Full Circle Finale

7 10 2015

When I started this honest and candid blog, that was never meant to be more than a peak into mine and Alistair’s life as we bent and adapted to life with the curve ball three and a half years ago, little did I know that I would eventually be writing about life on my own without my ‘Big Bear’  by my side to keep me company, protect me and love me forever.

But it occurs to me now that I have actually come full circle.

Last week I moved into my new cottage, now called ‘Mynzies’ in memory of Alistair, wrapping his huge loving arms around me and saying possessively and lovingly “you’re mynzies nobody else’s all mynzies”. I loved being his, if I was his for all of eternity it wouldn’t have been too long. Please, no platitudes in the comment box, I know he is still around me, I know I was lucky to have known such tender and great love, I know all these things. I am merely making a statement of fact.

As the packing and boxing commenced it is true to say I packed up 107 in more ways than one. Of course I packed and wrapped all of the precious items I wanted to have with me here, I recycled, dumped (always feel bad about land fill- no excuses- I used the easy option) and charity shopped all the things that no longer had a purpose. Remember the Shamans words from a much earlier blog post? If you don’t know why you have something in your life either let it go or reconnect with it!  Bits and bobs of Alistair’s found homes with his old biking friends Tony and Gogs (thank you two too for keeping in such close contact with me- I count myself very lucky to have you both in my life 🙂 and honour your friendship) and I released the hold that some of Alistair’s old jackets and clothes had over me. I even released the battered old sandals! I continued the theme of release by letting go of old photographic ‘memoirs’ of people that no longer feature in my life, something quite beautifully naughty about doing that! And finally with Autumn once again upon us, I had to clear out of my sight the purple boots and jacket that I wore last year that seemed to unravel a private film show in my mind every time I looked at them, a film of me, drudging through town, queueing endlessly in Boots, day after day it seemed, to pick up prescriptions for Morphine, dressings, pee bags, laxatives and any other form of pain relief that was needed to try to stem the pain that wracked Alistairs body and bring him a modicum of relief. A picture of me tired to the bone, battle weary but still mustering up a smile and ready for action the next day. I feel truly saddened for that me, that part of me,  I intend to care for her and treat her with the respect and love that she totally deserves.

And then of course there was the emotional letting go. Letting go of the horror, the trauma, the emotional assault course that I faced daily that is the true picture of nursing not just someone at home until their death but the person I loved more than anything in the whole wide world, the person that was the out breath to my in. Of course we love/d our children, adore/d them, but the love between man and woman is a totally different love to the love we have for our children. So I let go and left behind me all of the pain- the memories, the conflicts that came along and the sickness that is cancer… you can see this move has turned out to be very cathartic.

And then the reminders, many people count down in sleeps to some exciting event, I counted down in ‘disabled showers left until I move’ and if I never see one or have to use one again, it will still be too soon! The stair lift,the riser recliner chair, the disabled aids and gadgets, all gone from me now and no place for them in ‘Mynzies’.

So here I am in  a beautiful cottage not dissimilar to the one we had to sell as a result of the curve ball, the one that Candace and Kirt and I hold dearly in our memories of the time our family was together. This one is smaller and cuter! Its perfect for me, it beckons newness, it heralds a new dawning of me, as I begin to darn the next mosaic of my souls tapestry. Im ready to move forward, to dust off the grey matter and continue my studies. To travel, to write, to welcome myself into the third stage of womanhood. Im going to be 50 in three weeks time, Im off to India to celebrate, to soothe my spirit and to let the last vestiges of the onslaught of 2014/2015 leave my aura for good.

When I wrote my opening blog over three years ago about having to leave our beloved Angel wrapped cottage little did I know that a little over three years later I would be embracing the challenge of widowhood and living in another angel wrapped cottage, only the wings of this angel belong to my darling Alistair.

Namaste friends Namaste x


Life on Lifes Terms!

18 02 2014

So, it’s been a while.

