Rory Gardiner's Webpage

04, Jan, 2010

Monday 4th January 2010


We are now three.  Sean flew back to Whangarei this afternoon to return to work.  Sam, Rory and I have stayed on in New Plymouth with Nana and Poppa Honnor for the rest of the school holidays.  Sean and I have put off making any major life decisions until after Rory's MRI on the 26th of January.  Hopefully by then Sean will have heard from Taranaki Regional Council about the Pest Management Officer position he is keen on.  The direction of our lives pivots on these two factors.  Hopefully where we live, the boys schooling, and my job, will fall into place behind them. 

Before Sean left this afternoon we had a walk at Pukekura Park.  Sean and Sam rowed us around the lake in one of the old timber boats.  Rory and I fed the ducks and ducklings swimming by.  The atmosphere was a bit sad.  When we got to the airport and were waiting for Sean to board Rory was clingy and didn't want Sean to leave.  He burst into tears when Sean walked out to the plane but managed to stop them.  They returned when he was watching the plane start up.  I tried my best to be staunch and comfort him but there were tears in my eyes too.  We have been a tight circle around Rory for the past five months, to have Sean move out of the orbit leaves a vaccume. 

Yesterday (Sunday) we spent the day in Hawera.  In the morning we climbed the Hawera water tower.  It was 215 internal spiral concrete steps to the top and Rory climbed them all himself.  It was narrow and enclosed near the top, like climbing a castle turret.  When we stepped outside on the top of the tower we were shocked by the sensation of the strong cold wind, and it took a while to find our feet and confidence.  The water tower is over 50 feet high and once held over 600,000 litres of water.  We had lunch with my old friend Joanne, her husband Shelton, and kids Finn, Caleb and Emma at Normanby.  The kids got on well together and Jo and I were surprised at how civilised they were at the lunch table and when they played.  After lunch we went to Tawhiti Museum A local man, Nigel Ogle, started his own museum which is famous for its lifelike miniature models depicting the history of Taranaki.  Rory and I like the body room where Nigel makes the models.  On the window sill were a life sized human nose, fingers, an ear and toes.  On the neighbouring door is a pair of feet.  Everything is so real it is easy to imaging what life was like 150 years ago.  We finished the day with a swim at the Hawera pool which has recently been renovated.  Sam enjoyed the hydroslide, and running along the huge blow up sausage shaped gangway and falling off into the pool.  Rory enjoyed sitting in the hot pool after a cool swim. 

On Monday we spent the afternoon at the New Plymouth Aquatic Centre with Uncle Guy, and cousins Sacha and Corbyn.  Rory hadn't swum since March 2009.  I was apprehensive about how he would react to being in the water.  I didn't expect him to put his face in, or be relaxed.  I was wrong.  I was again reminded by how much courage Rory has.  Oblivious to the stares of almost everyone in the Centre he put his goggles on and jumped in to the deep pool with Sean.  I paced on the side line.  His bald head made him look so vulnerable and fragile, and there were many exuberant kids splashing and playing.  Rory wasn't phased and took to the water as though he hadn't had 10 months on dry land.  He ducked under to look at Sam, acted like a starfish, road the waves on a mat and a noddle while the wave machine was on, and did a few strokes of freestyle.  It was like being in the water minimised any difference between Rory and the other children.  It was like he was the old Rory again, like we had looked in a crystal ball and seen the past.  It brought tears to my eyes to see him so happy.  To see him 'normal'.