International Men's Day

In celebration of International Men's Day, we would like to honor one of our STAR clients, Robert McNabb. Robert's story is all too common with many men.

Form Robert McNabb:

Greetings, Hey and G'day...

I first came to Australia for a holiday in 2004.

" I met a strange lady, she made me nervous
She took me in and gave me breakfast"

*Men at Work*

I came back to the Lucky Country in 2007 with a marriage certificate and love in my heart.

And immediately thereafter, the Australian government put me to work so I could pay taxes like (most) everyone else. I had been on the dream job of making Junk Mail for a few years, married for a few more and considered myself pretty dog gone lucky...

Then one at day at work I lost my legs, when I was not drinking... I got wobbly boots when the rest of me was dry-az-a-bone... A muscle disease....not a really bad one, but not a really good one either...

The wife and I now had role reversal....I now had to stay home and the wife had to go back to work. I had to quit my day job and stayed home most of the time, doing old man things in and around the house and yard...

A few years into the wobbles, I lost my vision as well....well, not all of my vision, for I can see, but it is like looking or staring into a light bulb all day long...

Where once I did the cooking, the household and yard chores, my lovely wife now had to do for both of us. and not working to bring home an income..was a bit of a bummer as well....

Whilst she was good at something's, lack luster in a few and downright intolerable in all things garage and yard...

My wife sat me down one day and told me she was worried about me being a little depressed.. 'I am not' was my terse reply....terse and maybe a little pouty as well...

So a few weeks go by and I was set up, ambushed, blindsided... Sitting at my table were 2 STAR employees and 2 'support workers'. 'I do NOT need a support worker,' I said loudly....well, truth be told, I mumbled and mostly it was under my breath. 

'Look,' my wife said. 'You do not need a Carer, how about a Buddy?' 

'I do not need no damn ole Buddy,' even ruder and louder than the first time.

The STAR people said to me 'This is Don, and this is Jeff. Both have building backgrounds and could help you do a few needed things around here.'

'I do not need a support worker,' I growled louder. 'Shut up, you do need a Buddy, PICK ONE,' said the intolerable non garage worker.

I sat in silence trying to figure out how I was going to get out of this... I heard things like:

  • Your wife needs a break
  • Chores will get done
  • For your wife's sanity
  • They will not do for you, they will HELP you do things
  • Try it for just one week.

I was getting kinda tired of this, and heard myself say 'Okay I will try it. Which one of you smokes cigarettes?' getting to the nitty gritty.

'That's me,' said Jeff. 

Almost like The Dating Game, I picked Buddy #2: Jeff *with a J* became my Buddy...

That was in February 2019 and my Buddy has been here 2-3 days a week since, sometimes 4 hours a day, sometimes 6. The list of things we have accomplished together is astonishing... a Blind Guy and a Buddy...

  • We laid pavers
  • Built concrete steps
  • Made wooden tables
  • fixed/repaired & maintained 2 riding lawn mowers
  • Light duty yard work
  • Many trips to Bunnings
  • Trips to Taco Bell and McDonalds (For American Food)
  • A sense of accomplishment

We have done things here that I could not do myself, my wife could not help me with and with my Buddy's help, they got done. Sometimes, Jeff *With a J* and I do not do any work....we drink coffee, eat doughnuts and tell each other lies about our formative years... Wives who have wronged us. We talk cars *With a J* is a FORD man AND he can drone on for hours and hours about Fords...

Now don't get me wrong, it is not all smooth sailing and My Buddy and I do not see eye to eye on more-n-a-few things. I have no idea how he tolerates me and I must be the most patient man for tolerating Jeff *with a J*.


I. Ben Troppo