Thankyou!

Despite my parents’ best efforts I have never been good at translating my genuine feelings of gratitude into timely thankyou notes. It is remarkable that I began writing this on 3 May, just one day after I turned 50, and six months since that life-defying, death-defying day that precipitated this ICU sojourn; and appropriate that I’m finishing this instalment on 7 May, 76 whole months since my MND diagnosis. So I type, 50 times:

Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!

I’m so grateful to be alive, for this life, with Densil and Kimi, who came on Thursday with stories and jokes and presents and dinner and a burpday coke; with other family who have visited or will with deliberately dissonant happy birthdays and hugs and laughter and a beautiful crocheted rug; for nurses who surprised me by festooning my room with ocean-blue balloons, and happy birthdayed me with cake (and another night-shift piece for good measure), who tend to my body as well as our hearts; for friends who sent cards and messages, who are helping behind the scenes, who have visited or will; and for all of you who responded to my birthday post (A 50th birthday invitation) with warmth and generosity and creativity, elevating me and raising awareness and funds with your 50s and Michaela’s spontaneous radio interview organisation and your donations. As always, I am grateful for the wonderful MND community, which lost another shining star in Adam Marcus, way too young, this weekend, and my heart aches for his wife, kids, parents, brothers and other family and friends. We need a cure for this arsehole of a disease (to quote my favourite neurologist).

Thank you for your 50s, so far including:

1. A 50km leg-testing bike ride (S), 50 minute ride (J) and 50 rides started (J)

2. 50 carefully spaced dots (M & A)

3. Compost meditatively mixed from 50 ingredients (K)

4. 50 dog pattings (E)

5. 50 unwitting bodily eruptions: sneezes (R), burps/minute (L), and bottomly contributions (P)

6. 50 day-brightening smiles for friends and strangers (R)

7. Selection of 50 acoustic covers (D)

8. Sharing 50 memory-soaked photos of an MND-stolen grandma (K)

9. A 50-minute Taronga Zoo visit watching Sumatran tiger cubs frolic (S)

10. Documentation of 50 reasons for gratitude (A, H)

11. Parental help with 50 maths problems (P)

12. 50 good deeds – including supplying me with chocolate mousse! (P)

13. A magnificent 50 x 50 photo montage celebrating our long friendship (B) [see illustration, Bruce Long]

14. 50 dizzying cartwheels (N)

15. 50 biscuits baked (J, L) and (is it possible?) 50 jaffa cakes eaten (K)

16. The complimenting of 50 strangers’ actions (I)

17. Awareness-raising solicitation of 50 retweets – exceeded! (S)

18. 50 runs (L: I fondly remember some we ran together) and 50km of running accumulated (G, K)

19. 50 hours of door knocking for the fabulous Jordan Steele-John (M)

20. 50 thanksgivings (C, H)

21. Plantings: sweet peas (V, reminding me of k’s quick response when I said ‘Thanks sweet pea’; ‘Are you talking to me or the pee?’); native violets (N); blue gums (D); assorted veggies (L)

22. Centennial Park collection of 50 pieces of discarded rubbish (C)

23. 50 Camino candles lit (J) and 50 candles extinguished (B)

24. 50 Indochinese offerings anticipated (C)

25. 50 sit-ups with a smile (G, Y)

26. Walking – the simple, physical pleasure – 50 sandy strides (M), 50 mindful meanders by month’s end (K, S), 50km of Sydney-side walking (L, J), 50km per week (J)

27. 50 furry friend photos by pet-sitting world travelers (T)

28. 50 pages per day of book-reading (S)

29. The harmonious layering of 50 Jubilate Deos (I)

30. 50 hearts collected, a symbol of her brave loving struggling heart (L)

31. Floral photos (breaching the ICU no flowers policy): with botanical names (J), from neighbours and her veggie patch (M), from our neighbourhood and garden, a wonderful glimpse of home (J)

32. 50 skips, on the to do list (C)

33. 50 (only?) *%¥*s (S)

34. The ascent and descent of 50 quadrangle stairs (R)

35. The puzzling of 50 puzzles (S)

36. 50 strong push ups (J, S)

37. The scribbling of 50 beautiful words (N)

38. 50 dances (J)

39. 50 exercise repetitions (B), lunges (T) and squats (D)

40. Consumption of 50 pieces of licorice, whereas I’ll stick with my delicious doses of aniseed flavoured Gaviscon (D)

41. 50 bassoon practices-make-perfect (A)

42. 50 photos (R, S)

43. 50 hand written cards (S, L)

44. 10 days x 5 minutes of yoga warm-up (J)

45. Crocheting 50 art installation flowers (L)

46. 50 acts of kindness to complete strangers (R)

47. 50 hours (who’s counting?) up ladder painting (J)

48. Swimming (hurrah!): the big 5km to be attempted (A), and 50 laps of various pools (E, E, H, J, R)

49. 50 hugs (E, M, M)

50. And, some with a 50 theme, some not, MND donations – thank you!

I’d love to hear about your 50s that haven’t made this list, or have moved from conceptual to implementation phase. And, again, thank you!

3 thoughts on “Thankyou!

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