Wednesday 5 April 2017

Cyclones, Emergency room visits, and Scribble Picnic

Hi friends,

The past ten days have been crazy with Brisbane being battered by the backlash of Cyclone Debbie which had previously caused massive destruction further north of us on Tuesday, March 28th.  It continued to move further down the coastline and, by the time it reached us on Thursday, it had been downgraded from a cyclone.  However, we weren't out of danger.  The severe weather system brought tons of torrential rain which caused flash floods here in Brissie and outlying areas — and right across the New South Wales border.  We were pounded by torrential rains on Thursday and severe winds on Friday, and it was enough to cause a lot of destruction.

If that wasn't enough to deal with, my 81 year old Mum had to be taken to the Emergency Department on Thursday, March 30th...yep...the day of the severe weather crisis in Brisbane. What rotten timing! On that day, schools were closed for the first time since 1974 and businesses were closing by noon so staff could get safely home before the worst of the severe weather was expected to hit. Over 200 roads ended up being closed due to the flash floods. It was an absolute nightmare! Five people died due to the severe flooding. It was heartbreaking! Some areas are still flooded as the water has been slow to recede.

Getting back to Mum, she had suffered double vision for about a week prior and a CT Scan via the Eye ER on the Wednesday showed a possible aneurysm behind her eye.  On Friday, she had to get an angiogram but suffered an embolic shower during the procedure. This means that oxygen was blocked from getting to parts of her brain which controlled the eyes and this caused little mini strokes.  The procedure was stopped immediately when Mum told them she had lost some of her sight. There was about 50% loss of vision in her right eye.

They were able to see that her double vision is caused by a Carotid Cavernous Fistula.

Some of her vision returned by the end of the day and she was allowed to go home on the Saturday...still dealing with double vision as well as 25% vision loss caused from the angiogram. Unfortunately, with all Mum's health issues, they can't do anything more for her.  She is too high a risk because she also has an aortic aneurysm on top of this new issue. All they can do is monitor her condition and will only intervene if a life-threatening emergency arises.

Needless to say, I'm still not in a good head-space right now as I'm quite worried about my Mum. This month marks the two year anniversary of my Dad's passing. I still miss him terribly and I can't bear the thought of losing Mum too.

I wasn't able to participate in Scribble Picnic last Wednesday because I was up at the hospital Eye Emergency department all day with Mum and felt totally exhausted by the time we got home at 8 o'clock that night. This week, I have only managed to produce a pen sketch. I will colour it and add more detail later.

Anywhoo, this week's Scribble Picnic theme is Grandfather Clock.  It made me immediately think of the song we learned in school about a 90 year old man dying and his Grandfather Clock stopping short the moment he passed. Do any of you remember it? I've linked the video below. Not a song you would expect for children but then, some of the old nursery rhymes such as 'Ring Around the Rosy' have a darker meaning. In addition - I actually don't see this song as being dark or not suitable for kids because I believe it teaches them in a nice way that death is a part of the life cycle and not something to fear.

No, my sketch is not an old man but rather a little girl looking up at the Grandfather Clock...could she be wondering why the clock hands have suddenly stopped? Sorry if that creeps anyone out but I can't get the Grandfather Clock song out of my head. Perhaps she is just listening to the chimes?

To see the work of other Scribble Picnic participants for this week, click HERE.
Next week's theme is RABBIT.  To find out how to join in on the fun, click HERE.

Hopefully, things will get back to normal by next week — well as normal as they can be.


  1. I like the idea of a girl being fascinated by a clock or perhaps time itself. your drawing is splendid.

    have a lovely day.

    1. Thanks, Lissa...I hope you have a lovely day too. :)

  2. Goodness Serena, you have certainly been through the wringer this past week or more, so sorry to learn of all these issues. Your dear Mum's health issues are serious, I am very, very sorry and hope so much she improves. I know all this must be a huge concern for you and your family - she will be in my prayers and thoughts.
    The emergency weather conditions, and devastation they have brought, have been such a concern, even for us over here who have friends in the Brisbane area. I hope you feel safer now and my heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones and homes etc. Stay safe dear.
    Your clock today with the sweet girl hugging her Teddy is just lovely - later when things are calmer I would love to see your color version. So glad you were able to join in today.
    Take care - Mary x

  3. Wonderful sketch Serena so sorry about your mom sending prayers.

  4. First, may I say I'm so sorry to hear of your Mum's experience and failing health. We are get old and now that my dearest is 80 this year we also see the body making changes.

    The illustration is simple beautiful. The Song...I was in tears...It touched me so deeply.

    You and your mum will be held in my heart and prayers. I hope she is doing better and feeling more comfortable. Hugs.

