30 July 2006

A Day of Lessons and Food for Thought

Little Cooper's birth photo. Isn't he an angel?

As I said in the previous post, I went to my friends' home for lunch today. Now I haven't seen B for a while but have had lunch with M several times, the last being a couple of weeks ago. B has a degenerative illness and M warned me that I would notice a great change. I most certainly did and I found it very sad indeed. Not that B would want any pity. But he was a man who used to be pretty active, he and M would go walking of an evening and he had held down a pretty responsible job for many years. His illness was diagnosed not long after he retired. He had plans to travel and really enjoy his retirement and this has happened. I just feel so sad for him. What makes it doubly sad is that he is only a very few years older than me.

I did have a lovely time with my friends today, though. The weather was just perfect and we sat outside in the courtyard under the sun umbrella and had our lunch - a lovely salmon quiche with salad and then apple pie and icecream for dessert. Of course, we also had the obligatory glass of wine as well!

* * * *
This evening on TV a programme was aired called "Kath's Story" which also gave me a lot to think about. Kath was one of the Vietnamese orphans evacuated during the fall of Saigon in 1975 and adopted by an Australian family and raised in a loving home. On her 21st birthday, her adoptive parents gave Kath her Vietnamese birth certificate along with a letter written by her mother. To cut a long story short, Kath went to Vietnam and eventually found her mother. It was very emotional for both of them, because the mother thought her little girl had died. Apparently she put her baby in an orphanage and when she went back three days later to get her daughter, the orphanage had been bombed and was just a pile of rubble. So for all these years, this mother thought her baby was dead.

I have a very dear friend who escaped from Vietnam and fled to Australia in the 70s - one of the original refugees. I said to S once that it must have been very difficult growing up in that environment, with fighting going on all the time. As S said, they didn't know any difference, that was their life. Another time we were talking about birth signs and I asked S what star sign she was. She doesn't know when her birthday is because their village was a long way from the centre where they registered births and somehow her birth was never registered. She is now happily married and has made a good life for herself here in Australia. And when S talks about her past, she is very matter of fact about it, there is no self-pity whatsoever. Her experiences have not embittered her and she is a beautiful, intelligent, funny and lovely friend with an absolute sweetie of a husband.

We have a lot to be thankful for, don't we?

I had a phone call from my irrepressible mother today. Oh, she's a worry, that one. Apparently she had an overnight stay in hospital during the week. She and Harold belong to several activity groups in their retirement village and on this occasion, they were practicing with their singing group. Earlier mum had thought her heart was feeling a bit dodgy so she had a puff of her angina spray. During their practice, her face when white and she dropped to the floor unconscious. Fortunately, there were two nurses and a doctor present and the pastor, who was holding Harold's hand. Harold was dreadfully upset because he thought mum had died! Anyway she was taken to hospital and kept in overnight for observation.

The next day, the cardiologists came around to see her and mum asked if she could go home. They said yes, but they wanted to put her on the treadmill for an exercise stress test first. Mum objected very strongly to that and asked them why they would want to put an 86-year-old lady on a treadmill. She told them that she was 86, in fact closer to 87 and just three years off 90, so it was ridiculous wanting her to go on a treadmill at her age. Now she was dead serious about all this, but apparently the doctors, nurses and other patients were all roaring their heads off with laughter, much to mum's indignation. Anyway they let her go home, but one doctor had a parting shot. He looked at mum and said, "86 going on 40!" By this time, I was laughing so hard I thought I would collapse. Honestly, that woman is a real trick. She could not understand why everyone was laughing when she was being totally serious and I told her she probably made their day!

So that was my day today, quite a mixed bag, don't you think? While you're here, have a look at Oscar's blog: http://oscarschair.blogspot.com/


Ky Boo Gal said...

Your Mom sounds like a hoot! At least she is spunky not crawling off in a corner somewhere and accepting everything meekly!!
That baby is a lil' angel...would love to hold the sweet thing!
Have a good Sunday!!

PEA said...

Baby Cooper certainly is a little treasure...soooo adorable!!! I can't wait to start having grandchildren...my oldest son is getting married next year so hopefully I'll be a grandma in the near future:-) Glad you had such a nice time with your friends...how sad for him though. You hear that so many times, someone retires and has plans to travel, etc., and then they get too ill to do anything. My dad had worked 30 years in the mines and was planning on retiring in 1979 and he & mom were planning all kinds of trips...unfortunately he passed away from cancer in January of 1979 when he was only 48 years old. I've watched a few television specials about the children of Vietnam who were adopted...always breaks my heart to know that so many of the parents never knew their children survived the bombings and vice versa. Very sad. As for your mom, I wouldn't have been able to resist laughing also if I'd been there! lol She sure does sound like quite the character!! *Hugs*

Granny said...

Baby is adorable. I'm so sorry about your friend.

Lots happening in your life today and I'm glad most of it was pleasant.

I'm giggling at the mental picture of your mom. Mine is a very feisty 94 and I can hear her saying much the same thing.

DellaB said...

I love Kath's Story, thank you for sharing that with us. Good news is always welcome! I think we don't always realise just how different the refugees must have grown up.

One of my sisters had a story she used to tell about waking up one day in a hospital bed, surrounded by her husband and several of her grown children - all crying - as she tells it, her first thought was "Oh dear something bad has happened, why is everybody crying? I'd better get out of this bed and find out what is wrong..."

Needless to say - it was because they thought she was dying, but that hadn't occurred to her - typical Dessie, she was a great mother to her 6 kids, and my favourite sister, gone much too early at age 65.

Nicole said...

Angel... yes definitely.... but if I were you, I'd find out what makes them grow and take it out of that little ducky right this minute.... do you think the cuteness gene stays around for long? Oh I am learning the hard way all right.... hang on till I get on this soap box properly... grunt... groan... yep, as I was saying.... they grow up to be cheeky little knowitalls. They give you these little smiles that make you think the sun shines out of there butts when secretly they are plotting your painful existence into their adulthood and beyond. I asked my chickens who will feed and clothe Mama when she gets old.... and Hairy Bear turned around and said "I'll do it tomorrow and then Bella can do it on the weekend!" Well I never!
I am not old!!!!!!!! :(
She gets off soapbox and walks away....

Yes, very cute grandchild, congrats Ms. ;)

FLASH said...

Beautiful and adorable, God's perfect gift.
Mom's teach us to be strong. Yours and mine seem to have some... in common.
Sad about your friend. Realize I have a lot to be grateful for, health is one...

Checkout my blog

Merle said...

Hi Robyn ~~Nice to meet you and I hope you will visit again and enjoy
what you see here. Glad you liked the jokes, it's great when we haven't seen them before. Glad you liked the prayer. Your mother sounds terrific and I hope she is around for many many years.Little Cooper is delightful, and so cute. Take care Robyn,I enjoyed your post.
Cheers, Merle.