A Sentence a Day for January: A time to focus and a time to grieve

January – in a Sentence a Day

The awful part of January

January has been a hard month with the passing of my father, so bear with me if my later days of the month are a bit light on. I debated about whether to even finish this draft post but decided to continue on, as I will one day look back on this time without the current fog that surrounds it.

The not so awful part of January

January, for some, is when you go back to work after a lovely long summer holiday. Luckily for me now that I’m a retiree, heading into my second year of retirement,  I no longer have to worry about that sinking ‘back to work’ feeling!

I do however consider my blog as a form of ‘work’, so I set myself a word for the year, which I decided was FOCUS.

I wrote this post early in the month announcing my ‘word’, the back story and my plans for the year ahead.

Focus is my word for 2018
Focus is my word for 2018

The next big thing to happen in January was the Mathematician and I celebrating our 38th wedding anniversary and just days later suddenly my focus changed to something else entirely.

Read on:

  1. Monday: A quiet day spent at home while the annual New Year’s Day Rodeo raged on in downtown Tumbarumba without me – I’ve lived here for 27 years and have never been to this annual event. I’m not sure if I’m proud of myself or disgusted!!
  2. Tuesday: A getting organised day, looking at travel plans, blogging updates…
  3. Wednesday: A Domestic Goddess Day today with washing, ironing, vacuuming, cleaning, sorting…..
  4. Thursday: Another beautiful day and the water in the pool for our Aqua Aerobics session was 27 degrees celcius!!
  5. Friday: Just your average day – a quick bike ride to town, coffee with friends, an EARTHQUAKE in the afternoon, dinner and movie out with friends and 42 degrees celsius on the temperature gauge.A HOT day in Australia in January 2017
  6. Saturday: Super Saturday – another hot day so we started out with an early morning 20km ride with the Saturday Social Cycle group, then coffee and a chat followed by an evening out with friends.
  7. Sunday: One of the hottest days on record, we were into the mid 40 degrees celcius temps, but despite the heat we had a busy day with an 18th birthday lunch, then dinner with friends.
  8. Monday: Our Rotary Club resumed for the year, it was good to catch up at our first dinner meeting for 2018 –  we have lots happening this year!
  9. Tuesday: Cooler weather with some storms around, worked on our travel plans to Europe – hoping to go away in May for a few months.
  10. Wednesday: Hair appointment and a new shorter stylish ‘do’,  followed by helping a friend with computer work.
  11. Thursday: A GOOD day – on the way into town I passed a horse and buggy, watched kids inside inflatable balls playing soccer on the oval, had coffee with a friend, went to aqua aerobics, enjoyed watching the little ones doing swimming lessons and remembering my daughters doing similar classes, read my book, talked to my sister on the phone about her recent trip to Europe and watched a great game of tennis on TV!

    Weather around the world
    How’s the weather?
  12. Friday: Our 38th wedding anniversary! A delicious breakfast cooked by the Mathematician on the bbq, a chat with my mother on the phone, lots of messages for our anniversary especially as I put up some old photos on Facebook,  then a trip to a cafe for morning tea with friends, followed by a pleasant afternoon walk, a shower of rain which cooled everything down.
  13. Saturday: A wet morning so no Social Saturday ride but we still met for coffee and a chat followed by a relaxing afternoon at home.
  14. Sunday: A very cool day compared to recent weather, sometimes you just need lazy day.
  15. Monday: Aqua aerobics session, a relaxing day and worrying news from my mother about my father’s health late that night.
  16. Tuesday: Very concerned about my father especially as the doctors advised my mother to inform the family of the severity of his condition.  I booked a flight for the next day.
  17. Wednesday: My husband drove me to Wagga Wagga to catch the flight to Queensland, my mother picked me up and we went straight to see Dad. I was very upset to see him just lying there, sedated and gravely ill.
  18. Thursday: Started the day with a walk on the beach with my mother and my brother and then visiting with dad.
  19. Friday: Another morning walk along the beach, a drive to collect some things for mum at her home nearby and later that evening my sister arrived.
  20. Saturday: Two of my daughters, and their husbands, arrived to offer their support for us at this sad time, to see their beloved grandad – and to give their grandma a big hug.  It was so good to have them with us. holding hands
  21. Sunday: A walk along the beach, breakfast at a cafe, a visit to some of dad’s favourite places and watching tennis on TV, in between visiting dad. My daughter and son-in-law left for home and my sister flew home too, only to return the next day.
  22. Monday: My husband arrived today and it was great to finally have him with me. My sister returned and we sat with dad on and off through the day and into the night.
  23. Tuesday: The nursing staff are so caring towards all of us as we sit with dad – we play his favourite music, sit quietly with him or talk to him depending on how we feel.  Dad lies peacefully, fading day by day.
  24. Wednesday: Another emotionally exhausting day as we took it in turns to sit with Dad. Two of my nephews came to visit and provided a lovely distraction for us all.
  25. Thursday: A sad day as my father passed away this afternoon.
  26. Friday: Australia Day, but we didn’t feel like celebrating.
  27. Saturday: Sitting around reminiscing and making plans.
  28. Sunday: I really don’t know what I did but probably more of the same. I wrote my thoughts in this post – Thoughts on losing my father – as writing always seems to help me cope.
  29. Monday: Making funeral plans is exhausting. Writing Dad’s story, finding photos, planning who to speak, readings, choosing songs and music…all the while grieving.
  30. Tuesday: The Mathematician’s birthday but it wasn’t all that much fun for him unfortunately as we had a visit from the celebrant, a visit to the crematorium and then a rush to get photos to the funeral directors for the service on Friday.
  31. Wednesday: We decided to give ourselves a break from funeral planning and went to Kingscliff beach where we swam, stand up paddle boarded and had lunch out with old family friends. It was just what we all needed!sunshine on my shoulders

