I feel like that’s what I’m doing lately – waiting. For what, I don’t know.
Something good, I hope.
Well – God willing – THIS FRIDAY, Alun and I get the keys to our new home. This Friday – we’ll be moving!!!
God provided a new job for me only ONE DAY AFTER my old job ended. He is so good.
Al and I went away to Phuket and God looked after us both the entire time. Al got gastro and I got some kind of chest flu (it is a bastard, let me tell you) on our last day of holidays – but generally, we were happy and whole and safe and I thank God for every moment. Even in the worst of the gastro, God provided a wonderful Doctor who came to our hotel room and administered medicine to Alun so that he didn’t have to visit a hospital.
Alun and I have both worked hard to pack up most of the house – there’s only a little bit more to do so by Friday, we should hopefully be ready to go. Alun and Troy want to be the removalists on this one – they’ve both taken this very seriously and have spent the last few days measuring and figuring out where things will fit in the van Troy is going to lend/hire…but I honestly want to go ahead and just HIRE REMOVALISTS.
I can imagine that THIS is the time where Alun or Troy seriously injures themselves.
I’d rather pay up and have professionals do it.
But it’s my idea against the stubbornness of two men…so I don’t see myself winning anytime soon.
God help us.
I lost 11 kilos which made a big difference – but now I’ve gained 4-5 kilos back.
I will be back on the losing weight wagon tomorrow. I don’t care that I’m sick! I can’t go on eating enormous amounts of junk food whenever I want. It doesn’t feel nice and I need to stop.
It’s so random, but I wanted to tell you about 3 things that have really blessed my heart just lately:
1) Now that I go to Church regularly, I am starting to make friends and I have regular people to sit with during the service – it’s usually 2 little old ladies – Trudy and Lyn. They’re both so cute. The last time I sat with them, Trudy got out her usual woolen shawl (it gets quite cold during the sermon) and covered her lap with it. She uses the leftover material to also cover Lyn’s lap and they look like happy little sausage rolls. The last time I sat with them, Lyn tugged on the shawl so that it also covered me. Admittedly, it is only a little shawl and by the time it covered both Trudy and Lyn’s legs – it only had a tiny bit of material left for me and only just about covered my right knee. Haha. But the fact that I was being included meant the world to me. What a beautiful gesture. I kept looking down at the black and white striped shawl and smiling – I had new friends 🙂
2) I met a new friend at work – a guy called Joe. He’s daggy and has a good heart and we both have a whacky sense of humour and find the same things funny. I guess being 40 makes me aware that there just isn’t time to waste so on a whim, I asked Joe to come and have lunch with me. He agreed immediately which really blessed me – and off we went. It’s such a blessing to have a friend and the simple act of walking through the city with them to go and share some food together is always really special to me. Two things happened with Joe that I will never forget.
Firstly, I asked him to ‘tell me about yourself’ – and he opened his heart. He’s been hurt in the past and is in a good relationship now with a Single Mom. Her son is not his natural child, but Joe loves him wholeheartedly. “He’s the coolest little guy I’ve ever known” Joe admitted, his face beaming. It was so lovely. Joe really opened up about his past relationships, his current one and his worries and fears. I guess disclosing so much left him vulnerable and he wanted to even the playing field. “So you know my dirty secrets, Janet” He said, peering at me cautiously “Can you tell me one of yours so I don’t feel so…exposed…right now?”
My heart reached out and wanted to cuddle his.
I smiled and squeezed his arm. He beamed a big grin back at me.
“I’m a fully blown adulteress” I said.
Now I’d done it.
This really could go south…but I have no filter and out it came.
My life, my experiences, what I’ve been through and who I am all collaborated in that moment to frighten me about the outcome.
What have I done?!?
Joe is going to be disgusted with me and this new friendship is going to find a quick ending.
I swallowed the huge lump forming in my throat and waited.
We were walking side by side at the time down St George’s Terrace and I remember thinking time had slowed right down and that surely we’d taken about 100 steps without Joe saying a word in response. In reality, it was probably only 3 or 4.
Without breaking our stride, Joe said the most profound thing I’ve heard in a long time.
“Why’d you do it?”
I was wincing, expecting a slap in the face so I was completely unprepared for his question.
“Why did you do it? Cheat?” Joe repeated. He wasn’t accusing. I looked into his bright blue eyes and saw only curiosity and kindness. No anger. No judgement. No hatred. No disgust.
“You want to know why I cheated on my husband? You’re not just going to be disgusted with me and leave it at that?”
“No” Joe answered.