  5. I'm so sorry that you re having to deal with such a lot of trauma right now... It must be such a huge worry... It's a wonder you create at all, so I am in awe that you still managed to sketch amidst the drama! I really hope things improve. Meanwhile, yes it is odd that some nursery rhymes aren't quite as they seem considering they're aimed at children! Your sketch really is delightful!

  6. Oh Serena I am so sorry to hear that your mum is ill. I know how it feels as my mum recently went through a bad patch. Thankfully she is better now and out of hospital. I was thinking about you when I heard about the cyclone. Been through one myself last year. Hope things return to some sort of normality for you. It is not easy to see your parents grow old.

  7. Forgot to say how lovely your sketch is. Just looking at it one would not know the darker meaning behind it unless one knew the nursery rhyme.

  8. really hope your mom is ok and no other issue arise. the storm was a bad one from what I have seen online :/

    never heard that song before, and you are right, a lot of nursery rhymes have a very dark background to them when you really start to look into them

  9. Serena, so sorry to hear about your mum and the storm. My goodness, you've really had a lot to deal with. I know this song and refer to it myself in my post. I never thought of it as creepy but I can see how some might. Your sketch is beautiful. The little girl looks fascinated. Wonderfully done!

  10. Dear Serena, so many things all at once and yes, what haorrible timing for your mother's situ too. Your poor mother and poor you! It must be all very concerning indeed. I can only imagine. your dad's passing was aroudn the time of Alex's Dad's so I am sure you are not fully back to par there either. My heart goes out to you in this difficult hour!

    And with all that, you still managed to create this utterly charming piece. I love your line work--so well drawn. It's very sweet indeed - a lovely addition for the picnic this week. Teh fact you got anything done at all is quite remarkable really. I did listen to video, btw. Never heard that song before but what a tie in to the theme! Great addition.

    Wishing you all the best. Let's hope the flooding does not return any time soon either. I had no idea the weather was so bad there!

  11. Hello Serena,

    I am sorry to hear about your mom's health and the storm you all had to endure. All so much to go through at once! I am glad your mom is home again, but it sounds like it is still worrisome.

    Your sketch is adorable. If you paint it, I hope you share it with us.

    Sending healing light to your mom.

  12. I love the sketch! Never heard that song does stick in your head--LOL!
    Things have been rough your way. Hang in there. I pray your mom feels better and sees better. Why has there been so much to deal with lately? We need a break!! Love and hugs!! :)

  13. Serena,
    I can't get the song out of my head either. I remembered the "stop short". And yes death is part of this life.
    Your drawing is lovely. I can picture myself looking at the clock. I wondered what she was thinking.
    Praying for you and your mom.

  14. Serena, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. It's so hard to deal with our parents getting older, and to have this happen so close to the anniversary of losing your dad. Hugs to you and lets hope mom gets better from here. So sorry for all your stress my friend.

  15. I'm sorry to hear of the damage and deaths caused by the severe weather. I like storms as a rule, but the destruction they cause does make me sad.

    Sorry to hear about your Mum too. I hope she doesn't get any worse, and isn't sufftering a lot of pain from all she has going on.

    I remember the song... It used to be a favourite of one of my brothers (the one who's a year older than me). I can see why it would spring to mind when the theme was mentioned, and hope the little girl is listening to the chimes, rather than wondering why the clock has stopped.

  16. Sorry to hear of the troubles you've been having. Prayers for your mother's healing, and strength for you. Dad has been gone for seventeen years, and Mom for just two and a half. So hard no matter what their age. We are blessed to have good memories of them, which, along with time, really does make it a bit easier.
    Yes, I remember the song, having heard it most recently while substitute teaching in an elementary school music class.
    Another thought with the young girl in your lovely drawing. Perhaps she is just learning to tell time, and is puzzling over the Roman numerals? Regardless, she and her teddy bear are darling in front of the stately clock.

  17. Sorry to hear about your Mum's health problems, I know how stressful that must be, even without catastrophic weather on top of it all. I think your sketch is great, especially considering what else is going on in your life.
    I still have Fisher Price toy clock from my childhood that plays this melody! I never knew what the song was until now. Thanks for solving that mystery for me.

  18. This is a very sweet sketch, Serena. I love that it tells a story....any story. It's beautiful and I hope you get a chance to paint it. I'm terribly sorry to hear of all you have been through the past few weeks. Lifting you up from here and do let us know if there's anything we can do.

  19. I'm going to try to leave a comment again. I'm so sorry about not knowing how to do these things properly. I don't know why my comments don't show up. I will try a different profile. I just love your clock. I mostly love the little girl. She is so sweet, looking up at the very big and mysterious clock with a door in it. <3

  20. I've been finding it hard to keep up with responding to comments of late so this is a blanket reply to all you beautiful people.

    Thank you all for your kind and caring comments regarding my Mum. Each and every one is very much appreciated.

    Thanks also for the nice comments on my clock sketch.