It will come as no surprise that after 7 weeks away from home, and 2 more to go, that I’m homesick: for Bill, for our sweet little house, for our dear ones/dogs in the purple house, for Juneau generally, for the mountains and sea, and most of all (after Bill) for my own comfy back-supporting bed. I’ve been “sleeping” on a variety of mattresses, some of the back-breaking type. And, guess what? My back is killing me. 2 trips to a nearby chiropractor have taught me that the tools and techniques used in Australia are new to me – and interesting. Whether more effective or not remains to be seen.
Regardless, I’m glad I’m spending this time with my brother and Rae. All things considered he’s doing quite well facing probable death from brain cancer in the not too far off future. For now he functions pretty well and – as people do when they get older or sicker – he’s being more of what he was before. Introverted, often inaccessible, and sometimes amazingly like our father. He writes often, and has begun a blog. One can only imagine what it would be like to face one’s own imminent extinction, let alone how someone else would experience it. We’re born alone and we die alone, and at both life-markers we need help. And we each approach these end-points differently. For me, now, the task is simply to be here and available to Sandy as/if/when he chooses. To walk the dog, run errands, cook, wash dishes. Rae has taken the opportunity of my visit to fly to NZ for 10 days to see her 96-yr old mother, giving her a break from home and its constant worries. Not easy to be sandwiched been a failing mother and a failing partner.
My brother and Rae live a somewhat reclusive life, so I’m a bit short of social contact – with Rae gone, I’m especially enjoying time with Sara the little dog, a perennial happy treat. My daily phone contact with Bill is likewise an important anchor
Since I’ve been in Lara, we’ve made 2 weekend trips to the southern Victoria coast (more later, thoroughly enjoyable) and I made a solitary 2-day trip to explore Melbourne, a fascinating city (again, more later.)
Myy brother has been the custodian of our family history, so I’m spending a lot of time scanning/digitizing old photos, letters, documents, and downloading the genealogical data from his head – being 3 1/2 years older than I plus remembering more from his childhood, he has more information on that topic than I do. Emersing in our family history has become fascinating, and for the first time (I think) I’m relating to my forebears as real people. The family energy field is alive and well and I’m happy to have the opportunity to document it in some interesting way – once I’ve collected everything in one place.