Then…he said this:
“I’ve not known you long, Janet – but I know you well enough to know you’re a good person. If you cheated on your husband, you did it with good reason and I’d like to know why”
Totally blown away by his kindness and his opinion of me – and blown away that he wanted to know why I did what I did rather than just writing me off as a lost cause.
I told him. He listened. I talked for a long time. Joe didn’t interrupt once. When I was done, he just nodded and said “I’m actually really proud of you – that whole thing must have been so hard for you but you followed your heart and you did what you felt was right at the time”
I was gobsmacked. (And you know that doesn’t happen to me often, right?)
“Well there you go” I nudged him playfully on the shoulder with my shoulder to lighten the mood “You know my secrets now, too”
Joe nodded and beamed another big grin “guess we’re equal then, eh?”
I guess so 🙂
“Do you like Thai food?” Joe asked, gesturing with his chin to a nearby restaurant.
And that was that – he’d already moved on – and allowed me to do likewise – and we spent our lunch hour in comfortable companionship.
Secondly, we went on lunch again together the week after 🙂 I wanted Mexican, Joe wanted Chinese so we went to a nearby food hall. We sat together and told jokes and I couldn’t stop smiling – so excited to have made a new friend. I noticed Joe was getting quite red in the face (he must be eating a lot of chillies?) and that he hadn’t ordered a drink so I pointed to my can of Pepsi Max – “want some?” He smiled and shook his head ‘no’.
I thought nothing more of it and we had a great lunch together.
On the walk back to the bus stop, Joe suddenly said “I really wanted a sip of your drink”
“Omg Joe – I offerred!” I punched his shoulder gently “You dork – You know I would have shared with you”
“That’s the thing” he said “I know you would have given away your only drink even if you needed it more than me. I couldn’t do that to you so I tried to man up and just go on. So thirsty though! Next time, I’m saying yes!”
And that really blessed me, too. For someone who has only known me a few short weeks to say I’m a thoughtful person and would have ‘given away my only drink’ if a friend needed it. Just so blessed by what he said about me.
3) Calling Kim from Thailand.
When Alun got gastro – I was beside myself in worry – I was so stressed, wondering what to do and how to help him that my mind was racing and my anxiety was sky high. Having to leave a very green Alun in our hotel room and venture into the city on my own to try to get the right mediation for him was a really scary thing for me to do. In my mind’s eye, I just played out the future to myself to calm myself down. I pictured myself going into a Chemist, asking for medication for gastro, getting the help I needed, paying for the meds, buying 2 large bottles of water (it was 1 in the morning and the only water we had access to was a tiny bottle in our mini fridge) and catching a taxi back to Alun as quickly as possible.
This is something I do when I’m anxious – I play out in my mind what I’d like to happen – and then I try my best to replicate it.
So I got into the taxi.
“Chemist please – and then can you wait for me and we’ll come back to the hotel?”
“Round trip?” the Thai driver asked in broken English
“Yes please” I flashed a nervous smile. I was clenching and unclenching my fists – was Alun going to be ok? OMG me – alone in the city – I was so scared.
Get on with it, JD. I tried to discipline myself. It’s not a big deal – just go into the city, get the meds, come back. Easy.
I shut the door and bit my lip, willing the tears to stay back. Willing my heart to slow down. Rubbing my sweating hands on my denim shorts and wondering if Alun would be ok.
When we whizzed by the 1st Chemist – the one only 5 minutes from the hotel that Alun and I went to daily to get ice-cream/snacks, I let it go.
The 2nd Chemist went by – and my anxiety went up about 1000 notches.
The 3rd Chemist whizzed past in a blur and I LOST MY SH*T.
“What are you doing?!?” I screamed.
The Thai driver was alarmed “Chemist?” He asked – clearly worried about my emotional state
“Yes. CHEMIST!!!” I screamed again, pointing at the street zooming by outside the window “We’ve gone past 3 already! Where are you taking me?”
OMG. Are you kidnapping me?
Mental images flashing in my mind of the news here in Perth “Perth local goes missing in Phuket”
Images of Alun crying out for me in our hotel room and wondering why I haven’t come back.
“Chemist” the driver repeated, nodding to himself.
2 more CHEMISTS stores whizzed by.
“BUT THEY’RE RIGHT THERE!!!!” I pointed as the 6th ‘FARMACY’ disappeared out of view.
I was so panicked, scared and downright FURIOUS that we hadn’t stopped yet, I was visibly shaking.
“Let me out” I said
“Chemist?” he repeated, sounding really scared and confused
“LET ME OUT!!!” I was screaming and rocking back and forth.
