Due to the last 6-7 weeks, much of what I have written here has been tainted with misfortune. And I don't mean it to be, truly! BUt I guess when the focus of your world becomes someone else's health, well you can't really help it.
The day after Shane was diagnosed with the Tumour, I had to make phone calls to ask for help. As we were in the middle of reno's and the lino had been laid on the Friday, I was really stuck as I had no oven, washing machine, shower, bath, vanity, fridge, laundry tub in place. Luckily we had the toilet, the kitchen sink and the dishwasher.
And the next problem I faced is that Shane is exactly the sort of person I needed to call! Handy, capable and able to tackle most jobs. Luckily we have a friend who is a plumber, and he came over on the Sunday to do all sorts of things for us, while his wife watched the kids. Another friend came over on the Saturday and put back the fridge and washing machine. But the oven was still tricky. Shane had unwired it, and I really couldn't trust his wiring, so I knew I had to get a sparky in.
The person I called was Paul McLeod - the head of technology at Cambridge High School. I did a practicum at CHS when I did my teacher training 2 years ago, and really enjoyed being in the tech department. Such a lovely group of men, and had I not got the job where I did, I would have worked as a relief teacher at CHS until I was able to be squeezed in somewhere. Such a lovely team. After my prac finished, I saw an advertisement for a workshop technician for 2 hrs per week, and Shane approached them for the job. He's been there since, and has really enjoyed his 2 hours in the man cave each week - fixing lathes and sharpening chisels, and he is able to use the facilities whenever he needs to out of hours for small welding jobs etc. They love him too as it frees up the teachers time as they can leave the repair jobs for him in the weekend.
Paul was a great help when I called. He gave me numbers to call, and over the next few weeks called a few times to check on progress. He was understanding when Shane couldn't get in there, and even more understanding when Shane and I started doing his 2 hrs a week together over the last few weeks as I can't trust him to be in a workshop alone with his seizures and the like.
Sadly Paul took his own life on Sunday after what sounds like a long battle with depression. He is survived by his wife of 42 years and his 3 daughters. Today was the funeral, and I was holding it together pretty well until the daughters took the stage and the grief poured through them.
I'll miss him. He was a bloody good colleague, a mentor, and an all round funny nice bloke. I don't understand why it happened, why he all of a sudden didn't feel like he could reach out and ask for help. I mean - I asked him for help 6-7 weeks ago, and he delivered. Didn't he realise there were people who would do the same for him?
So - trying not to be a depressing post, but there it is.
On the lighter side of things, I have done some dyeing today, and I am getting my giveaway together! Hopefully it will be ready in a week or so in time for Christmas!