The prize winners of the Carers Competion to celebrate National Carers Week 14-20 October, were awarded at a Carers Week Afternoon Tea organised by Carers Support Service on Thursday 18 October 2018. Below, you can read their touching stories.
1st Place - Vanessa - My Story:
For more than 7 years now, my 80 year old father has managed to look after my mother, who fades away at the hands of Dementia. Suffering from Athritis and Parkinsons himself, he stays strong in his love and support as this cruel illness takes her away from us.
As the confusion and loss consume her, I see the tears escape him. As the frustration and anxiety creeps in, he comforts her. As she no longer remembers how to eat, drink, wash or dress herself, he does it all for her. There are rare moments, when she is settled and offers us a smile. We hold onto those moments, enjoying them while we can, praying it will last…but it never does. Until next time then.
Words cannot describe the pain as you watch the disease slowly take my mother…and my father. He has become so frail as her Carer. Although it is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting for him, he is still able to smile, love, live and enjoy what and who is around him.
I may only be a part time Carer, but I am a daughter who is so grateful to have been given so much by her parents – the sacrifices and heartache they suffered for me, the love and support they have always given me, the guidance and strength they have always shown me.
It’s a tough road, however, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but supporting and loving my parents.
2nd Prize - Imelda - 'She Wears My Ring' - A Carer Story:
He stood at the entrance to the activities room. She walked up to him and put her short arms around his too-thin waste.
“Hello, darling,” manouvering her face to be in line with his eyes.
Then she heard it! - and her heart skipped a beat:
“She wears my ring
To show the world that sheeee belongs to me
She wears my ring to tell the world
she’s mine eternally…”
She gently moved him closer to the CD player.
“That’s our song, darling! Can you hear it?”… slipping her arms around him.
His vacant stare didn’t change, but she was transported to that evening, when love was young and fresh and new, an engagement party. As Johnny O’Keefe sang, they danced; nestled in his arms, her smile was enough to tell the world that this was no ordinary night. She shyly whispered it to a few close friends as they celebrated the other young couple: “Graham bought me a ring today!”
For a moment the longing was heartbreaking – just for a moment to have him hold her tight, to see again that look in his eyes that was only and always and ever for her…And then she walked him over to the chair, so she could help him sit, feed him.
Sadness, yes! But overwhelming gratitude for the faithful, undying love of a man who once held her in his arms and danced, singing softly: “She wears my ring…she belongs to me...”
3rd Prize - Debbie - My Story:
My life is so much richer now I live in the Sutherland Shire. I moved here three years ago to give my children a better life due to all the wonderful disability services in the area. The beaches and National park also attracted us. Sugarplum our Jack Russell puppy has been the icing on the cake for our little family.
My Son was born at 26 weeks and spent four months in the neonatal ward. Soon after I fell pregnant again. My daughter arrived at 25 weeks and also suffers an intellectual disability and autism.
Carers being acknowledged for the important role they play in the community has raised my self esteem. I really look forward to October each year. Meeting with other carers in the Shire and sharing stories and information, helps me to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I feel I am not alone on this road less travelled with the networking and support Carers Week creates. I did not expect to be caring for my children after they became adults, it is a different life but very rewarding.
I get burnt out at times, but by just living in the day and having gratitude life is really beautiful.
Enquiries can be directed to Jayne Gan on 9710 0422 or email@example.com