wings and things

Turning corners

on November 1, 2015

Corners on King ( is the restaurant where Ming has worked for just over a year now. It is run by a couple of guys who have very good taste in terms of decor, food, AND picking staff who are willing to dress up for Halloween.


Yes, that is Ming on the left in the above photo. I was feeling a bit blah yesterday morning but, when I switched on my newly-switched-on computer, and the internet rushed into my laptop, this photo was the first I saw.

Okay so it took me a few seconds to realise that it was Ming! Other photos followed and I was so overtaken by laughter that the whole blah thing disappeared. I got showered and dressed and drove into town for lunch with this beautiful nurse.

Once I figure out how to save the photos I took of Ming in his nurse’s outfit, as he and I lunched together during his break, I will post them. It was the most glorious hour of halloween hilarity.

And then I went to the nursing home to see Anthony. I arrived at 1pm and left at about 4.30pm. For these hours I was unable to wake him up no matter how much I shook his shoulders, squeezed his hands, shouted (as quietly as I could) ‘Wake up, Ants!’ His nephew visited, a friend visited, the nurse-in-charge came in and checked his blood pressure etc. and reassured me that all was well. I visited the dementia wing a couple of times, showed several staff and residents the photos of Ming, laughed and joked, in the hope that when I returned to Anthony’s room he would be awake. He wasn’t.

The possibility that Anthony might die during – or soon after – one of these TIAs (which seem to be occurring more often), is a corner I have been hesitant to turn into. I was calm yesterday afternoon, then terrified, then resigned. When I got home, Ming was here, and listened to my tearful fears in the same way I listen to his; after all, we both love Anthony.

It is entirely possible that Anthony will live for many more years; it is equally possible that he will die soon. I am not ready for the latter, despite many attempts to BE ready, and I cannot imagine my life without Anthony in it. His room in the nursing home, the staff who have become such wonderful friends, my arm around his shoulder, our long afternoons watching television, bantering, just being together, sometimes reminiscing, sometimes eating and drinking, laughing, looking at photos, doing paperwork, engaging with staff, residents, friends, relatives, visitors … his room has become my refuge, my home.

Ah, but I do have another home – a place where I can eat, drink, write, relax. I can be one of those trendy people who drink short blacks whilst writing articles about the meaning of life and death OR the proud mother of the waiter at Corners on King.

Corners on King ( is the restaurant where Ming has worked for just over a year now. It is run by a couple of guys who have very good taste in terms of decor, food, AND picking staff who are willing to dress up for Halloween.

53 responses to “Turning corners

  1. Ming looks awesome in his costume!! I know that my aunt, the one who took care of my uncle in his vegetative state for 22 years, mourned my uncle when he passed, but she had been mourning him for a long time, it’s hard no matter what but she is living her life. You remind me so much of her, you are as strong and as wonderful as she is. Hugs Jules.

  2. Glad Ming was able to cheer you, despite the worries about Ants. I saw a movie recently where awful things were waiting for one of the characters, yet he never looked upset or anxious. One of the other characters asked him, “aren’t you worried?” and the other responded, “Would it help?” I think that’s a great attitude.

  3. It’s understandable that you would have different scenarios regarding Anthony. On the one hand you want to be prepared, but on the other hand you wonder if it’s possible! As my husband and I get older it passes through my mind even, what life would be like without him… Take care Julie.. Diane

    • jmgoyder says:

      Oh Diane, it has been such a weird couple of days. Ants was totally ‘out of it’ for hours and hours yesterday and today as bright as a button (well sort of!) Jx

  4. Lisa Rest says:

    Love Ming’s costume. What a bittersweet Halloween. So sorry Anthony was not awake for you. Your strength through it all moves me.

  5. Judy says:

    I can easily understand how these episodes where Anthony cannot be awakened are terrifying and unsettling. And of course, you were excited to share things with him and unable to. It’s such a loss and reminder that he is drifting away from you. You cannot really anticipate your grief once he’s gone but I can say that you are certainly grieving now. I’m glad for any moment of respite you get – laughter from Ming’s adorable costume probably helped tremendously. Hang in there!

    • jmgoyder says:

      I am really starting to understand that anticipatory grief you have told me about before, Judy.

