Rory Gardiner's Webpage

28, Jul, 2009

Tuesday 28th July 2009


Rory and I are back at Ronald McDonald House.  It's almost like we haven't been gone.  Where did the five weeks go?  There were many new faces at the Family Dinner tonight, and some old ones too.  New Zealand families of every description going through tough times.  I have been packing off and on for a couple of weeks but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to pack my gear.  It was done in a rush half an hour before we left today.  I think a large part of me was still resisting leaving.  Even though I'm here I still haven't fully settled into being away for what is ahead.  It's like I have a fingernail grasp on sanity, like if I think too much about it I will slip and fall.  So I take a few deep breaths to calm myself and put one foot in front of the other.  My good friend Dianne asked me today 'how's Rory?  This question often surprises me and I wonder why people ask, because he is doing so well.  He is vibrant and fiery and funny and active.  While we have made minor adjustments for his disabilities we don't treat him as if he were sick, as if he were any different.  As I said to Dianne Rory takes it in his stride and largely accepts what is coming.  He draws his strength from Sean and I.  We in turn draw from the wonderful people around us who keep giving.  Their energy powers us, so we can power Rory.  For this we are fortunate.


Today I was pampered in a way I hadn't experienced before.  Brenda Crawford, one of the lovely Kaipara ladies, gifted me an Island body wrap and massage at Esthetica, the skin revision clinic in Dargaville.  It was an overload on the sensations.  When you walk into the clinic it smells divine, like fruit and flowers.  It is warm and sunlight is streaming in the windows, relaxing music is playing in the background.  I was required to be au natural on the bed draped with a strategically placed towel.  I was exfoliated with a brush and then massaged with essential oils from head to toe.  It was embarrassing and liberating all at the same time.  Feeling a womans hands on my body was a foreign sensation, and the essential oil was hot and incredibly slippery.  Once I had been massaged my hands and feet received extra conditioning, and I was wrapped up in towels and sheets.  Hot stones were placed on me in strategic places.  My face and head were then massaged.  It was like time was suspended during the whole experience.  Little was said, and as I relaxed bit by bit my mind drifted around.  I would never have thought to visit a beauty clinic, let alone indulge in something so decadent.  It was a real treat.  Sean thought I smelt good enough to eat!  And my skin and hair are so soft.  I have promised Rory a massage at the clinic when he returns home from chemotherapy.  Not to be outdone Sean received a deep tissue sports massage at Brian's Gym for an hour and a half and came home buzzing.  Finally he was able to get all his aches and pains seen to!  This was also courtesy of Brenda.  Today Sean and I were spoilt and felt like little kids at Christmas.


Rory caught the bus to school today.  He stayed in class until morning tea without me while I rushed around town, and visited the clinic.  I took some Wonka chews for him to share with his class and then it was time to say goodbye.  Whaea Danielle called in to see us to give us an update on her mission to organise Rory wristbands (silicone) for chemotherapy.  They are going to be black with Kia kaha Rory written on them in green.  They will be on sale next week for $4 each.  I called Sam out of a recorder lesson in the hall to say goodbye and I couldn't hold back the tears when I hugged him.  Rory gave me his hanky and said "it's alright mum'.  Sam is being so staunch about everything.  I miss him when I don't see him every day, and I know Rory does too.  The separation is hard.  Trudi and Katherine came to say goodbye and gave us big hugs.  Then it was home for a quick lunch, the final packing, and we were on the road.  We have new room at the House, No. 803.


Rory caught the bus to school yesterday too.  At Monday assembly Sam got a certificate for a huge improvement in his basic facts (maths).  I'm glad I was there to see it.  Rory and I got up in front of the school to explain the next stage in his treatment, and to say thank you and ka kite ano.  I took the Beads of courage and passed them around the children.  At the end of the assembly when the Beads were returned to me I could feel the presence, energy and strength of 300+ pairs of children's hands and was lifted by it.  I knew it was something amazing for Rory.  I called in to the Kauri Coast Office of the Department of Conservation to catch up with the staff for morning tea.  It was lovely to see them again and hear their news; Heni, Muz, Awhi, Theo, Tash, Laree, and Mita (plus new faces Karen and Darren).  I miss working for DoC, and with the staff at Kauri Coast.  Rory finished school after lunch and we went home to pack and do chores.  We took a final walk from our house down through the gorge to the sheep shed in the crisp dusk.  Sam and I jogged on a bit while Sean and Rory picked water cress.  There was sadness in the air.