STEPS for Carers meeting in Maryborough
It was lovely to be invited to talk to Carers and having the opportunity to talk to them about my journey and sell my book. The folk were all caring and compassionate toward each other and had an interesting journey of their own to share. I am so proud of their progress and to be able to share their story is a great step forward for them. They are typical of the battler – one step forward, two steps back but it’s the step forward that will get them through their daily struggle to exist in a world of mixed emotions and insecurity. They are positive of mind, and by attending the support groups, they will grow each day.
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS – Maryborough (Aged Care students)
I was invited to talk to the group in the afternoon and found them very interested in my journey. It can’t be easy sometimes to listen to someone go on and on about the hard life they lived however, I think it is necessary for any trainee to hear the other side of the ‘dementia coin’ from the carers point of view, whether it was from me or someone else who has had similar experience – it doesn’t matter so long as they know what it’s like when you are become responsible for someone who loses ability to care for themselves. After I finished my talk, one of the students paid me a lovely compliment when she said I was an amazing lady to be able to talk about my story and to do what I do.
The carers I spoke to are travelling a long road but they are coping as well as carers can. They have support options, friends and family and that’s what we carers need. I know I did something constructive and positive by talking to the students as they enter an unknown world.
I sold 9 books, which to me is a positive as there are 9 other lives I have touched.
It was emotionally draining for me by the end of the day, and I had a bit of a cry because I had relived a lot of mixed memories, but a cup of tea and a piece of toast, winding down with a puzzle and a nana nap, helped me through the afternoon.
I have just returned from a very successful and interesting road trip down to Melbourne and back. I wanted to take my book to the country down south because I initially thought carers may be a bit more isolated and not have access to services we in the city have, but I was pleased to see there is just as much support available.
The journey took my friend Sharon and I down through Toowoomba, Inverell, Dubbo, Wodonga and Melbourne. Back up to Queenbeyan, Tuncurry and Coffs Harbour. Then to Gold Coast, Brisbane and home. It was a fun filled time as part book promotion, part holiday. I loved meeting great people, and sharing my story with them. I also had a lot of information given to me on various aspects of writing. which is what I am doing. I am changing genre from a memoir to a crime novel. I don't know how long it will take me to write a novel but I am not in a hurry and think its a great diversion. I was asked by a journalist at one of my book launches why I want to write as novel? I told him, I have plenty of material for it that's for sure - six years of caring for my beautiful Doug provided me with plenty of opportunity. But my topic is MURDER AT THE GYM, and it a play on words, so we will see how that works out.
I have included below a short version of our trip for you to read. It was very successful.
INVERELL 2nd May
After some confusion regarding dates of my presentation at the RSM Club, five very keen and interested carers came through the door. Before me I saw beautiful compassionate people, who were walking a long and tiresome journey as carers for family members. Talking to them bought back so much heartache for me; I had been in their shoes for many years. ...
During our lovely intimate meeting, we laughed, we cried and hugged and the amazing thing that came out of it was that the carers got to know more about each other and what they were living with every day. They each purchased a book and I was so proud of them for keeping positive amid all their struggles.
I left four books at the Dust Jacket Bookshop in Byron St, so if anyone is interested please visit them for a copy.
WODONGA, 4-6 May
Our get together at the UMFC Support Options Centre in Wodonga on May 5th was like our meeting in Inverell. Only a few carers attended, and it was obvious they were struggling to cope with their situation. Again, my heart ached for them but with love and support from each other I know they will find something positive.
One lady spoke about her caring role for the first time – that to me was fulfilment enough; through talking about my book, I encouraged one person to share her journey and it was inspiring. There is a great deal of support within the various carers groups and carers need not fear feeling alone in their journey.
For me, meeting carers in these two centres was inspirational, heart-warming, even though it brought with it many memories for me. I may have only sold a few books but it was well worth it knowing I have helped them in their journey to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
July will be a busy time for me with a full week in cold Toowoomba but I am looking forward to it. You can check my tour dates to see where I am going to be for the rest of the year.
Life is to be lived so get up every morning and make the most of it while you can