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Rory Gardiner's Webpage

29, Jun, 2010

Tuesday 29th June 2010


We are settling into our new home, gradually unpacking boxes and rediscovering pieces of our old life.  Having a home of our own again feels foreign, and almost unbelievable.  I know in time we will believe in it, and become grounded.  When Rory was diagnosed with a brain tumour (it was months before Sean and I used the word cancer) on the 17th of March last year we walked out of our home with our sons and one bag of gear.  Although we each returned intermittently for short periods during the year we had essentially abandoned our home.  I think our old native timber house with its wonderful character knew it.  Ronald McDonald House in Auckland became our base.  For practical and financial reasons we had to sell our home.  In September, while Rory was undergoing chemotherapy, we somehow managed to do this, and transfer the majority of our possessions to storage on the other side of Northland.  When Rory was discharged before Christmas we moved in with Grannie and Grandad Gardiner, only leaving them when Sean secured a job with Taranaki Regional Council in May this year.  We hopped from one side of our family to the other, spending the last month with Nana and Poppa Honnor in New Plymouth.  Living with extended family for any length of time is as much of a trial as it is a blessing.  It is a big adjustment for everyone, and you learn lessons in compromise, patience and tolerance.  The overwhelmingly positive side of it is living in an environment of love and support, spending time together, and the creation of lasting memories. 

Rory and I are both full of the cold, tired, coughing, and continually blowing our noses.  We are both pretty miserable, and have had the past two days off school.  We have dropped Sam off every morning and picked him up in the afternoon.  Cousin Corbyn, Uncle Guy and Nana Honnor all caught the tummy bug which is going around, although (so far) we have managed to avoid it.  It seems to be the right environment for viruses.  It has rained almost continuously since we have been in Taranaki, I can’t remember anything like it.  Some days are mild, and others are cold with snow down low on the mountain. 

Nana and Poppa Honnor helped us move the last of our gear into the house on Saturday, and get most of the furniture into position.  We are lucky to have had Poppa’s expertise for a number of small building jobs inside the house and out (thanks Dad, and Daff).  We had our first visitors on Saturday night, the day we moved in!  Jason, Wendy, Logan and Mikayla arrived as Sean and I reached exhaustion and knocked off.  We all shared yummy fish and chips (from local shop Funk Fish) and caught up on the news perched on bits of furniture in our lounge. 

On Thursday we attended a 90 minute assembly at Inglewood Primary as the staff and students (past and present) said thank you and goodbye to their beloved Principal of 10 years Mr Terrill (or Mr T).  There was kapa haka, singing, awards, speeches, skits, movies and presentations.  It was obvious he had made a major impact on the school during his time there, and we learnt a lot about our new community.