I am now close to 38 weeks pregnant, and I may be wrong, but I feel like Peanut is getting ready to meet us. The aches and pains are changing and the Braxton Hicks are coming on stronger and more frequently especially through the night. While uncommon its not unheard of for a first-time mother to go a little early. I am so excited, nervous, apprehensive and just cant wait until the first sign comes; I will be thinking "Is this it??"
Sadly, my dear Mum has had to fly over to New Zealand as my Grandma is fading and they don't think she has much time left. Mum left yesterday at very short notice, she was lucky to get a flight last minute because of all the drama with the volcanic ash cancelling flights. Mum felt terrible to be leaving me at this late stage in my pregnancy, and doesn't know when she will return, it will depend on Grandma's condition. I assured her that it would be alright and that I doubt the baby will arrive in the next few days.
My much beloved Grandma Joye is 92 years old, and has been unwell for the last couple of years. She has had various health problems and is also often confused and forgetful; but we have seen at times brief moments of recognition and we've been thankful to be able to have a little quality time with her. I just hope my Mum gets one of these precious moments, and is able to spend some quality time with her. I hope that Grandma is aware of how many people love and admire her. She has lived through two husbands, my Mum's dearly loved dad Bill who passed when Mum was a young adult, and my Grandad Arthur who was a prisoner of war. My most fondest memories of Grandma and Grandad are from their visits to us on our farm near Yeppoon, central Qld. They were such gentle and loving grandparents and always had a kind and encouraging word. They would sit in the sun on the verandah having cups of tea and toast- it surprised me as a child to watch Grandad wave his toast in the air until it was stone cold.
Grandad passed away years ago and Grandma continued to visit us every few years, right up until her last visit in 2005 for my sister Cinnamon's wedding. Shane and I made it over to NZ just before our wedding, 2 years ago. I am so thankful that we made this trip and that I got to have quality time with Grandma. She wasn't always sure who I was, but when I showed her a photo of our family and went through name by name, I saw that she knew each and every one of us and she called me Sarndy, her pet name for me. She just loved Shane- she told me peering at him over the top of her reading glasses, in her cute accent "Oooh He's just Lovely!" She was still living with my Aunty Julie then, soon afterwards she moved into a beautiful home for the elderly in Palmerston North. The Julia Wallace Retirement Home is a fairly new establishment, staffed by wonderful people who you can tell genuinely care for the residents. There is a big warm general area where the residents can sit and socialise in comfortable armchairs, and are often sharing a birthday cake or listening to piano music. It is surrounded by beautifully kept gardens and immaculate lawns; Grandma has enjoyed many hours out in these gardens with the help of someone to assist her in a wheelchair. It has been a relief to know she has been so well cared for in her last few years, and has had a beautiful corner room up a few stories with a lovely view overlooking the gardens. A few of her precious things are in her bedroom- photos of her family, her jewellery hanging inside her cupboard door, a few ornaments and many letters and cards she has nearby in a basket. My Mum faithfully writes to Grandma nearly every week- and has done so for many years. The rest of us would send cards on birthdays and Christmas, just as Grandma did for all of her Grandchildren. It was a sad time when we stopped receiving her beautifully hand written cards when she became too elderly. She just loves to read and it has been such a blessing that she has kept enough of her eyesight to be able to continue reading.
|My beautiful Grandma Joye at my sister's wedding in 2005|
Even though I know and accept that we all pass away is it still hard to think of a time when she isn't around. I haven't had many experiences with death thankfully and I also haven't had many babies in my life until the last few years. I am still coming to terms with the realities of life; I know that it is my time to be taught these valuable lessons.