For those that don't remember, a whole bunch of people I knew died, some were acquaintances, some were friends and family. A couple were expected, most weren't. And they were spread out through the year, so that every month or two I had yet another funeral to attend, or miss out on.
And it all really took its toll on me. I sort of knew it had, but it's only now as I'm just finally starting to climb out of the state of mind it left me with that I realise just how totally 2012 did a number on me. I'm still not over it, but I am getting there slowly.
So yeah, haven't been posting much. Or emailing. Or replying to emails. Or doing much more than looking after the kids and Sharon and mum... which is plenty, I know.
Family updates - Sharon is good. She'd had a rough few years health-wise but changing her diet and going onto a super-strict one aimed at helping isolate problem foods while restoring the stomach to normal has had dramatic results. For a start, about half a dozen seemingly unrelated problems all vanished or were reduced to virtually nothing within weeks of starting the diet. This includes issues of concentration, a rash that wouldn't go away, lack of energy... And on top of that she's lost well over 20kg.
The diet isn't about losing weight, but one side effect is that it often normalises people's weight, so overweight folks go down, underweight go up. It's tonnes of work, and really hard, Shaz basically has to make everything she eats from scratch, but the difference in her ability just to do things and interact are huge. Nice to have my old wife back :)
Mum is... mum. Still finding menace in her own shadow, still not doing the things she needs to do to look after herself, but I love her.
Tyrannosaurus Lex - so called because he's an engine of destruction - is five these days! He starts school next year. Sadly the Steiner school that was going to set up in town has fallen through. He's a sensitive boy, curious, smart, easily frustrated and upset, but slowly learning to handle that. His reading is going well. He's regularly surprising us with the new words he's working out and picking up on things. Still has the habit of deciding he can't do something after failing the first time though, but hopefully we will eventually get him to stop that. He's certainly showing signs of improvement.
GodZoe - so called because she's an unstoppable force of nature - is now three. She's sweet, smart, and relatively fearless. In fact, she's what prompted me to post. The other day she was climbing on the wood pile, something I've repeatedly warned both children about. But the pile was low, so it fell well within Sharon and my "a broken bone is acceptable danger" zone, so I let her and Lex climb, with a reminder warning about the possibility of being hurt.
So, GodZoe is climbing along the top, about three feet off the ground, and takes a truly spectacular tumble. I'm not exaggerating when I say it included a somersault and thwacking her head on some wood, all before she hit the ground. Naturally she started crying and I went over and held her.
As I do with both kids, I comforted her and then reminded her that I said climbing on the wood pile could be dangerous, and said I know it's fun, but sometimes to do things one enjoys means you have to be prepared to get hurt. Sometimes having fun and adventures comes at a cost.
So a minute or two later, still crying and sniffling, she disengages my hands and climbs back up onto the wood pile at the same spot she fell from. I ask her what she's doing, and she says, "I want to see if I can finish it."
I am so bloody proud :D
Oh well, I'll finish off on me, because I'm not only pretty, but I'm an egotist as well.
I've come along quite well. It's seven years since the stroke, and I no longer use my walking stick. I do try to take it with me on long trips, just in case, but have actually forgotten it on a couple where I kinda needed it and got by ok.
Recently did some reading up, and the issues I still have are not uncommon for strokes from basilar migraines. In fact, I'm doing waaaaaaaay better than lots of folks. There are those that, ten years after the stroke still can't look after their kids or do basic housework. So I'm doing well.
That's not me downplaying my own suffering, it's actually me rejoicing in how well I am doing, and giving myself permission to be useless and crap some of the time. "Yeah dude, you've struggled to get those two jobs done, that's fine, people in your situation do struggle. The other weekend you did a tonne of gardening - you're allowed bad period as well as good ones."
One of the downsides was finding out that 100 migraines a year is not uncommon, which is probably around where I'm at. On the plus side, a chunk of those don't get to full headache mode, and all I get is extreme tiredness and every inch of my skin hurts.
Okay, there I've checked in a bit. Hoorah! Now maybe I can sleep since I've told the GodZoe story. Will try to check in again sooner, but no promises. Hell, I've only just started to 'cock' people again.
But next time will try to remember to give you updated pictures of Shaz, the kids, and myself. I shaved my head! I look even prettier with short or no hair!