I hope you're still dancing whilst making your sour dough bread or green smoothies! I agree that the isolation during the pandemic has not been too bad. Just seems to have been a long, long time because of the earlier isolation to heal and recover from treatment. The last week was even harder when you knew it was going to be possible to see family again. We're all well and my children have done brilliantly with their children getting through this time. Except one child who has not done well at all. In the last two years he has re-partnered with a lady who has a 5 year old child. My son has 3 children from a previous relationship. The eldest is 15 and has always lived with his father as his mother left this child when he was 1 years old. As a family we have all supported and helped this son through difficult times. The mother of this child developed bi-polar disease and took off for 8 years. She eventually came back and worked together again as a family to support her and incorporate her back into a relationship with her son. It's been rocky as he has some anger issues about being left but we've talked to him imagining his mother had a broken hip and needed to be hospitalised for 8 years. She was sick so we can't keep punishing her for that. She's tried to get her life together but she's not the most capable person and has struggled but she had him every second weekend and has tried to help out when she can.
At the beginning of the pandemic my 15 year old grandson started behaving badly and sneaking out of the house late at night to meet up with his friends. My son's new partner gets asthma and she thought the danger to her and her child, was not acceptable. Fair enough. Unfortunately, when you have a 5 year old your parenting skills are only up to that of a 5 year old. 15 year olds are a whole different kettle of fish. He started skipping school and his school work suffered. My son tells me that yes, he may have been a very bad teenager but he was never disrespectful to me or his father which is true. My son also told me that things were so bad, he had contemplated driving off a bridge so I have to give him some leeway here. Unfortunately, last year my grandson's mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Stage 4. (See how cancer is mean)! She's been incredibly sick having chemo before and after surgery. I bought her pjs, dressing gown and luxuries to help her through the time ahead of her and she was incredibly grateful. Things do not look good for her and at the moment she still has a feeding peg for nights as her weight has dropped dramatically. My son decided to send his son to go and live with his mother who was living with her grandmother in a retirement village as she had nowhere else to live. My son thought that was the end of the story but it wasn't. As a family we decided that the mother was too sick to be trying to deal with a wayward teenager so we interfered and the child was transferred to my youngest daughter. His mother needs to go to QLD to live with her mother as she needs incredible support and help to get through this and is not well enough to be desperately trying to find a rental in the midst of the pandemic and with her own health shattered.
There's a whole chapter here missing about trying to step parent teenage kids. My heart breaks fro this child who has now been abandoned by both his parents. 15 is a terrible age. We decided on my daughter's place because she's on 24 acres and miles away from public transport and far enough away from the suburb my grandson goes to school in to ensure there is no sneaking out at night. It's worked too. I understand that my son is very angry with his son for having no consideration for his mother, me or his step mother in not bringing home the virus. I also know that's pretty much what a 15 year old would do. They think they're invincible and he's not going to catch it.
So for 6 weeks my daughter has had 5 children with 5 different schools to try to work around and she's done a brilliant job. My grandson has caught up on components he had not completed or submitted and done all his school work every day. He's been getting messages from his teachers who are very impressed with his work. My daughter has worked with him with some of the maths that he was having trouble with and that has given him a sense that he can do it. My daughter has ducks, chickens and alpacas that are all new and built fences in 2 different paddocks with the help of all the children. My grandson has been splitting firewood and the family have been selling firewood to survive financially. So miracle of miracles - he's been perfectly behaved and an asset within the family. I'm terribly sad for my son because I don't think he understands the long term ramifications of giving up on a child. He and his partner have bought this house together and I understand they are both terrified of being homeless again or going through a relationship break up again. I try to see this as my son just sending his child to live with his mother but the timing was terrible and it would not have changed anything.
Sorry for the long story. I have been busy cooking big meals and soups for my daughter. My other son took up all the food and we had a lovely bbq together with my daughter and her family which was a way he could help out with the food. My daughter's husband has been brilliant and taken him out to the garage to help him work on cars which is his hobby. Has taught him some welding and how to mow the lawns with a ride on mower. Either the child has completely changed, or he's finding life enjoyable right now. It may all change when he goes back to school but my daughter has told him that this has to be his last stop. The next one could be juvenile detention if he doesn't abide by rules that are there to keep everyone safe. Perhaps it's a brutal wake up call.
We had to take him shopping last weekend for winter clothes as he had almost nothing. My daughter had to go to apple to get her phone fixed. Before you could enter the store you had to sanitise your hands and wear a mask. I thought that was good because it made him realise that it wasn't just us pushing rules, this is how we have to survive for now.
Teeth wise - No, no new teeth as all appointments at the Alfred Hospital were cancelled after they had an outbreak of the virus in the cancer ward. I have an appointment for the 1st June for the first plate mould. Eating has been weird for a long time. Appetite still has not returned. I still tire easily as I think I just don't have enough nutrition to regain strength. If I've had a cooking day for my daughter, my husband walks in and complains that MasterChef clean up is required and he's been wonderful helping with the clean up of the after mammoth cooks when I have no strength left.
Hope you stay well. Winter is coming and I think we will just be rugging up to go out rather than hibernate this winter.
it’s more of a slow tap than a dance, but I’m still moving and digging the tunes so all good here! How’s it going over your end?
We’re in lockdown (level 3) and have been for what feels like a lifetime, occasionally offset by drives to our town border, as we think about making a break for it. But being responsible adults we turn around (via the bottle shop) and head home for night 287 in watching Netflix. Good thing for TV and book deliveries. Oh also- did you know that there are companies that deliver cheese from around the world to your DOOR? I do and so does my waist. But there’s literally nothing better than sitting down to a head shaped slab of Brie to kill time and arteries.
Big news is that both my husband and I have no jobs. First time I’ve been unemployed since I was out of Uni- 20yrs ago. I got made redundant late August- 12 yrs with one company though so it’s a healthy golden handshake. I’m now officially a lady of leisure.
Who also homeschools- that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it really!
anyway, would love to hear what you’re up to.
Xx Ginger x
I am just bumping this thread to check in and see how everyone is doing! We miss seeing your friendly faces about 😘
Hoping everyone and your families are doing well, it's been a challenging year or so for everyone.
Cancer Council Online Community Manager
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