Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sunday 12th; April 2015...there's no place like home

I could feel Brendan’s frustration at being stuck in bed after his operation, his never done well doing nothing.  So the fact that the Easter public holiday was holding up his progress annoyed him, to put it politely.

Mind you his operation was on the Tuesday and the Easter four day break started on the Friday so truth be known the forced rest did him more good than harm. 

When he finally got to have a decent crack with physio on the Thursday; after the public holidays and a mystery 24 hour bug that wiped him out for the entire day on Wednesday, he asked what boxes he needed to tick before they would let him go home. She told him he would have to show her that he could confidently get around on his own using crutches. That afternoon he was discharged.

Brendan was determined to walk out of the hospital under his own steam, and nine days after his operation he did just that. With me dragging his bag behind me and tacking pictures at the same time I proved to myself that on occasion I could multi-task if need be.

As we walked through the double glass doors I passed Brendan and took a photo of him walking out of the hospital. I then moved toward the car; turning back because I couldn’t hear him behind me, to see him taking in his reflection in its entirety in the double height glass windows.

I hadn’t stopped to think that I was used to seeing Brendan’s new frame already, but today after nine days of seeing himself from the waist up in the mirror or looking at himself from the waist down … he was now looking at his new self reflecting back at him for the very first time.

I asked if he was OK, he took a few deep breaths and a long look and then walked toward the car. I can’t remember his exact words but they were something to the effect of “that was a bit mind blowing”.  We spent the night in the hotel; it had been a long day so it was too late to make the trip home, and we had already paid for the room because we weren’t expecting to be heading back before the weekend. We would be home and see our kids tomorrow.

After a good sleep and a bit of a sleep-in we hit the road, thankfully it was a reasonably easy trip home and there was no hurry as the kids were excited to be enjoying a wedding celebration with the Saunders mob; and wouldn’t be home until about 8:30 pm. This gave us time to get home and feel settled before seeing them.

We reached the Taree Exit around 4pm and as we exited to Old Bar we saw the first #teambrendan welcome home sign. This of course made us cry happy tears all the way home, we got to our street and around the Yellowfin sign was a kaleidoscope of rainbow coloured balloons with another welcome home sign. We turned into our street and there were more rainbow balloons on our neighbours mailbox and a huge chalkart welcome home sign on the road in front of our house.

Stepping inside; the house had been cleaned from head to toe, and fresh flowers had been placed on the kitchen bench and dinning table. And the lawns and the outside of the house had been tended too. We felt completely spoilt and absolutely cared for. It was overwhelming and really quite wonderful.

Without a doubt it is times like these that bring out the extraordinary in some and the ordinary in others. Brendan and I have been blessed to be surrounded by extraordinary every step of the way.

It was about 8:30pm when we heard Deb and Andy’s van pull into our driveway and I could feel my heart beating almost through my chest. I walked out to greet them all and Bren followed me, leaning up against the portico beam for extra support.

There was a great clatter of doors opening and excited chatter about the wedding as the kids all got out of the van and then Tyra and Baden saw their Dad and ran to him yelling “Dad, Daddy” as they wrapped themselves around him. Of course there were tears.

We all made our way inside and there were lots more hugs and tears all round. It took a very long time before Bades could let his Dad go and I got my fair share of hugs too, my gorgeous daughter who seemed to have grown into a young woman in a week, gave me a beautiful supportive hug when she saw me close to tears at one point, and my amazing son squeezed me like he would never let me go. Lu and Tyler also got to give Uncle Bren a hug, with Luca sharing some wise words of support, along with Deb and Andy who like the rest of our family have been our rocks throughout, and now pretty much the whole family had seen for themselves that Bren was Ok. The kids were all emotional and brave, slightly overwhelmed and completely accepting of what was all at the same time and I was so proud of them all.

Tomorrow it would be life as usual.

Yes there is still more Chemo and possibly a place for radiation in the near future, as soon as Monday actually, and lots of small and a few large hurdles still to get over.  And we will get over them, one day at a time.

Thanks again team…your support, prayers, positive energy and well wishes have picked us up and got us over the line more times than you know and again I want to tell you how grateful we are for the constant love and support we receive.


Dorothy said it best....there really is no Place like Home.

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