Well that was January, a very hard month for my whole family.

As I write this relatives are starting to arrive for dad’s funeral on Friday 2 February.  My three daughters, one from England, my sister’s 5 children from all over Australia, my brother’s daughter and grandchildren many hours drive away, my aunt from UK, mum’s brother and niece and many other friends and family. It’s lovely to have everyone around.

Yes we were sad and the tears flowed but we were fortunate to be together. We shared memories, laughed at old photos, learnt new perspectives of old stories, supported each other, hugged, cried, and talked. And we drank tea, LOTS of tea!!

Some days were so utterly exhausting, I have no idea how we managed to get through them, but we did.

I have been totally overwhelmed by the messages of love and concern that I’ve received from family, friends, and the lovely people in my blogging community. Thank you one and all.

(I enjoy participating in this link up every month.  Click on the blue frog to view other posts and to add your link)

Deb xx

You can also follow Deb’s World here – let’s connect!

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30 Replies to “A Sentence a Day for January: A time to focus and a time to grieve”

  1. I couldn’t read it all Debbie. My dad is unwell and I spoke with him on the phone this morning. He sounded so frail, and even though he’s always in a jolly humour, joking and laughing, I sensed sadness in his voice today. I dont get to see him every day like I used to and I miss him so much.
    I think I purposely try not to think about him and I suppose I’m wrong to do that. This post has forced me to release my emotions.
    Sorry for your loss Debbie. I can only imagine how it feels. At 51 I’m very lucky to still have both my parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry to hear this Gloria, it was a such hard month at the time and reliving it hasn’t been easy. I hope you are OK and I really appreciate your kind words. I lost dad when I was 57 and it doesn’t matter how old you are it’s the hardest thing I’ve had to go through. Mum is till an active 80 years old, and is coping OK. take care and sending caring thoughts your way. x

      Like

  2. Writing this through a few tears of my own Deb as you recounted the month and the days leading to your dad’s passing. Thank you for sharing your journey. Family, friends and writing is a godsend at times like this. Sending you a big hug. ❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t mean to make you cry Miriam!! It was hard writing it all down but I’m glad that I did now. On our way home and feeling like I’ve been away for months. I have no idea what’s been happening in the world. Thanks for your thoughtfulness and care you’ve shown me during this sad time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess the tears came also from my own memories Deb. Reading your recount brought things back for me too. I hope you’re doing ok, life goes on in the blogging and real world but I wouldn’t concern yourself about it. Your priority is and has been right where it needs to be. xo

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a month! And yes, you will be pleased you wrote this in years (days/months) to come.
    Very pleased that we were all together to share the final part of the month as a family. Also very pleased that we have such an amazing family!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie, it is great that you have blogging as a release to all those feelings that arise when you lose someone you love. Nothing surer in life than death and taxes!!! I find it interesting how different cultures treat/react to the process of grieving. Such an individual process and so are our memories. Here’s to the pain easing and to be left with happy memories of you and your Dad. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words and thoughtful advice Suz. Nearly home again now, so that will be the first big step. Leaving Mum was hard but I’ll be back up with her within a month, with my brother and sister so she’s looking forward to that already.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful post Deb. I know you’re going to be glad you wrote this in the future. Thanks for sharing the month, particularly the grief-stricken days towards the end of it. Enjoy the time with extended family…even though they’ve arrived for such a sad time. Love will get you through.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Linda, it was hard and I don’t think I’ve captured the days very well but I’m glad I made an effort. We have had an absolute ball with our families despite the sad circumstances, love has certainly got us through so far. X

      Liked by 1 person

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