Back to peace and quiet (I miss those kids!!) and as soon as the Grippers drove away on the next leg of their ‘Holiday Coast’ adventure, the sun disappeared, the heavens opened and the deluge resumed!
Thus we are back to parking on the ‘other side’ of the river and riding home in the Flying Fox. Whoever is doing the winding gets a fine upper body workout, but pulling yourself across hand over hand is very wearying! Phoenix leaps in and out with panache and daring and stays still for the crossing, and when he has to stay behind sits longingly on the platform watching until we get to our cars before he takes up his ‘watching’ position on the verandah or snuggles up on the wicker sofa for a snooze.
The only time he has braved the big waters was when the Grippers had first arrived and we all traversed the river on the fox to go for a drive up to Comboyne. Poor Phee must have thought that there was no way his newly rediscovered friends were going anywhere without him so as the last of us stepped off the fox I heard distant yelping and had horrific visions of Phee hurtling down the rapids at the end of the House Pool so I clambered down the rocks, screaming for him. Only to hear Angus say ‘he’s here, Sophie’ and there was a small, bedraggled, black dog with wildly waving tail jumping all over his Gripper friends having swum the raging river and clambered (somehow!) up the sheer rock face. He’s living proof that ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way!’
George has been in tears and sick with worry because Marcia woke up one morning unable to move and he had to carry her into the bathroom etc. She was in so much pain and he was in a complete panic. Ged rang me and told me he’d met George on the road and heard the sorry tale so I rang and said I would go up and massage her (she has arthritis in one hip and needs a replacement but apparently they won’t do replacements on Alzheimers patients because the anaesthetic adversely affects their brain). When I got there Marcia was in tears of pain and frustration and Mavia who lives further up the road from us and who has been looking after Marcia a day or two a week while George works had got her washed and dressed etc. We got her on a spare bed for a massage and eased up the cramping in her thigh and calf until she was walking normally again, but the next morning the same thing happened and every time George tried to move or touch her she just screamed with pain so he called the ambulance. Marcia was admitted to Wauchope hospital for tests and condition assessment (ie was she able to live at home) while we all counselled George that the best thing that could happen was that the authorities make the decision that he simply didn’t have the wherewithall or facilities to care for her deteriorating condition at home. Poor George, he was lost without her. While caring for her had been exhausting and often demeaning, she was the axis on which his world turned, and now he had no focus, no point, no pole star to guide his way. We took him food and had him here and rang the neighbours to rally him, but it was so sad to see him, who is so strong and sure, falter on his path.
As we predicted, the powers that be decided that Marcia must be cared for in a home and she was admitted to one in Laurieton and we are trying to pick up the pieces as George grieves his wife, their married life and the end of their time together. It is worse than death to see someone you love so much and for so long, fall apart and lose sight of themselves and all normalcy as they disappear into a fog of endless forgetfulness. Say a little prayer for a tough man who is cracking and a beautiful woman who should be spared the humiliation of a childlike dependence in an adult body and a slow demise into dementia. Please God, there is a better end for us all.