Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunday … a day of rest, but of course ;-) The sun is finally out, we’re here in Denmark for another day, before heading off to Margaret River tomorrow, so it’s lunch of Smoked Salmon with light cream cheese on crackers, Ham off the bone with Gouda on a fresh bun, washed down with a Grolsch ... Blog catch-up finally completed for the previous few days, and now it's time for the Melbourne F1 telecast for Chris! ;-)

Our hosts Anja And Matteus decided to go visit and catch up with some friends and left us “home alone”, but were expecting the arrival of two other guests and could we make them welcome and show them their room – but of course we could, more than happy to

Sitting on the decking enjoying the late afternoon sun around 4pm, a silver Terrago rolls into the drive and onto the grass … ahhh, I say to the silver haired gent driving, you must be Bob! Not yet knowing about Bob’s ‘special needs’, I casually say just park the car back where our bikes are … it wasn’t until Maggie popped out and introduced herself and explained that for Bob, just getting out of the car was in itself a huge effort! I saw this in part as Bob grabbed a leg at a time with his left hand and heaved them into 'place' in order to be able to stand - both legs and right arm were barely useful …

Trying to be helpful I offered a “lady on each arm” to which Maggie thought was a lovely gesture and replied, in Bob’s better years he would have loved that, but now he needed his stick on the ‘other arm’ to help with traction … I felt awkwardly useless and couldn’t watch the slow shuffling of this still stately tall gent, and excused myself to go off and do ‘something’ …

Bob’s rare form of muscular dystrophy (he is one of only 20 known cases Australia wide!) had started to present itself at around 30 years old, affecting first the diaphragm and oesophagus bringing on the onset of sleep apnoea so bad that several times he stopped breathing, as noticed by his motorbike mates on one of their trips … over time this also caused brain damage, accelerating his condition, to a point that basic skills we all take for granted had to be relearned, and now sleeps with a respirator! Chris and I felt honoured to have met such a determined but gracious gent, and that he was comfortable to talk openly about his rare and debilitating condition. We also have a great respect for bubbly energetic Maggie, ten years Bob’s junior, and of the ‘task’ knowingly undertaken – Bob and Maggie met online only two years ago.

Dinner tonight was nothing glam (chicken take away, as this eatery and the Chinese take away were the only places open on a Sunday night!!) but it was full of chatter laughter and lots of great stories! Sometimes people come into your life already “old friends” – and so it felt like this with Maggie and Bob!

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