Tag Archives: Aussie


What if it IS always Sunny?

Lydia’s Drawing Board

I love the show CBS Sunday Morning. And every time I watch it, I think of my Aunt Jean. When she would visit from Australia, we would usually watch it together and in spite of her serious macular degeneration, which made her practically blind, and her hearing loss in both ears, which the use of hearing aids only caused constant beeping and buzzing throughout the house that she couldn’t hear, we were somehow able to converse about each story just a little bit.

I was always beguiled by her insight and questioning in light of the ‘skips’ in information that had to occur with each tale from Charles Osgood. But there was one segment every single Sunday where Charles would tell you what interesting stories were coming up in the week ahead. Like, Monday there will be an important decision from the Supreme Court, Tuesday is national Ice Cream day (YAY), Wednesday is the Kennedy Center Awards, things like that. And that segment would have a fake calendar with sunbursts, which is the theme of Sunday Morning.  



And every Sunday, she would say to me, “Oh look we’re going to have beautiful weather this week. It’s going to be sunny every single day!” And I, every Sunday, would say:


And she would be intent on the TV and not even look my way. And then she would turn to me and say:

“Well, we can go shopping and out to lunch with your mother, and go visit Marie. It will be lovely!”

And I would still be saying, “No, no, no….that’s not what it means…..”

I don’t think I ever once let it go.

So on what would have been her 91st birthday to a lovely, sunshiney woman who was my Aussie Mom…..and on Mother’s Day. I’m letting it go.

Every day is sunshine. What a great attitude.

Happy Birthday, Aunt Jean. And Happy Mother’s Day to my amazing Mom, Mary Ann, the spirit of my beloved mother-in-law, Marie and every other caregiver who gives the love of a Mom every day. Hope your smiling and laughing today.

You just have to Laugh

Cathy Sikorski

P.S. Thanks to Lydiasdrawingboard for the amazing artwork!


Aunt J, our 90 year-old Australian darling, came down with shingles about four months ago. Sadly, right as we were burying our dear, dear, dear, mom, mother-in-law, grandma, friend, aunt and all around great gal (that’s all one person, don’t panic.) Aunt J and Grandma had been sisters-in-law for almost 70 years. So I think the stress of losing her dear friend and companion, as well as just being 90, herself, sent her a bit over the edge.

As it happens, SOME people, not all people, but some very unfortunate few people, get something called post herpetic neuralgia  after the rash of shingles disappears. This is basically a continuing shooting, stabbing, painful discomfort associated with shingles that may last long after it seems you no longer have shingles, or a life or a mind.

Of course, at 90 years old, Aunt J has post herpetic neuralgiaUp until this point, she was only taking two medications. She had heart surgery back in the ’80’s (not her 80’s THE 80’s) and is by all accounts a pretty terrific old gal. She is amazingly charming, has that adorable accent, and has wonderful tales of her times in New York City and travelling.

So she was on her way to a grand ancient old age. But this shingles thing has changed the game and it’s disheartening, unfair and just plain crap. She does her best, most of the time to be a trooper. She will go out to lunch, go shopping, watch TV, fold laundry and participate in every way. But when there’s not much to do, or she has a day that just gets her down, the nasty pain that travels around from her back to her side to her front is frustrating for everyone. It becomes the topic of the day:

“I just don’t understand why this won’t go away, Mate ( I just added that so you wouldn’t forget the Aussie accent).

“Well, Aunt J, it’s just a nasty bugger that can last months, even though there is no rash”, I tell her, keeping to myself that this damn thing can last months and months or even years.

“But why did it go away and come back? I took all my medicine. I was a good girl!”, she whines.

“I know, I know, but the shingles don’t always work that way. They can just hang around as a painful reminder as long as they want. I’m really sorry. ”

“O dear, O dear, O dear, O dear. I don’t know what I’m going to do……” , she trails off with a wince of pain.

And this is where it just starts all over again. The same conversation, the same laments, and the same ineffective answers I have given her time and again. We have tried various other medications, but they have had nasty and dangerous side effects. So here we are.

“I know”, I say, “let’s go get ice cream!”

She looks at me with a jaded eye. We are both thinking the same thing. Can it be that easy?

“Okay!”, she says.

You just have to laugh……..