Sometimes I want someone to put their arm across my shoulders, give me a squeeze and say : "You're okay mate, you're going to get through this and be better than ever." Unfortunately I don't have that person now and I have doubts about the " better than ever". I miss Ray so much, not the man he was necessarily when he died so much as the man he was in his middle years, that strong, patient man who was my rock. That is the man who helped me bring up our kids. That was the man who didn't seem fazed if things went wrong.
Yesterday I saw the throat specialist and agreed to an operation on my thyroid. It will be in about three months time.It was a hard decision as I have had enough of hospital and operations and the pain of recovery etc. The doctor has dropped back from " it is cancer" to "it may be cancer" but I guess that is so I won't sue him if he does the op and it turns out benign. He did point out that maybe the brain aneurysm should be dealt with first but the thyroid op has a shorter recovery period. I hate making these sorts of decisions on my own. But who else is there? My children said it has to be my choice.
I enjoyed my week away with friends out west. Not as far out west as Broken Hill but in a very picturesque part of the state, about seven hours drive from here, called the New England district. I stayed a week and enjoyed the parties for my friend's 70th birthday. We have been friends for many years, more like brother and sister really and it was great to reconnect with his family and some mutual friends who came out especially to attend the party. These are old friends who have traveled a lot of my life's journey with me. We did a lot of the "remember when" stories, exploring what we still have in common and it was great fun. Now it is back to the world I live in today.
Today I have the blues. It is my reaction to bad news, or a bad situation where I feel I have limited control. It is usually a temporary state so tomorrow or the next day I will be back in my thinking mind. On the whole I am a logical thinker and fairly optimistic so will plan for the operation and the aftermath. For instance I will have food in the freezer that I can blend if needed. Once I start on the practical steps I usually start to feel better. But I'm still missing that special person who would share the load with me. Friends may understand part of what I am going through but in the end that is a poor substitute for what I used to have.
On a brighter note we have had rain in some of our inland towns where the farmers were struggling with drought. The rain was not as widespread as country folk would have liked but it did relieve the drought for some folk. Australia is such Country of Contrasts, bushfires in some areas, floods in the lands closer to the desert, a cold snap in Tasmania. In Tasmania they have a saying: " If you don't like our weather come back in ten minutes." I think that applies all over at the moment. On the journey home I could see where the rain had fallen as grass was beginning to show in barren areas.
Tomorrow I go out from here, pick up my passenger for church, go on smiling and chatting, being a listening ear etc. That is what I do as a pastoral care worker. I just have to find the emotional energy to do it. I know all will be well given time, but in the meantime I could use a hug or two.