We started the 2020/21 fire season – our third – I was already exhausted. Holly and I slowly moved from the shack into the Nook. During this season Holly switched roles, moving into one focused on community engagement and partnerships for the department in our district. I always admire her thirst to challenge herself and learn new things. In this new job she was able to utilise her exceptional communication and people skills, laying a new foundation and benchmark for the role. It was a much quieter season than those to which we had become accustomed. I took full advantage of this, spending most of my time between Halls Gap and the Mornington Peninsula, taking Dad to appointments and check-ups.
Sadly his partner Elizabeth had been showing signs of Alzheimer’s over the last 12 months and after a few visits to a specialist, it became evident that this was indeed the cause. Although the house was liveable, it was by no means fully “complete”. The image I had been dreaming in my mind was yet to be completely fulfilled, but there was no time to waste energy thinking about that; the focus now was completely on helping Dad through the final stages of his life. After many conversations between Dad, Elizabeth, Deborah (Elizabeth’s wonderful daughter), Holly and myself the “dynamic duo” made the big decision to leave their home and transition into a nursing home.
This way they both had access to the appropriate care for their specific needs. Dad taught me a valuable lesson in this move. Throughout his journey, he would always say, “All will be well” and “What will be, will be” – my final lesson in dealing with things that are outside of our control: resisting acceptance requires more energy than any of us will ever have, eventually we will break. The sooner we lean in and accept what’s happening, the sooner we can, as Dad would say, “get on with it”.
On June 8th, 2021, my best friend, Robert Henry Webb, died; a happy, fulfilled, loving, passionate and devoted 85 year old man.
I finished the 2020/21 fire season immediately and after a number of days returned home with Holly from Rosebud to the Nook. The Nook then became our carer, looking after both Holly and myself. It provided us with a beautiful space to rest, rejuvenate and enjoy each other’s company.