The Tans in 2017


This has been a very traumatic year.  In early January, Arthur's mother's health deteriorated significantly and so he and Cheryl made an urgent visit to Singapore to visit her, during which time she seemed to improve slightly, so they returned to Perth.  Unfortunately, within a week she passed away and they (with Greg, Nick and Peta) went back for the funeral.  A few days later, Cheryl's uncle, who had been ill with cancer, suddenly passed away as well and so she stayed back in Singapore for his funeral and to be with the family.  In March, Cheryl's aunty was diagnosed with cancer and this prompted her mum Esme to spend some time with her sister in Singapore; at the same time Esme's cousin and dearest friend passed away after a short illness.  Another aunt of Cheryl's (another sister of Esme) living in New Zealand died in June, and a cousin-in-law became gravely ill and passed away unexpectedly in September.  In all, there have been 5 deaths in our close and extended families.   So many to lose and mourn.

Cheryl's mum, Esme, rates a special mention this year.  In February, she was so excited to secure a lease on a 1-bedroom flat in a retirement village quite close by.  It took a couple of months to settle in but then in June she suffered a mini-stroke which was not diagnosed for a week.  It impacted on her short-term memory with the devastating consequence (for her) that she was unable to live independently on her own and had to give up her flat and return to live in Cheryl's home. This loss of independence, and particularly the fact that she is not allowed to drive anymore, plus her inability to remember things, events and information for any length of time (her long-term memory of things and life before the stroke is ok) made her confused, frustrated, lonely and depressed.  Luckily, she secured a place in a lovely Catholic-run nursing home where she has a large bed/living room with ensuite; included are all meals, medical, social and housekeeping services. She moved in in mid-October, has settled in quite well, loves the staff, the ambience and gardens, and is slowly making new friends.  She flew to Adelaide to spend a couple of weeks with Charmaine in November.

Both Cheryl and Arthur turned 70 this year, but without big celebrations.  Arthur's sisters, brother-in-law, nephew and niece came to Perth for a holiday and joined us for his birthday dinner.  Earlier in the year, Cheryl had booked a cruise from Singapore to Fremantle with the sole aim of bringing back her grandmother's old Singer sewing machine to Perth; the cost of the cruise matched the quoted cost of freighting the machine separately.  So in November, she and Arthur embarked on the cruise and visited the ports of Phuket, Langkawi, Penang (where they were impressed by the Peranakan Mansion), KL and Bali.  They decided to re-visit the Balinese hotel they had honeymooned in 46 years ago and were delighted that it had not changed much at all – the photo on the card was taken at lunch.  Cheryl worked at the WA State elections in February and still makes cakes, but less elaborate creations.

Greg and Nick, Andrea and Peta remain in their jobs.  Ainslie will be entering her last year in primary school next year; she has grown up so much.  Rhys is doing well at school, is enjoying basketball and is interested in everything.  Blake is getting specialist help to assist in his speech development and will be attending a specialist school next year but he is such a happy and well-adjusted boy.  Nick's dog Zhaan had a health scare with a leaking heart valve, but was treated in time and now has to take medication for the rest of her life.  Molly is showing her age but still healthy.  There is still no replacement for Flemington.