March 2004

Julie’s running the heater while we’re having a Summer storm.

Celebrating a birthday.

Yes, he’s playing a didgeridoo.

Celebrating April’s birthday.

It seems that things have returned to some sort of “normality”, but (there always seems to be one of those) I’m already missing Julie. We did a whole lot of talking the last week.

I heard on the way back from Sydney that the success of Organ Donor Week was measured by 13000 people signing up to the Australian Organ Donor Register, 4500 of them online. Holly’s comment was there were still people signing up and that one lady had gone straight out after hearing me speak last week and put herself on the Register. Hey I remember Doris saying in the Philippines, “If we can make a difference to just one family, then we’ve had a reason for being here.” So if I’ve influenced just one person, …

It’s been an interesting week at work – I’m back on programming, this time using the php script, pulling SNMP data off the big switches in the network and displaying it on an intranet web page.

I had a very enlightening surprise on the way home, as I was pondering my relationship with Julie. And into my head popped, “You know she loves you more than I ever could.” Blew me away. Never thought that would be possible. Julie has insisted that I insert a comment here that she loves me “not more, just different”.

We have nearly 10 Scouts in the Troop and as always, when I feel like not going on Thursday night, I remember that the kids invariably energise me during the evening and I come home feeling tired but alive. This week we went canoeing on the lake for about an hour before it got dark.

I got an unexpected phone call from Danni on Friday, we had breakfast on Saturday morning (in Manuka, where else?) and are going to SkyFire together. It’s good to have someone to go with, as it’s such a big event here in Canberra every year. For those not in the know, it’s a big fireworks display over the lake, marking the beginning of a week and a half of celebrations leading up to Canberra Day on the 15th. Most of Canberra turns out for it. Post script: it was raining, which greatly reduced the size of the crowd, and the humidity caused the smoke cloud to hang around and obscure some of the fireworks from the northern side, but it was still a good show.

A cheque for a substantial amount arrived today from one of our life insurance claims, enough to fund new computers and the car I have already bought, as well as providing us with a reserve fund for the rest of the year. I can’t seem to shake this feeling of guilt for accepting money as a replacement for Doris. I know that sounds like the worst possible way of looking at the situation, (and it is), and I do continue to work through all of the logical rational arguments in my head. But this journal has always been mostly about how I feel, right here, right now. Just can’t seem to shake this one. At times it takes me right back to the Bereavement Group, where at some time we all sat there thinking we were going crazy.

I had a real win tonight. The big fridge in the unit, the one that everyone told me wouldn’t fit into the space in the kitchen, it fits. Had to perform some surgery on it, though. Thanks to Frank for coming over at short notice to help me solder up the connector I broke.

There have been 2 articles of note recently in the Canberra Times:
The story of our organ donation.

I must admit that it has been fun playing with some new computer hardware instead of the machines that I built from scratch.

We found me a car, a silver Magna Altera, a 3 litre V6 with 4 speed auto. Lovely to have a vehicle that I can just get in and cruise, without having to “drive” it. Meanwhile, as a final part of the repairs to the LandCruiser, we have had the flares removed, the paint work cut and polished, and the inside thoroughly detailed. It now looks so “new” that several people have failed to recognise it.

Home is now looking a little more like home, after I made use of the public holiday here in Canberra to go out to Don and Deb’s place and pick up the BBQ. It now resides on the patio facing the street. Thanks, Don.

Can’t seem to be able to get over this feeling of depression. As soon as I finish work, where I need to concentrate all day, the brain starts to kick things around. My life just seems to be in a state of limbo, can’t go forward and can’t go back, but starting to look forward to at least visiting Julie and her family in a few short weeks.

I was provided with a very interesting opportunity this week to speak to an inservice conference of the ACT Ambulance Service about my first-hand experience with organ donation. With some very positive feedback, I have been invited to speak to more of them in May. I’m also lined up to speak to staff at the Tax Office and also to the staff of the Canberra Hospital ICU. All this on top of a First Aid course all weekend (through Scouts) and a weekend camp coming up, damn I’m busy!

I’ve noticed lately that my old level of confidence is starting to return a little. However, it can take just a small incident to completely demolish that confidence and turn me into a not-quite-blithering mess. I guess that at least is an improvement.

I would not have believed how hard it could be to find a counsellor in this town. Problem is that I know most of them, mostly through Doris’s network. I have finally found one whose association with Doris and me goes back far enough that she is OK with seeing me. The first session raised all manner of stuff from those disastrous days back in July last year, and I was pretty quiet overnight while I processed all of that. Felt better for the weekend, especially after a lazy Saturday when I finally had a shower at 5 pm and Sunday where I didn’t have a shower at all.

Dammit. This roller coaster is driving me nuts. I can go through whole days of feeling generally down and almost teary. I just wonder when it ends. I’m currently not sleeping too well, because the brain starts churning. It’s usually a good indication that it’s doing a huge amount of processing at the unconscious level. I also find that even if I’m surrounded by people, I can still be desperately lonely.