In New York

In New York

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Losing Jenny

We are entering a time of transition. Many of you know Jenny, Roch’s Personal Assistant and Caregiver. Well, Jenny will be leaving us at the end of this month. She is moving back home to Australia. I think we’ve all been in denial a bit around here. We’ve been very down to earth and practical about it, lining up possible candidates for interview, drafting interview questions and discussing hours and logistics and arranging suitable dates for the successful candidates (we think we need to engage the services of more than one person) to shadow Jenny before she leaves.  For some time now I have been feeling stressed about it, waking at night and feeling anxious about the future. My workplace has been very understanding and I will be on unpaid leave for the month of March, to help and support the new people at home, as well as spending more time with Roch.

So we ARE dealing with the practicalities. We don’t know who will replace Jenny yet – we have to make our decision within the next few days. We’ve met with and interviewed four people now, and they all seem very nice.

But when I say ‘replace Jenny’ – well, nobody can do that. My Mother often says to me “There’s nothing good about MND.”  She’s right of course, but good things have happened to us since Roch’s diagnosis and one of those good things is Jenny. Jenny doesn’t just look after Roch. When she walks in the door, she brings a special energy all her own – a vitality and positivity which energises all of us. I walk past the door of the wet room at shower time and hear her singing – sometimes I hear them both belting out a tune – followed by a burst of laughter, as they enjoy a joke together. It always makes me smile and my heart actually lightens a little. He’s happy. She makes him happy. She takes no nonsense from him, mind you, but he likes that, too.

But Jenny doesn’t only look after Roch, I suspect she looks after all of us, me included. In fact, especially me. She knows when I come in tired from work and there’s always a twix and a cup of tea ready. She knows when the recycling needs to be done and when Oscar The Cat’s paws need to be wiped before he can be permitted the run of the house. She knows how I like things in the kitchen. Jenny makes my life as an MND wife easier in lots of ways.

We will miss Jenny not just because of all she does for us but because of all she is to us. I try to have faith in the future. Who knows what joys and blessings the next Person will bring into our lives? 

But they will never replace Jenny.



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