Bank holiday weekend was supposed to be another chance for us to spend time at home as a family, but sadly my husband is having to stay at the hospice as another infection is keeping him tied to a drip for a few days. He managed to come home last weekend, and we’re still hoping he will be back for the next, so there is something good to focus on this week.
I’ve struggled to write lately, I’ve been feeling so low and tired. I haven’t been able to concentrate my thoughts further than thinking why is everything just so bad? There are distractions, and we’ve found happiness in some of the ordinary moments, but the overarching feeling is one of being pressed under a big black cloud that isn’t going away.
Roger is becoming thinner and more tired and it’s this visible sign of cancer that’s hitting me hard. Although when he’s at the hospice he spends nearly all his time in bed, fortunately his mind is still very much all there and I’ve got the same Rog I love to pieces. We can still spend hours talking about normal things, like what the kids have been up to, what we read in the news, what we’re having for dinner and all the usual stuff. Have I signed Sam up for tennis club yet? Called the garage about the car? These are the conversations that stop us from talking about the big stuff, but that inevitably creeps in.
We can pepper this normal stuff with the serious stuff. Every now and then one of us remembers what’s going on and we hug, kiss, cry, and say what are we going to do? Why is this happening to us? And then the practical – how do you plan a funeral? Who sorts out the sandwiches? The readings? Who looks after the kids?
Roger always used to joke about the Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times”. There have been times in my life (admittedly not for a very long while) when I’ve felt I needed more action, wanted something to happen, a change in personal circumstances or work life, I’ve prayed for something just more, well, interesting.
What we’d give now to be able to zoom back to our old lives, the daily routines that sometimes seemed a bit dull, the times when we seemed to be working too much and not having enough fun, the days when we’d only see each other for a few hours at work when our shifts overlapped and we’d have just a five-minute catch up over a cup of tea. These are the things we’d give anything to go back to now.
It’s in the ordinary where we now find so much joy. Being together as a family, watching a film together, seeing Rog teach Sam how to play chess, and Flo grab an armful of books and snuggle up in bed next to her dad.
These are the things I treasure the most. Interesting? No thanks, I’ll take normal every time.