Tuesday, August 12, 2008
We have spent alot of time sitting in the whanau room whilst at the hospital. I really want to tell the story of the lady I met last friday. Her sister was in one of the rooms in the last stages of breast cancer. She had been fighting it for the last 9 years, and sadly passed away on saturday afternoon. She had just spent a month in Australia with her three daughters. The sister of the dying lady just wanted to talk, and was saying how she was unsure what she was supposed to do in the situation. She was torn between wanting to spend as much time as possible with her beloved sister, and trying to facilitate everything else going on around her. They were waiting for her parents to fly in from South Africa, but sadly she died before they arrived. As a 'sister' myself, it was a very confronting conversation, and makes me appreciate mine all the more for all the things she does (like doing our school washing whilst we were away!! - thanks!)
We also met some other amazing people in the blood ward: Mark who has been battleing leukemia for over a year and his lovely wife Jane, 'the lady with the glittery hat' as Maggie called her, the homework 'helpers' (all patients) and the many family members of patients who we spent time with.
Whanau or family has never been so important. Being part of a family, and appreciating them for all that they do - the good and the bad is a must. And never, ever taking them for granted. Imparting this concept to my kids is vital.
We are so grateful for the time spent with Nigel and Carolyn, and for the time that the kids have spent visiting with their NZ grandad. We have tried to be as open and honest with the kids as possible, so this week has added new words to their vocabulary!!! as well as a new understanding of life and death.