I was just reading back to the posts when we first moved into Gladys and although it was all new and we were venturing into the somewhat unknown, it seems from where I am now that the pace of life was much slower for me then. I wrote back then in June 2012

” Whats happened to time? Its gone all bendy and out of shape, in a really good way though. Gone are the rigid confines of time that  seemed time tabled into conventional living. I used to have an inner feeling that time in each day was running out. I was bound by time, up against the clock all day really so that I could have some time in the evening to relax with Alistair before Mr Sandman called me for my 9.30 ish appointment with him!”

Im kind of missing that slower paced life, but, again life is weaving a pretty complicated tapestry right now for me and its a little tiring to say the least.

So as this is about our life out in the open (literally) I will start with the lovely Gladys! Im happy to report that she still welcomes us every minute of the day with her energy and has loyally stayed well through all the fierce storms, wind and driving rain. We are truly thankful and have pledged that as soon as the spring comes we will reward her with a beautiful spring clean inside and out and a bit of a service and some TLC.  Outside is a bit of a mud disaster and the chores are a bit tricky but I’ve managed to not slip over and have kept us topped up with running water and not overflowing with waste throughout the winter and I feel that we at last  nearly have our second winter under our belt.

Archie the not so small puppy  – 27kg and growing fast-,  has settled into life in Gladys with us really well.  He was spoilt recently though. We rested our weary bones and exchanged thick mud and damp weather for brilliant sunshine and had 2 glorious restful weeks in South India. A magical place, where Yoga, Ayurveda and joy of life prevails. Meanwhile Archie languished at Aunty Gillians and had acres of room to play in, played all day and for as long as he could with his black Lab cousin Jake and shat on Uncle Pauls carpet just for the fun of it!!!.  But back in Gladys, think white dog with Glastonbury quantities of mud and our relatively small  one room living accommodation and you may conjure up an accurate picture of winter in Gladys with Archie!

So, no problem with living is a bus, the magic is still working!

 Hard not to mention the Cancer curve ball really. Alistair is OK and we hope that the cancer is behaving itself and being contained by our alternative treatment plan, wholesome nutrition and him being able to retire and take his time to heal. Archie has brought a whole new dimension to Alistair’s life and although its hard to put into words, that little big dog is bringing something unexplainable to Alistair. He has a nagging ongoing back pain, which of course scares the shit out of us, but our rational or denial whichever way you choose to look at it is that he had this long before he caught the cancer curve ball. But, its maybe time to have it checked anyway. He wrote in his last post that he felt alone with this, and ultimately he is, nobody unless you have the same life threatening  diagnoses can feel and understand what he goes through on a daily basis. A bad back ceases to be just a bad back, a twinge that would have previously gone unnoticed heralds its arrival with gusto. So its not that he doesn’t feel loved, or taken care of or supported by all of our brilliant family. Its that he is having to manage being dealt a really tough hand of cards and in truth only he can play that hand and it must be done his way.

So, I have become sole bread winner, doer of Mans Jobs ( ah, I remember when I wrote that in Gladys we have designated girls jobs and boy jobs- those were the days)! and of course, by choice,  I am halfway through a full on diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition. If I had known the amount of effort and work and energy this was going to take I may have thought differently, but I doubt it, alternative treatments (well actually it is forbidden to say treatment – I can say that i can help you optimise your health) are high on our priority list for good health and using food to heal seems tome to make a great deal of sense. SO I am wading my way through assignment after assignment and now have my head down for 3 full on weeks of early morning study to be ready for the first exam of the semester in March (Yikes).

But I think at the moment the thread of the tapestry that is the most difficult to manage is the pattern being woven for my parents. To mix my metaphors, the cards my poor old mum and dad have been dealt are really shit and the worst thing of all is that they have been dealt those hands by members of their family not the universe per se. I can tell you, I have learned an awful lot about the mental health act over recent weeks and I have also learned how once someone gets shoved into a system against their will it is so tough to get that system to work for them and to get them out! So between me and my sister Kate and Pippin whenever she can we keep Mum and Dads relationship alive and help them to spend precious time together, time that my old dad doesn’t have on his side.

Drawing on my limited knowledge of Naturopathic Functional Medicine, I ask each of you from this point on, always always always see the person first and don’t define them by their illness.

Two phrases spring to mind as I fight for my parents rights:

A quote from Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” and The Serenity Prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

Peace and Love x


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