Well I have been back a week now, how time flies! It was lovely being able to go home to New Zealand and visit my Mum, Dad, Sister and her husband. The weather was fantastic the whole time there with the exception of one afternoon and one day when Cyclone Luci was over. I walked 6 - 8 km every day with my Dad and his dog Sophie. Unfortunately we were unable to do our usual day trips due to being unable to leave my Mum alone for that long. We did have three lovely afternoons out at some beaches and regional parks though.

The visit was tinged with sadness and dispair though. My Mum has Alzheimers and it was heartbreaking to see how much she had changed since I last saw her. It is a really cruel disease both to the sufferer and probably more so to loved ones who have to watch and live with the difficulties daily. The forgetting things, the making up of stories, the putting clothes on the wrong way round, inside out and mismatched and sometimes several layers of the same clothes. The not washing properly, the messy eating habits. Especially heartbreaking when you know how much that person took pride in the way they looked and behaved. The moods were also difficult at times. I felt so helpless and even more so knowing that I would be leaving them to continue their daily coping. My Dad works so hard at trying to maintain the household and looking after my Mum and it is so difficult for him at times. He really amazed me with how patient he has become. My Sister also works hard, helping out with cooking meals for them a couple of times a week, checking up on Mum when Dad has to go out.

I could write a lot more on this disease and how it is affecting our family, but won't. Needless to say it was very hard leaving them.