17 Dec 2007

Bloggers Unite

Well December 17th has arrived and its time for my Bloggers Unite Act of Kindness post.
I first mentioned this awhile back and have been thinking about what to write ever since.

Some of you that suffer from a weak stomach or bowels when confronted by nice things, may want to stop reading now. Otherwise the following words may render you to be sick or worse, I know the world can be disturbingly nice sometimes.

Regular readers of this blog will know that my mum has serious health problems and there is no sign of things getting easier for her at this moment in time. This is nothing new to my family as the mum has been ill since I was very little and I have grown up with her going in and out of hospital. That being said it doesn't make it any easier to see her in pain or lose some of the independence she has, its just the way it is.
What does make this situation easier to cope with, is the mum herself. When I think of something good or kind, I think of her. If you met her just once you would find this out for yourself. There have been many a time when it looked like things weren't going to get any better and she would pop her clogs (die). Yes that was me using humour to make it easier to type.
Every time things have looked beyond grim, she has bounced back, well hobbled back and remained as cheery as ever. Within hours of being on a new hospital ward, the mum knows everyone, whats wrong with them and if they get many visitors. She will talk to someone who is lonely,depressed, in pain, confused and somehow make them feel better, no matter how she is feeling herself. The staff and patients all love her, even to the point of being disappointed that she leaves to come home.
A lot of folks seem to think that I am doing something good or kind by helping her about around the house with daily tasks and chores. I don't see it like that at all, I just see it as something that needs to be done. I can moan and bitch about the unfairness of it all, but what would that achieve? No bloody much at all. If the mum can cope with it all and with a smile, then so can I.
At this moment in time I am training to become a counsellor, something which I feel my mum has been doing from her hospital bed for years. She is definitely the reason why I have taken this career path.
So what did I do that was good? Well when the mum was feeling better she started doing Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy, this involves anything from exercises to gardening. It was the gardening part that I could help with. The hospital has its very own allotment or community garden which patients that have suffered anything from a stroke to a tumour can use as part of their rehabilitation. The problem is they don't really have enough therapists or more able bodied patients to keep the garden manageable. Enter the gardening idiot (yes me), I may not know what I am doing but I can move soil and weeds. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I ever would, although I did dig up a few plants that I thought were weeds. On the one hand volunteering to help out is a good thing for the patients and the therapists, on the other hand it was good for me too. Lugging soil about is a good workout and I think that balanced the goodness out.
Unfortunately the mum's health took a turn for the worse, so both of us haven't been able to go for a while. After Christmas we will definitely both be back getting stuck in and doing something good together. Here are some of the photo's I took last time we were there.


Visit others that are joining in here Bloggers Unite and leave your link if you are joining in.


  1. That is a lovely post Claire & a lovely thing to do! Your mum has been given many difficult challenges, but has an angel for a daughter! Keep up the great work!

  2. Very nice post, Claire. I wish I could do more for my family. I have lost my father and my grandfather in the last 18 months, and I was 10,000 km away... I made a choice by coming to Canada, and I haven't regretted it for a second. But I knew that the price was going to be high, and I've been paying such price lately.

    I like what I've seen so far. I'll keep reading your blog.



  3. sending prayers across the ocean my friend...

    smiles, bee

  4. Hmnn! I am so challenged. May the Lord give you reason to smile this season. I admire your courage and determination in the face of terrifying odds. Please, keep up the good works.
    Our warm greetings to your mother. Shalom.

  5. Heart on it's way out to you.

  6. Caregiving is not for sissies! I can identify with you because I am a full-time home caregiver to my wife a stroke survivor! Keep it up and may God grant you and your mom, strength and good health!

  7. The world needs more people like you...

  8. You're a good egg, Claire! I'm sure you've made a difference to your mother in ways you probably wouldn't even fathom.

    PS-- I can testify to one of your acts of kindness- your screen capture illustration of fixing the date in Blogger helped me enormously! Gracias!

  9. Claire,

    It is wonderful that you take care of your mother duing her time of need. Not everyone does so you deserve the praise that comes your way.

    Tending the garden was a wonderful thing to do, not just for your mother but all the patients at the hospital. Way to go.

  10. Wonderful! They've had a garden at the elderly home where my mom is and it has been so lovely to enjoy all the plants there. Now they have moved and a new one is on track.

    We have that in common - my Mom has been ill for very long too and she has got her spirit up anyway some miraculous way.

    Strong women to admire! I hope I've inherited some of it :-)

    Bloggers Unite Act of kindness Hugs for the lonely

  11. Great post! You really captured the spirit of a kind act. Great blog! I will be returning in the future!

  12. I cared for my mother for years. I did it because it needed to be done and when I could do it no longer, my sisters took over. They moved her away from me and my son (young one at the time) and she did not last long at all. You may be keeping your mom with you by loving and caring for her. Keep it up. I still miss my mom.

  13. Hey there pretty girl! You inspire me. Not many people would be able to handle everything you do for your family and I think it's amazing.

    You're a great person, friend and daughter Claire.

  14. You're doing some great things because of your inspiration from you mother's illness. Keep up the good work and you'll change lives!

  15. what a heartwarming post! what i like about it foremost is that you haven't lost your sense of humor amidst everything. i think that humor is therapeutic in itself!

    kudos to you and your mom for being brave and persevering... good luck in your endeavors!

  16. They're running an ad here that shows babies doing simple little things that crack themselves up, just when they're learning to laugh. You can't help but laugh, too. At the end of the ad, they show: "Laughing can add up to eight years to your life."
    No doubt that you're keeping yourself and your mum in stitches and in better mental health!
    I don't want to make you throw up or anything, but you're one heck of a caring daughter! You're both remarkable...

  17. what an honest and touching post. I pray that if I'm ever in such situations I can live with such grace as you all have.

    blessings to you.

  18. What a terrific post. Heartwarming, honest... you are taking action where many would not. Humor can see you through - I hope you never lose that!

  19. Nice garden, Very impressive


  20. Wow, your mom sounds very cool!
    Gardening is great therapy, isn't it? :)


  21. Thanks for sharing. Your mum is a lucky lady.

    I linked to your post... here's mine at

  22. Nice! I love your disclaimer :) You are a good person and make a difference in others lives - I like that!

    My 94 1/2 year old 'Pop' lives with my husband and I for 7 months, then we live with him - it's not easy being a caregiver but it's only fair - he and my Mom looked after ME for my first 18 years!!! It's payback time and I'm glad to do it :)

    I joined the Bloggers Unite but haven't posted my good act yet - a day late, but better late than never.

    Merry Christmas!

  23. Claire, what a way to bring your Mom Cheer. I am envious, I am like this killer of plants. I think your act of kindness was very nice.

  24. Gardening is my 85 year old mother's favorite pastime. I love the times when I can join her!