleep on floors or in chairs rather than leave their loved one. But finally you have to sleep.
In a truly civilised society those who are frail and aged or disabled would be treated with care by all of us – not seen as someone who’s use by date has come and gone – that way is savagery. My husband Don was treated as someone who’s use by date had come and gone and it is my duty to he and others in his situation to do my best to ensure that the system that allows and covers this up is changed.