Friday, May 25, 2012

More sad times

Jeanie Muller
When will this stop!  Just before we went away we learned that our dear friend Jeanie Muller hadn't long to live.  The bowel cancer that has attacked her three times since just before I was diagnosed with my secondary has finally won.  Jeanie was hospitalised a few times due to fluid build up in her lungs.  Her breathing became difficult and she wasn't eating much.
When we arrived home there was a brief email from Gordon letting us know that if we wanted to see her we'd best make it sooner rather than later.  She'd been in hospital again too. Then Arthur told us Jeanie was home, but on oxygen and in a hospital bed.
I desperately wanted to see her before it was too late, but Bill was unsure.  Basically he didn't know if he could handle it as it was pretty close to home given that he'll be in the same position as Gordon at some time.  There was the added complication that I had brought home a rotten cough from our holiday.  I didn't want to pass it on to Jeanie and give her something else her poor body had to deal with.  I decided to leave it up to Gordon - if he said he didn't want to risk my passing on my cough to Jeanie we wouldn't go.
At first that was Gordon's response, but then he had second thoughts and said we could come.  We made sure we got some surgical masks from the District Nurses before we went, just to be safer.
The woderful Jeanie we remember, with Gordon on their 50th wedding anniversary.
So yesterday morning we headed off to say our goodbyes.  When we arrived Jeanie was sleeping peacefully.  Bill and I think she was actually in a coma.  We talked to her as if she could hear us, and I have to believe that she did.  She was peaceful, not in pain and obviously not under any stress.  But it was so sad to see the vivacious Jeanie we remember, just lying there.
Barb, her daughter, was there with Gordon, and shortly before we left her daughter Janine arrived with granddaughter Audrey.
We shared some lunch with Barb and Gordon, then left about 2:00pm to make our way home.  It was a very teary farewell, knowing we wouldn't see her again.
When we were in Bairnsdale I got a call from Ann Leeson wondering if we had managed to see Jeanie.  I told her we had, and that she was fading fast.  Gordon had said he doubted if she would last till the weekend.  Ann decided she'd ring Gordon to see if they could pop around that evening.
As we arrived home I received another call from Annie - they were just about to go to Gordon's when Barbie rang to say that Jeanie had slipped away a few minutes earlier.
Life is so unfair sometimes.  Jeanie was a wonderful lady, a fantastic friend, very kind-hearted.  When Bill and I got together Jeanie and Gordon accepted me into their circle of friends as if I had known them all along.  We had some wonderful times together, especially at Omeo.
God Bless you Jeanie - you will be missed so much.  I am so glad we were able to spend some time with you and Gordon yesterday.  I love you my friend.  Sleep peacefully.

TO mourn too long
for those we love
is self indulgent -
but to honour their memory
with a promise
to live a little better
for having known them,
gives purpose to their life -
and some reason
for their death . . . . .

Nanushka (Nan Whitcomb)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Feeling Sad

Sometimes one has to ask why God takes the good ones.  Yesterday I heard some very sad news - Rick Lightowler died on Monday.  Who is Rick Lightowler you may ask?  Rick was one of the wonderful nurses in Casualty, who tended to me many times over the three years when I was a regular visitor.  He was a man of humour, excellent nursing skills, he cared, and helped make some pretty awful times more bearable.  I'll never forget his "Your neutrophils are in your boots darl!"  Everyone was mate or darl to Rick.  He was only 45 years old, and leaves a wife and two children.  They will miss him dreadfully, but so will the many patients who make their way to Casualty at Bairnsdale Regional Health Services.
Those who have been to Casualty perhaps once or twice may never even have come across him so they will never know what they are missing.  But there must be others like me who have been there many times who will have experienced his care.  I'm not saying the other nurses aren't just as wonderful and caring, but Rick really did stand out.
Rick was a rough diamond - but he was a caring, genuine human being.  A real character. It's been over 12 months since I've had to go to Casualty (thankfully) so we hadn't known he was even sick.  So it came as a huge shock when I was told yesterday that he had died.
Rest In Peace mate!  God really does take the best - if only we could fathom why!