The Tans in 2018


2018 continued the pattern of unfortunate events in Cheryl's family.  Her last remaining aunty, Edith Rose in Singapore, who had undergone cancer treatment last year, developed other serious health issues including diverticulitis which resulted in her having a colostomy bag fitted, kidney failure requiring dialysis, and water in the lung. 

She was hospitalised for a couple of months and developed a very deep bed sore.  

Cheryl, her sister Charmaine and Esme went to Singapore to visit her in early April.  It was sad to see how much her health had deteriorated, and tragically, on the eve of the visit she lost her sight after a minor unrelated procedure and so was unable to see her family. 

The times spent with her in hospital were bitter-sweet; amazingly she was in good spirits despite her obvious fatigue and pain. 

After the trio returned to Australia, the news came that she passed away on 27 April, one day after her 81st birthday. 

Cheryl then made the return journey for the funeral.  While obviously a sad occasion, it was an opportune time to catch up with the rest of the McIntyre clan in Singapore.  

Esme has had  a bit of a roller-coaster time this year; while she is happy in the nursing home, she is prone to mood swings which take a toll on her when they are dark.  Her memory has deteriorated and as a result she is often confused and anxious. She participates in activities organised by the home on her good days.

Cheryl and Arthur went on 2 cruises this year – the first was in November: a 14 day round trip from Melbourne to Fiordland, Dunedin, Christchurch, Gisborne, Rotorua, Wellington and Auckland, then returning to Melbourne. 

The most interesting land excursion was taking a mail run with the local postman along the scenic eastern bays around Akaroa, near Christchurch  delivering letters and parcels to the rural communities.  But the highlight was meeting up with Cheryl's cousin Teresa and her husband Shane in Auckland. 

A couple of weeks after returning to Perth, they were off again – this time a 5-day cruise from Fremantle to Esperance and Albany and back to Fremantle with their 2 grandsons Rhys (7) and Blake (4).   Needless to say, it was a hectic time with non-stop talk, play and food; but a great bonding experience between grandparents and grandsons! 

In March, Cheryl and Arthur decided it was time to get a dog.  They wanted a rescue dog and managed to find a 15-month old Jack Russell/Chihuahua cross and named him Ripper the Jack. That's him photo-shopped into the photo (taken in Milford Sound) on the card.  He's a good boy who is completely at home now; and enjoyed his stints at the boarding kennels while Cheryl and Arthur were away.

In October, Nick visited the USA to support his favourite basketball team, the Wildcats, in their games against against Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. 

Peta is on a temporary secondment within the Health Department and has been touring regional WA. 

Greg made work-related trips to Brisbane and Sydney.

Andrea is time-managing very well between work, school/sport drop-offs/pick-ups, P&F responsibilities and gymnastics. 

Ainslie has graduated from primary school, given up gymnastics but will continue with cheer. 

On the other hand, Rhys has been selected to join a national gymnastics program next year; but sadly, he has to stop basketball.  He is in the 'Why?' phase and in the process is learning so much.  He loves maths and science. 

Blake is doing very well in his speech development at his specialist school; he is a joker and has a great imagination. 

Nick's dog Zhaan continues to have ongoing health issues but, with medication, remains happy. 

Molly is still spritely for her age and is a good companion to Ripper. 

Putt, the cat, loves tormenting the dogs and rules the roost at home.