      • Judy says:

        Julie, anticipatory grief is as painful as the grief of someone’s death. It is real. I cannot know how it will be after he is gone, but I can tell you that I grieved terribly for my mother with her dementia – four years. After she died, I did not grieve like I thought I would. It seems as though it was much easier because I had “streamlined” the process. It won’t be easy after Ants is gone, but you will be surprised in many ways at how much grieving you’ve already done. Sending you a hug.

      • jmgoyder says:

        I cannot express how grateful I am to you Judy. I am having a bad time atm so will take your wisdom and am sending your a double hug! Lots of love x

      • Judy says:

        I can feel it, Julie. What is so tough is that our body exhibits “what the mind does not allow.” It’s good to acknowledge grief so it doesn’t make us sick.And you also have your son and elderly mom – there’s a lot that goes with that. Beautiful things and stressful things. I understand very well.

  6. I LOVE the picture of Ming Julie! And this well written post… ❀
    Diana xo

  7. Terry says:

    Love the outfit and I love your outlook on life

  8. Vicki says:

    Gosh that photo of Ming is hilarious. He is just such an Aussie larrikin in that image.

    Life is impermanent for all of us, but I can’t imagine how one prepares for the inevitable passing of one’s partner and best friend. I know you to be enormously strong and that the final time will be difficult and sad.

    Just knowing he is in a special place and in the best loving hands of the Nursing Home staff is of at least some comfort.

    PS I don’t know whether it is because the image is B & W, but that costume transforms Ming in the most delightful way. Tell him that one of your fellow bloggers was admiring his shapely legs and that I would give a loud wolf whistle across the miles if I could.

    • jmgoyder says:

      It was such a weird day, Vicki – a high/low day I guess. I will pass your comments on to the Ming who will be thrilled to read about himself haha! He and I are laughing but also had another serious discussion tonight about Ants. He is the most amazing son and I am so lucky to have such an honest son, a son who can share his tears and fears with me. I just wish it were possible to get a bit of notice before someone dies.

  9. susanpoozan says:

    Very philosophical, keep on looking at both sides of your life with and without Anthony.

  10. Rhonda says:

    Beautiful post my friend. My heart is with you. Please tell Ming he makes a striking sheila…whoo hoo, what a pair of gams! Love you Jules…xoxoxo

  11. ksbeth says:

    i love this post, jules. life is so full and can feel so empty at times, it’s important to embrace all the time we have. none of us knows when our and our loved ones’ time will end.

  12. Ming obviously has his parents love of life.

    I don’t know how any of us can prepare ourselves for death. No matter that it is going to happen. Why I’ve come to realize that the human race can’t prepare it’s self for death no matter how often (what is bigger than ‘billions’) it happens-the truth is-we’ve never lost that person, in that way.

    I admire you Julie.

  13. First up, Ming makes a nice looking nurse
    Next up, there is nothing you can do to prepare you for life without Anthony when it happens it will still be a shock and will rock your world to the core, all you can do is take it one day at a time and love and embrace all the time you have together

  14. You know what? Ming looks more like you in that pic! πŸ˜„
    I get how scared and sad it must make you feel to see Ants that way. But I admire how you are handling it all. Hugs.

  15. Bittersweet post. Happiness for Ming though, and prayers for you and Anthony.

  16. Love the photo of Ming. So glad he brings joy into your life. As for death, it awaits us all and you know how we can never know when our time on earth is up. one day at a time is the way to go.

  17. Trisha says:

    It must have been so scary to have Anthony stay unconscious for so long. I’m glad you had Ming to comfort and cheer you. His costume is fabulous! It took me a good long while of staring at the photo to realize that it was Ming.

  18. Barb says:

    I’m so glad you have Ming. You don’t need anymore scary moments.

  19. Tiny says:

    Ming is so much fun in his costume! I’m happy you had some hilarious moments in the midst of your worrying. And as someone said here earlier, worrying really doesn’t help, instead it might cloud the moments you actually HAVE together. But I know it’s human to worry, and very difficult not to – I’ve learned it time after time with my hubby’s heart issues…and I’m still learning this truth.

  20. Not sure we can ever be ready to lose the ones we love. So glad you are consciously savoring your moments together – especially the laughter. Ming is the dark hair and short nurses outfit is hysterical. Bet he made some great tips!!

  21. My 6’5″ baby dressed up as a sumo wrestler at the market he works at. πŸ™‚

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