The next major event in our life was the Christchurch quakes. These affected many people in New Zealand and they affected me because my family lives down there.
Fortunately for my family no one was hurt but the city will never be the same again. What effected my family most were the aftershocks. And the ongoing mental and physical damage they did to people.
We, up in Wellington, have no real idea of what they went through. Even though we have always been the city forecast to have the quakes, so have always built above the rest of the country’s code. When I used to ring my Grandmother, Nan would tell me that she could hear the quakes coming as my parents had got her a dresser where the handles rattled, so she could brace herself for the aftershocks.
April 2011 Brian finally gave up the struggle. He was in hospital for Easter and I remember Betty told us he really held on until he could receive his Easter communion which was a couple of weeks after Easter because the hospital chaplain was so busy. The day he received his communion he died that night. We had been in the hospital earlier in the evening and had seen him then. This time he had suffered a stroke on top of everything and that was making his limited breathing very hard and he had no concentration for reading which was his life. Betty got the call at about 9.30 that night that the orderlies had just been going to collect Brian to take him back to MAPU ward so he could go on the ventilator and when they got back he had passed.
When we saw him laid out he was the most peaceful we had seen him for a long time. He was no longer struggling. Brian died when Alan had only been in a new role for a couple of weeks but Telecom were great and made sure he had the support he needed.
We went down to Christchurch for the Christmas of 2011 and I caught up with my family . The damage to Christchurch was heartrending. Alan and I were staying in a motel in Riccarton and were able to walk around and see the damage that had happened. So many of the landmarks I had grown up with were no longer there, or were damaged beyond repair.
In 2012 we were down in Christchurch again this time to say goodbye to my grandmother, the last surviving grandparent I had, while she was hospitalised for the last time. I am glad we managed to get to see her one more time before she passed . I was not able to make it to her funeral so once again I did not grieve properly until a later time.
The other big thing that happened to us in 2012 was we met our friend Heni who has made a huge change to our lives. I have spoken before about how Heni has changed our lives and also how we have changed hers so I will not go into detail here. If you want to read more about this then read it here .
And one thing that was not so good in 2012 is our cat that we had had for 18 and a half years, and she was 4 and a half, when we got her, finally passed on. Here is a photo of Spliffy. We knew she was old and getting ready to pass but she managed to hold on until the 15th of February and died in our arms. She was cremated on the 18th of February which was my birthday. She was a beautiful cat and a big part of our lives.
After Spliffy passed we got our deck done. For us this was a major piece of work as we had been in the same property for 20 years and not really experienced any outdoor living space as the front lawn had been a bull nose. That deck has made such a big difference to us. Even today while it is raining heavily we have the deck door open so the cats can come in and out at will. Once the deck was complete we introduced Raspberry to our family. It was the first time we had ever had a kitten so it was a big learning curve for us and watching her grow was amazing. I have never really been a big photo taker but with Raspberry we have made sure we have had lots of videos and photos of her growing up.
Here is what she looked like when we first met her.
Things have gone reasonably smoothly since the end of 2012.
We got another cat in early 2014 exactly a year younger than Raspberry and he is called Coffee.
I did a really good contract at Telecom/Spark at the end of 2013 which turned into a permanent role at the beginning of 2014 and life was looking pretty smooth. Then things started happening around the office. The first big change was the name change from Telecom to Spark. Then they started restructuring. Alan was in the thick of things and the strain was really showing, he had already survived two other cuts, so when in December 2014 Alan was made redundant he was jubilant. To him it was an opportunity to start a business of his own and he would have at least 6 months of redundancy to get things going with. As usual I was a mess, crying all the time as I was coming to terms with the fact that for the first time in about 25 years I was going to be the only breadwinner until his company kicked in.
Over the Christmas break I immediately went into action starting to work on a plan B in case anything else happened as once Spark started re-structuring you knew it was going to be an ongoing process. That is when I came across this business and started doing the training. I loved what I saw so much and the company really rang my bell as something I would love to be involved with, that I went all in as soon as I could. To me it was the best decision I could have done as the training I have done with this company and work on self-development has helped so much this year.
The next thing that happened to us was Alan’s Grandmother passed in her 101st year. If you want to read more about this I have written about it at the time last year. You can read it here, Once again my birthday is now associated with a different event as the funeral was on the 19th of February, It was at Gran’s funeral that I finally said goodbye to Nan. So many of the things the speakers were saying about Gran Henskie made me think of my Nan. My girlfriend who also attended with us found it cathartic for her to finally say good bye to her grandmother and mother as well.
We knew it was coming so when it did it we were a lot more mentally prepared than in the past. I was made redundant on the 14th August 2015.
Now we had two of us out of work. Alan’s business was not yet making a sustainable income and neither was mine. And this time around getting a new position was harder than it had been in the past.
I continued to work my business every chance I got and was starting to get more interest all the time. However it could not pay the bills yet. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we had together. We were able to go swimming mid-week, spend relaxed time together and get an idea of what life will be like when we are leading the life we really want to. Just in future there will not be the financial stress.
This year has been a year of learning. I have met some amazing people online and in person. I have done some amazing training setting me up for success and life. I have prepared my mind for success and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.
Everything happens for a reason and just as we were about to fill out the papers seeking government assistance fate steps in the way and I manage to pick up temporary work. This happens every time so I know no matter what we will be OK. And the good news is that after a solid 4 months of looking Alan has a contract role starting the 11th of January so we are excited for this year.
This year has been a year of learning. I have met some amazing people online and in person. I have done some amazing training setting me up for success and life. I have prepared my mind for success and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. We have learned to live life to fullest on a budget and I have even managed to help a Kenyan family over the year as well.
The teeshirt at the top of this blog I think says it all. This was designed by my husband and he is going to re-launch that side soon. If you do not suffer scrapes and bruises along the way you are not living life. However you also need to learn from those scrapes and bruises so each time you fall down you can get up again.
I hope that going through my experiences like this has helped you understand a bit more about me. And shown ways I can help you to get through your challenges what ever they might be. As you can see I have had to deal with grief, Redundancy and illnesses of various sorts over the years so I have a wealth of experience.
Have a great day. And if you have missed the rest of the series they are available here:
If anything I have said resonates with you. Leave a comment below, and catch up with me on FaceBook. I would love to chat.