Thursday, April 24, 2014

preparations


It's the 24th April and preparations for ANZAC Day are underway in this house. Biscuits made, medals laid out, rosemary sprigs cut for the local RSL and memories surfacing.

The mood changes here. It's quiet, almost uneasy, sometimes tense. Hard to explain really but it's different to other days.

This year we will be staying local.

We have travelled to Melbourne previously and experienced the 'big city' feel where hundreds line the streets as the march passes by and that same amount have been up since dawn attending services and ceremonies. We've then walked across to the MCG to experience a football game that has to be seen to be believed. The passion with which these teams play on the day is clearly evident.

What stays with me when I reflect on ANZAC Day is the silence of 80,000+ people as the last post is played. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it now.

Taking a moment to remember by yourself or with 80,000 others always stirs the emotion.

This year as I pause to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this great country and those who have served I will also be thinking about those of us who are in the background supporting the injured when they return.

I will be thinking about those who have and who are walking the same path as me, living with an injured veteran.

I will be thinking about the sacrifices they make every single day to love and care for their loved one.

I will be thinking about who cares for them when they need support and understanding.

I will be thinking about the way life has changed for them in so many ways.

I will be thinking about the struggle and the painful times behind them and also ahead of them.

I will be thinking about how difficult ANZAC Day can be, often a time when the symptoms of PTSD and the memories seem to sweep our loved ones away again.

I will be thinking about the strength, courage and sheer hard, hard work it takes to be there for someone who is suffering so deeply.

I will be thinking about those of us who feel overwhelmed and helpless despite our best efforts at remaining calm and composed.

If that is you, know that I will be thinking about you tomorrow.

Mel x









14 comments:

  1. Hi Mel, I just read your post over on Baby Mac and came over here to read your blog. Your post brought tears to my eyes, and I wanted to say something - I just can't find the right words to do the suffering that you and your husband and family are enduring. I can't know what you are all living with but I thank you for enlightening me and sharing your story. ANZAC day is a timely reminder of the sacrifice men and women and their families have made for all of us. I believed that I did appreciate our diggers and I had some understanding of the impact war has on them and their families - I thought I did until my son joined the Army 12 months ago. He just turned 21. I now find myself attuned to the news, watching for some conflict that might mean he will be sent into action, thinking how my sensitive, gentle son would deal with the horrors of war, thinking how that gentle, sensitive young man would return to me, who that young man would be as a result of what he had seen and done. He talks of how boring it is because we're in peacekeeping and I tell him he never wants to experience war. How could it not change him? I imagine him when I hear reports of soldiers who have been killed or see stories of soldiers who were injured, who lose limbs and wonder how my son would cope. I never want to find out and I hope he never will. I am hypersensitive, I worry about his safety, I'm not sure these feelings will go. I am also very, very proud. He is doing something to be proud of and I admire him even more than I did before. I'm not sure I have been able to articulate just what I wanted to say but the main thing I wanted to say is thank you for sharing and I wish you and your husband all the best, and I take this day to thank you all for his service.

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    1. Hi Dianne - thanks so much for your comment. When my husband deployed I thought I was pretty ok with it. It wasn't until he arrived home that an overwhelming sense of relief hit me. It's very natural to feel anxious and I think you're right these feelings will probably always be with you. Hopefully they don't consume you. Despite the injuries my husband has sustained he would go back and do it all again, no questions asked. His desire to do his bit for his country was very strong.
      I sincerely hope your son stays safe while in the Army. If ever you need to ask questions or 'talk' please know I'd be only too happy to help. Thank you for your wishes and thank you to your son for stepping up.

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  2. Thank you for sharing and wishing you all the very best

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    1. Thanks so much Sharon, appreciate your comment.

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  3. Hi Mel,

    Firstly, how nice to see all your 'likes' in your 'about' section are a perfect little summary of all the things I like as well! I'd probably add a fondness for a 'nice cup of tea' with my cake though haha.

    I've popped across to your blog from BabyMac, and I am so grateful she set up the contact. Not for one minute will I pretend to know how your life is impacted by PTSD & all that it brings with it to your door.

    My closest connection to this, is being the only child of a Vietnam Vet. Someone who has never been diagnosed, but as each year passes, I continue to suspect there is a raft of underlying issues that perhaps should have been addressed 45+ years ago.

    It's the littlest things that can be triggers. My being diagnosed with endometriosis in my teens, my father reading a news article about a large percentage of children of vets who were exposed to Agent Orange being diagnosed with endometriosis. The guilt & general mood change that followed for months after for my beautiful father. Gosh they carry so much with them, don't they.

    But I digress, and this is turning in to an epic little comment. I will pop back regularly to your corner of the interwebs, if you don't mind, as I hope to see you and your husband slowly but surely push through the haze & return to some sort of beautiful life on the other side.

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    1. Hi Cal - thanks so much for your comment. I'm a lover of a good cup of tea so we've got it covered!

      We have met so many Vietnam vets with stories much like you speak of with your father. Many are only now getting treatment and I just can't imagine how they have managed to get through life, let alone their partners, with no treatment. As you say they carry so much with them. One thing I do know is it never goes away without some form of treatment, it just gets buried deeper and deeper and eventually one day it surfaces.

      It really is so hard to put your hand up to say you need help but there is help out there if ever your father thought he needed to take the next step. There are also services available to you if you felt you needed some support or to talk things over. Just let me know if you need more information.

      A smell, a car back firing, sitting with your back to the door, driving through traffic are just some of the little everyday triggers that can totally ruin our day around here, so I know what you mean when you talk of the little triggers. So unpredictable at times.

      I'd love you to keep popping back here. I've got another crochet project on the go I'd love to show you when it's done. I hope you do pick up the hook it's so much fun and I also find it relaxing.

      Mel x

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  5. Thanks for sharing Mel. A very emotional time for so many especially for those touched by the trauma of active service. Sparea thought for those who feel the guilt of not having had the chance to see active service and who struggle to accept that it was just not their turn but who so desperately wanted to.

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    1. Hi Lyn- thanks so much for your comment. As you say a very emotional time for many in all different circumstances.

      Mel x

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  6. Just a comment to let you know I'm reading and supporting you, Mel. xx

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    1. Hi there - I really do appreciate your support, thank you x

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  7. http://acceptingchoosingtakingactionandptsd.blogspot.com.au/

    Hi Mel would it be okay to publicise my blog through yours. If not then please delete. I won't be offended.

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    1. Sure you can Lyn, would love to help in any way I can. Each time you post a comment make sure you add your blog address in.

      Mel x

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  8. http://www.abc.net.au/btn/story/s3991546.htm.

    Hi Mel thought I'd share this story with you and your followers. It's a story's about Anzac.
    Just shared it with my partner. Very touching story.

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