The best and worst times

Courage, dear heart quote

Courage, dear heart quote

Monday morning has rolled around again and I have the sense of impending doom that comes with my regular reality check – today’s the day I have to take my husband back to the hospice. He’s been at home for 12 days now, the longest he has been out of either hospital or the hospice since January, and it’s been such a nice break being together and as much in the ‘normal’ family routine as possible.

As much as it feels normal though, there is always a reminder that life is anything but. I’ve just had to interrupt writing this post, for example, to run upstairs with some morphine for Rog after hearing him in so much pain. The good times are there, but they’re punctuated by the bad times.

There have been moments this week when I’ve felt truly happy, for a few seconds at least, when we have been sat together with the kids, sharing a meal, watching TV, just doing ordinary stuff that families do. But it’s at the times when I feel happiest that I feel the biggest waves of sadness, almost like these are the moments you could have, here is the family you should have, but soon it will all be taken away.

I see my husband teaching things to the kids, making them laugh, sharing secret smiles with them – also losing his patience with them as any normal parent would (I do this a lot these days). I see all these things, and they make me happy, I feel all warm inside thinking right, he’s at home and this isn’t happening. Then I realise straight away what’s coming. I’m going to lose my husband and will have to deal with this family life on my own. How will I cope, emotionally and financially? How do other single mothers do it? What sacrifices do they have to make? What do they lose out on – and what do they do to survive?

I’ve read a few posts lately about single parenting but I’m not sure if any of them relate directly to me – after all neither of us has chosen this decision for us to part, and for now, we are waiting for it to happen, sometimes pretending it won’t and hoping so hard that really it might not.

I received a wonderful present from my close university friends this week. A framed print, which reads Courage, dear heart, a quote from C.S Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I’ll keep looking at this to try to make myself believe it, and to try to take strength from it.

I seem to have collected a few prints with quotations on lately, which I love but I’m not entirely sure Rog is a fan. He saw me rearranging some pictures and ornaments in the house the other day and remarked ‘I’m not gone yet!’, as if to say stop girlie-ing the place up Mrs! So he still hasn’t lost his deliciously dry sense of humour.

x Julia

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  • Reply
    June 29, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I once mentioned to my lovely husband , that he was leaving me. No he said, you’re leaving me!
    Stayed with me, 11 years later.

  • Reply
    Deb Troops
    June 29, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Being a single parent isn’t an easy ride Jules but you’ll cope you have us here in the real world and thousands in the virtual. Staying strong is something you’ll just do. Love to you all x
    Deb Troops recently posted…When sorry doesn’t seem to be the hardest wordMy Profile

  • Reply
    Tanya Leary
    June 29, 2015 at 10:02 am

    As ever such a poignant and beautiful post.
    I am so sad that you are all going through this but you somehow will manage and get through.
    Much love, as always. X
    Tanya Leary recently posted…Come to Go Ape she said…It’ll be fun she said!My Profile

  • Reply
    Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    June 29, 2015 at 11:34 am

    It’s fab Rog spent 12 days with you – precious family time. I understand the sadness in the happy times. For me, it’s feeling that Hugo should be with me and as such it took me a long time to feel happy without guilt. There are times I still feel deep sadness within the happiness – because nothing can ever be right, it is all wrong. ‘Normal’ can never be quite that again. Sending love as always xxx
    Leigh – Headspace Perspective recently posted…Sunday Thought June 28, 2015: A Positive OutlookMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    June 29, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Julia, you always write so beautifully and you manage to convey all the emotions you are feeling through your choice of words. I can’t even comprehend what you must be feeling. But I hope you know that you are loved. We all wish we could take this pain away but we can’t! We are here to support you every step of the way. Hugs Mrs H xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…Moving on after a miscarriageMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mummy Tries
    June 29, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I was about to write a very similar comment to what Lucy has above. Stunning writing as always which will put most folks best & worst into perspective. You’re incredible, and I love that Roger is still cracking jokes. He clearly has an amazing spirit xxx
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Aliens Love Underpants at the Rose TheatreMy Profile

  • Reply
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome)
    June 29, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I’m so glad you are getting to experience happy and ‘normal’ moments with Rog, none of us could ever imagine what you are going through but you write everything so beautifully, there is so much love for you and we are always here xxx
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome) recently posted…Summer Style – Rediscovering FashionMy Profile

  • Reply
    Potty Mouthed Mummy
    June 29, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I adore that he is making jokes and showing you his dry sense of humour and so glad you were able to have him at home for such a period of time. My mum was a single parent, through choice, and it is of course tough but you will find your way through, of that I have no doubt.

    Poignant and beautiful, two words I will never tire of using to describe your writing xx
    Potty Mouthed Mummy recently posted…An apology to HarrisonMy Profile

  • Reply
    A Cornish Mum
    June 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

    You’ve had me in tears reading this. So beautiful and heartfelt, and I am so glad you had so many days with him at home, it must have been lovely. I won’t patronise you with words that can neither help nor change things, but I will just say you seem amazingly strong, and your children will be what get you through and what bring you the strength that you’ll need.
    Much respect,

    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted…Monthly Bucket List – July 2015My Profile

  • Reply
    July 1, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Thinking of you and hoping that there are many, many more of those special moments. Jess xx
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…The twins drop their naps, and very hot daysMy Profile

  • Reply
    July 3, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Sounds like a really nice few days and I hope you get many many more stretches of them. It’s brilliant that you all have your senses of humour. It must be hard and surreal right now but I hope us thinking of you brings the tiniest amount of comfort x

  • Reply
    July 3, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I haven’t been following your blog for long but what an emotional roller coaster you are on. I hope you are managing to find some time for yourself amoungst it all xx
    Sue recently posted…A twist on the Gin & TonicMy Profile

  • Reply
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely
    July 5, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    How you two are retaining your sense of humour, I don’t know. You are both so, so brave. I simply can’t begin to imagine what you’re going through. I struggle to breath just thinking about it. But yes … courage dear heart x
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…We’re gonna party like it’s your birthdayMy Profile

  • Reply
    Sarah Doyle - let them be small
    July 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I think that you will find your new normal at some point. It’s a tough and rocky road ahead but it sounds like you have many loved ones around you who will want to help share and ease the load xxx sending much love x
    Sarah Doyle – let them be small recently posted…In The Forest – Anouck Boisrobert & Louis RigaudMy Profile

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