Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Wake up to snow with a Maruia thermometer on zero.
Wonderful surprise to see the snow this morning.  Dunedin's hill suburbs are challenging to negotiate when snow and/or ice take over.  Schools stay closed as do the motorways going north and south. It usually doesn't last long and we are still young at heart to enjoy the excitement of a different view.

But Miriam will be worried.  She now goes by taxi from her new abode to the Community Learning Centre and the routine of her day will be interrupted when she can't go there because of the weather.

Since she left home I have missed her so much, and deep in my heart still felt cold fear and concern about the new situation.  I cried a lot, especially when I'd go into her bedroom.   But then came Mother's Day!  Miriam gave me a gorgeous wee box with little gifts (bubble bath and a cookie) she'd made herself at CLC and proudly presented them when she and Ray came for lunch at 12.00 noon.  We had a lovely time sitting together, chatting, eating, drinking wine.   Miriam doing her Word Find.  We'd had our coffee and gluten-free cake (Miriam recently had a diagnosis of Coeliac Disease -  phew!!!!) and just after 2 o'clock Miriam put her Word Find in her bag, looked at her watch, looked at me, looked at her watch again, looked at me again - was she trying to hypnotise me???  I thought of the little word circles coming out of people's heads in cartoons  and I could hear her thinking I want to go home.  I knew this routine from previous situations when we were out visiting so I took her hand and said, 'Darling, you are ready to go back?'

Well, you should've seen her face.  A shining beam, wide gleaming eyes, 'Yes, Mum, thank you.'

And I thought, there is now need to worry any more.  It was as if a heavy load had disappeared.  Exactly two months to the day when she left home she showed me that the routine of her new home had become as important (and perhaps even stronger) as the routine she had with us.  What a gift these few words were.  To receive them on Mother's Day made them even more special.

A few days later I mentioned to my sister in Holland what had happened.  She said, 'Oh, that must have hurt you so much!'   And I was glad when I could say, 'No, I don't feel hurt at all, I can only be grateful that my adult daughter has responded in her own way to this latest challenge.'

Routine means a lot for people with Down syndrome.  I can understand that we as parents have been part of that routine in her life and that we now have truly let her go, knowing that she will keep on adjusting to the changes in her life and in her own way will rise to any challenging situation.  The wonderful staff at McGlynn keep telling us that Miriam is very independent! 

There are challenges ahead for us too.  This will be the last winter we'll have in this wonderful house.  More about that in another blog when I hopefully will be able to untangle some gnarled branches.

This morning's photo of ladder in the apple tree (as in a previous blog!)
One more.  I'm like a child when there's snow, can't stop taking photos.

'Think of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.'