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Life, death, hope and love

I have been pondering death today; it is not that I am morbid, but the news that our friend's mother is losing her battle with cancer has resonated with me quite profoundly. I have tried to say the right things, but am not entirely sure that I know what they are, and so I pondered.

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Trust, respect and loyalty: life's precious gifts

I have not made any New Year's resolutions, but I am certainly resolute about the need for change. Between work, life and advocacy, I managed to over-commit myself beyond any one person's capacity and ran myself ragged. My friends and family kept on telling me I needed to slow down, but I didn't listen and they were left to stand by and watch the train wreck.

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Life’s lessons are gifts that come in unexpected packages

I regularly ponder the meaning of life and try to make sense of things, with little success, but recently, when a friend's father passed away, I had a rather strange epiphany of sorts, which began fermenting at the funeral. Although I haven't managed to find any answers wholesale, I did arrive at a better understanding of human nature, which I know will help me along my journey, so I thought I would share what I have learnt

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Loving someone with a disability: change begets change

When I look back on the incredible amount of change that I have been through since I picked myself up off my backside and decided that registering blind was not the end of the world, I am a little taken aback at how all of this change has transpired so seamlessly. And the changes themselves have been wide and varied - some by design, others by default, some under my control and others well out of my grasp - but the one constant in all of this has been the foundation of love, respect, understanding and encouragement provided so effortlessly by Mark and Martin.

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Coming to terms with a disability and the grieving process

After my dad had his leg amputated this year and during his subsequent journey from recovering in the hospital to moving to the rehabilitation centre and beginning to learn to walk again with his prosthetic leg, I was absolutely staggered by his resolve and the fact that he appeared to have bypassed the grieving process altogether and because I have gone through it myself, just found it impossible to believe.

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Why having a visual impairment has made me a better parent

When Martin was born, my eyesight was ok. When I think about it, I was probably partially sighted, but this was not official because at that time I did not know what those words meant. I was firmly in the mainstream and the words 'impairment' and 'disability' were not in my vernacular either. But as my eyesight started to diminish to the point where I was rapidly moving to the disability side of the street and registered blind, I was pretty convinced, although Mark did assert otherwise, that I was not going to be able to be the parent to Martin that I wanted to be and this scared the living daylights out of me.

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Carers who care for loved ones. Not a job for the fainthearted.

When I decided to grab hold of the grieving process with both hands and mourn the loss of my eyesight wholesale, I tried to get my husband, Mark, to come along for the ride. But, the truth was that, although he was going to be there to love and support me and catch me when I fell, which he did plenty, it was a journey that I had to take alone. But, and boy is this a big but, it would now appear that although he did not need to join me on my journey, he did need to have one of his very own.

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Who is caring for the carers?

My delicate little ego may try to prevent me from facing up to the fact that Mark is my carer, but it is true. It is what it is. He is my carer, and a damn marvellous one at that. It is a mighty stressful and demanding job and, although there is nothing I can do about it, I do see the toll it takes on him and, if he is not careful, the role of carer could simply consume him.

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Living with disability – when age, disability, sight loss, parents and children come together

My dad will be 83 this year and like most people his age, he has had some health issues, but until now, these have either been curable, treatable or manageable and have allowed him to lead a full and independent life with the unspoken motto 'Have golf clubs. Will travel'. But disability has arrived at his door and he is, amazingly, quite graciously accepting of it.

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