We really enjoyed our holiday this year. It was the first time in four years that we have been down to the Eastern Cape as a family, and it was good to spend time with family and friends. Nicky had such a good time too, and we are so grateful to have had this time away, thanks to our housesitter, Jesse, who looked after Coffee and Milo – our canine family members.
This Christmas had a very special gift for us as a family – my father came home after six months in both ICU and rehabilitation. He is a miracle who has survived a horrible event, and the fact that he is home is just incredible. We were able to sit down and have Christmas lunch with him – although he was not able to eat, he shared the time together with him. I visited the rehab facility as well which was very jacked up in terms of resources but I think home will be a lot more quiet and of course, less for my mom to drive around. They now have nurses round the clock – two in the day and one at night for now .
My mom has totally redone the flat and there is a lovely bathroom modified for him. The floor has a ramp and doors have been widened through the kitchen, passage and lounge. They have a hospital bed and are awaiting the hoist and proper wheelchair.
All this flurry of activity of getting the house ready for him, preparing for Christmas and seeing friends was a great distraction, but the reality of the situation hit me as that wheelchair was lowered down from the truck. My dad can’t move. He will, for the rest of his life, be dependent on someone else for everything. Every movement. Even just scratching his ear. Holding a magazine up. Turning a page. Everything we take for granted. And yet he keeps on with the positivity I know has saved him in the past.
At least he can talk now. And breathe. He still cares about me aligning my wheels after I hit a pothole. He enjoyed seeing Nicky playing around the room with all his toys. And I know that he and my mom will build a new life now; a lot different from what they imagined, but still it is their life.
Otherwise we had a super time and totally enjoyed our holiday..
- We went to the beach in PE and Nicky had a ball playing in the water, building in the sand and eating ice creams. He was in his element. We also went up and down the pier.
- Nicky seems to have this tendency to latch onto other kids wherever he is: he calls them “friends”. He will hold onto another kid while jumping in the sea water and when that kid disappears latch onto another family. He cried when I saw him shivering and told him it was time to get out the water! I think he is coping now being an only child by making all these “friends”, my only concern is that he really is being very trusting.
- We visited some farms! My friend Aletta has a variety of animals including goats, rabbits, dogs and chickens. Nicky enjoyed seeing this and the ponies too.
- Brett’s Aunty Joan showed Nicky where his milk comes from. We watched the cows being milked which was an education for him. I am afraid Nicky is too much of a city boy though, although he always asks about “muddy puddles” when presented with them he jumped straight into my arms and didn’t like the smell either.
- We went to the Oceanarium again and saw the seals, turtles, penguins and snakes.
- Nicky had a lot of fun with a tricycle from one of my mom’s friends, pushing it up the driveway and going down.
- Nicky also enjoyed swimming with his cousins. They are older than him and pulled him on a board around their pool.
- We met up with all of Brett’s family and we took a huge picture of everyone. Nicky had fun swimming and playing with them too.
- We went to the circus! Nicky really liked the dare devil escapades and his favourite part was at the end when three bikes entered a dome and rode around. He also got to ride a pony at interval and had a clown make him a doggy balloon.
- This made up for the time when his doggy balloon popped after the Wimpy when I met up with some EC bloggers. (Awesome to meet them in the flesh!)
- He got to ride around on a scooter bike at a wonderful kiddie play area place called Bubble Jungle. He went round and round, climbed and bounced. A great day to exercise and fall asleep exhausted.
- Playing with his little two year old cousin Olivia was super cute. She called him “baba”. They gave each other flowers. They shared a bath. We will miss you a lot, Olivia.
We will miss all our family but we savoured every moment.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! Hope it was a good one and you enjoyed your time with loved ones.