Thursday, 17 March 2011
This rollercoaster called Life
Three months on – how have I managed that long without him? Though in fact it's six months since Pip was here and we had what passed for a 'normal' life.
But life goes on. I get good days and bad days. Tears are never far from the surface. On good days they recede, like a low spring tide. As I write, they spring to my eyes like leaks and dribble down my cheeks – just as well I don't often wear make up. And yet people say I'm brave, have courage. What does that mean? All I do is get up every morning, though sometimes that is a feat in itself.
Just when I think I am used to him not being here, I get a bad run of Life which makes me acutely aware of my vulnerability – on these days I feel as if I have shed several vital layers of skin. I am aware that I see the world differently. I feel it in another way, but I'm bound to.
This week has been One of Those Weeks. A promised commission from a glossy mag fell through – the editor changed her mind. My youngest brother sent a picture of me and Pip outside a pub in the sunshine last year looking so happy – so unaware of the future. Then my computer got a virus and I couldn't find anyone to fix it for days. And now, just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, Bussie has come in with blood pouring off his haunches – a cat fight I suspect - so I am just about to take him to the emergency vet.
But I am also aware of the good things in life. A beautiful day with a pale promise of sun. The unexpected kindness and thoughtfulness of another new friend who makes me laugh and only lives round the corner. "Come in for a cuppa," cries Colin, and his huge beam can't help but make me smile and lifts my spirits. A commission – for work is normal and I badly need that.
My computer is now fixed by a lovely fellow who patiently stayed for hours running scans, told me what to do in future and charged me very little. I have sold Pip's boat to a lovely couple and I know Pip would approve. And always there is my Molls, who patters alongside me and sleeps, glued to my hip. (Right now she is dozing on the bed behind me after a long walk.) For that I am most thankful of all, for she provides me with the love that I need to get through each day.
Last weekend I was privileged to meet a very enterprising man who runs The Chicken Hotel. He has a maths degree, did Finance in the city, became a cabinet maker, got made redundant and retrained as a maths teacher, and now he combines that with his Chicken Hotel. His mind is just like Pip's – inventive, imaginative, flexible and a great sense of humour. Meeting him, and those lovely chickens, was a real tonic. So you see? There's often something unexpected round the corner.....
And just when I had another of Those Days – my dear brother in law rang to say he'd chopped up six bags of the wood I'd collected. Some women like chocolate. Some like bags, some shoes.
Give me some wood for the fire and I'm a happy bunny.