I was sure at this point, I’d never see daylight again. I was sure he was going to bury me in a rice field somewhere.
“Wait. Wait” he said. SO CALM. SO CALM I WANTED TO PUNCH HIM IN THE BALLS.
My eyes must have been the size of golf balls when I trained them on him.
“Wait” he repeated.
We reached the end of a very long street filled with stores, markets and people and he made a very, very, slow u-turn and started heading back the way we came.
I don’t know – I guess when we’re in shock, we behave in unexpected ways because I just completely shut down.
Righto mate. If you’re going to kill me – just do it, already.
I felt a calm pass over me at the acceptance that I was going to die. Or that Alun was, if this man didn’t take me to a Chemist in the next few minutes and then return me to the hotel.
A 5 minute trip was now 20 minutes into it – and I was STILL in the taxi with this man.
Eventually, he pulled over and left his indicator on.
“Chemist” he said – pointing up at one of the MANY we had passed by when we were on the other side of the street.
I don’t even care why he took this long convoluted way – I’m just thankful to be alive and to be at A Chemist – never mind that there are closer ones.
I raced in and through my furious tears (is it just me – or do you cry when you’re angry, too?), I raced up and down the aisles, hoping to find something familiar.
Everything was in different colours and capsules and bottles than I’m used to seeing and EVERYTHING was in Thai.
What do I get?
I looked at the counter so I could ask a store assistant for help but the assistants were 2 young girls who were flirting with a group of young male customers.
“Excuse me – err…excuse me?” I tried.
I was ignored.
I raised my voice and tried again.
More young people joined the queue and it looked as if everyone was having a wonderful time in the Chemist.
Everyone but me.
I need medicine.
I need to get it FAST.
I need it NOW.
I need it for Alun.
“Hello? I really need help?” I tried again – to no avail.
My overly anxious mind was working overtime now and was flashing different pictures of a dead Alun in our hotel room.
Alun’s going to die and it will be all my fault.
What medication do I get???
I wanted to scream. I so badly needed some help and it was clear I wasn’t going to get any here.
Think, JD. THINK.
Calm down, for Pete’s sakes. BREATHE.
I remembered being ill when I was younger and Dad gave me a lucozade because it had ‘electrolytes’ in it that would help replace minerals my body would have lost from being dehydrated. That would help Alun who had been vomiting for hours.
I needed to get a drink with electrolytes in it.
I ran outside, leapt into the taxi and surprised the driver – “Can you take me to a 7-11 store, please?”
Surprisingly, he took me to the very next one – only a few building away.
“I wait?” he asked
“Yes. Don’t go anywhere” I answered, leaping out and racing into the store.
I bee-lined to the fridge but again, everything was in Thai and nothing looked the same as back at home.
OMG OMG OMG.
What do I do???
Anxiety was creeping higher and higher and the images of a dead and bloated (no idea why he was bloated?) Alun were flashing faster and faster in my mind.
oh sh*t. What do I get? What do I do?
And almost on automatic mode, my hands opened my phone cover, clicked ‘contacts’, selected the name of someone I knew would help me right away and pressed the green ‘call’ button. Within seconds, Kim answered. She helped me to breathe, to calm down, to think rationally and gave me excellent suggestions of medication to get “gastro stop, immodium…” and as she spoke, my heart rate slowed. My palms stopped sweating and images of a dead Alun were replaced with how Kim’s eyes are all different colours. They’re so beautiful. She’s such a beautiful person inside and out. I clung to her familiar, Australian voice like a life line in a stormy sea.
Before I knew it, I was back in the hotel room, stroking Alun’s hand and getting him to slowly sip water with electrolytes mixed in.
Alun’s colour went from green to just pale Alun. This was a huge improvement.
Alun took some tablets and laid down.
This was looking great.
Long story shortened – Al started throwing up again within minutes and the tablets just came right back up. After another 3 hours of this and Alun refusing to get any help, I put my foot down and said if Alun didn’t let me call a Doctor, I would divorce him.
The Doctor arrived in 10 minutes and 20 minutes after injections had been given, I was showing the Doctor out the door and giving him a big hug while Alun snored peacefully behind us in the hotel bed. His colour had returned to normal and he’d stopped vomiting.
Stood in that Chemist earlier, I couldn’t have felt further from home. I felt so incredibly lost and frightened. But then I called Kim, and she helped right away. She stayed calm, came up with a great plan and got me through a really, really scary situation.
I’m so thankful for the good friends I have in my life.
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