Lesley Marian Gardiner
18.11.1930 – 26.4.2010
I slept fitfully during the night in a large recliner in Mum’s room.
I think I dozed off close to midnight – there was such a lot going on in my head it took a while to get to sleep.
Mum was sleeping very deeply.
I could hear her heavy rhythmic breathing.
I woke at 3am when the nurse came to check on Mum.
Couldn’t sleep so played on my laptop and read for an hour.
Finally at 4am I drifted back to sleep for an hour.
I was up and wandering around soon after 5am.
Got a cuppa and sat and read.
Around 6am I was suddenly aware that Mum’s breathing had changed.
I called the nurse.
She and I had chatted during the night.
She said to me – ‘remember the change I talked about? Well this is it.’
She suggested I get Ruth & Duncan to come in.
So they both arrived around 7am.
We had half an hour with Mum.
Duncan zipped back to his work to quickly organise the men for the day.
Ruth and I were just sitting with her and all of a sudden we were aware of quiet.
We both thought she had gone.
But she hadn’t.
I called Duncan to come fast.
We talked with her, held her hand, and she just very gently and quietly slipped away in the following moments.
It was 7:35am.
Duncan arrived a few minutes later.
I am so glad we were all able to be there with and for her.
After nearly 80 years of living a full and energetic life, the last 6+ of those years of battling Myeloma, her spirit went to the Lord and she was at peace.
We spent the rest of the day with her.
Family members came and went.
There were tears, memories, smiles, plans to make.
We finally met with Alan, the funeral director around 3pm.
He is such a lovely guy.
Am so pleased we were given advice to go with Cloudy Bay.
We then left him to take Mum and we left.
Ruth & I went to visit dear friends David & Noeline.
Then we all met up at Mum’s house and ordered in pizza for dinner.
I spent quite a while getting in touch with our Australian family members and organising their flights via our travel agent here.
Roni is a total angel.
She just took all the pressure off and got everything done for us.
I spent the night with my cousin Conny.
She has been and continues to be a tremendous help and support.
Tuesday was spent with the funeral director and minister getting things underway for the funeral.
It will be held on Saturday at 10:30 in the Church of the Nativity, Blenheim.
Mum will be at home on Friday for all to come visit and there will be paints and pens so anyone can decorate the coffin and leave messages an memories.
I drove home in the afternoon after I had done all I could.
I was really tired and distracted.
It had been raining and there was a lot of fog along the way so all in all it was rather a long trip home.
I have been busy ever since dealing with red tape, making phone calls, emails etc, getting things underway for Saturday, making sure all that should be informed are, getting children organised for their Thursday in town and just generally trying to get my home back into some semblance of order before I head off back to town again.
The children have been great during my absence, but they are still young and even though they think it’s okay to have chickens roosting on the shelf above my washing machine and boxes & vege crates all around the place, wee chickens cheeping away in a home made incubator etc etc, I really don’t!
I did throw a wee hissy fit this morning and got a major amount of mess cleaned up.
I have not managed to get out of my dressing gown at all today.
So right now I am going to go hop in the spa and collapse into bed.