Once again the weekend demonstrated what a diverse life we seem to live at the moment, and quite how many opportunities we have to participate in all walks of life and be ready with a word of encouragement, listening ear, tissue(!) etc. etc. The boys have been working really hard to participate in their school production, Once Upon a Planet, which was loosely based on Star Wars. Both of them performed brilliantly - one was a robot and the other a soldier. We definitely have two boys who are very comfortable on the stage an in performance mode... in fact, they weren't adverse to 'hamming it up' for their audience either - where do they get it from?!! Of course, mum and dad have been joining in to the full as the school is so small. We have been helping to make costumes, scenery, doing make up, sitting with kids during the production to offer crowd control, watching the production and cheering them all on their way. It really was great fun and a tribute to the school and its creativity and breadth of diversity.
Alongside this, 3 people have died recently in Chris Nissen (2 of whom were patients of the HOPE home based care) so Paula attended a funeral on Saturday morning before the final school play performance. Although it was a very sad occasion it was so encouraging to see the 4 carers singing a special song and really being there on the day for the family. Anne's mother is also one of our patients and has now buried both of her daughters (both of whom we cared for). She is very weak now as a result of 2 strokes and is confined either to bed or a wheelchair. It was a real privilege to be a part of this day, but highlighted again the complete lack of aftercare for so many of our patients who are suffering long-term.
Running from the funeral to the play, Paula then put another hat on and went to a ladies' tea party organised by some of the ladies in our church in the afternoon. It was so lovely to get together socially with 15 or so ladies - most in the 50+ age range. This again shows us how much this kind of social interaction is so necessary and important for people, particularly when they do not have a lot and do not have transport to get out and about as we can. We had a lovely tea, with at least 7 or 8 different cakes and enjoyed chatting, laughing and singing together. We have committed to doing this at least once a quarter from now on and will be inviting lots more ladies.
On Sunday we joined our good friends Rod & Jo for tea as they prepare to pack up their house and move down the road. The boys love playing with Nattie their youngest charging around the garden and generally causing mayhem.
This video is of Eli making a splash as he attempted to get in to Nattie's 'pirate ship'. Somehow you just knew it was going to go wrong! Thankfully Eli is a really good swimmer so we were able to enjoy the show rather than panic about what he might do.