“I wonder how many times I’ve walked these stairs late at night?” I sighed wearily and reached for the handrail while contemplating that thought.
“These are very steep stairs for a hospital” I frowned. The handrail was sticky, the huge pendant sphere that hung from the centre of the stairwell ceiling casting its dim light was covered in grime and the balcony windows displayed a tapestry of dusty cobwebs. So familiar. “This place looks like it needs a big hug” I sighed again.
This was not in the script for the New Year. Not second day in. Not any day in really.
Yet here we were… surrounded by the familiarity of bricks and mortar and procedures and protocols, the all too common lack of any spare pillows and caring staff that smile and wave and call us by name without the need to look at wrist bands and file notes. So familiar. We hate the place because we are ‘frequent flyers’ at the mercy of chronic illness… but we love their faces. Some get big hugs… because they bloody deserve them.
“I wonder how long we’ll stay this time?” I ponder with some unease as I walk through the noiseless car-park. Such a contrast to the daytime feel walking through here late at night.
The Silver Birch Trees look so elegant in the hazy light of the park lamps.
The usual constant procession of cars circling like sharks for an available park has ceased and there’s no one about in hospital gowns trying to cough up a lung while sucking the guts out of a durry with nervous haste yet they be missed and scorned. (We may or may not have been them once upon a stupid time… insert cheesy guilty grin here while looking at our shoes kicking imaginary stones).
“You know better than to look no further ahead other than a day at a time” I scold myself. But this time feels a little different… amongst all the familiarity there’s an undercurrent of uncertainty… a new diagnosis… an invader undermining any typical predictability.
It was different, and it did undermine any sure-footed ground and it was far from predictable for the eleven challenging days that I continued to walk those stairs… and then he came home… somehow, he always comes home.
A reflection from the beginning of our year that did not start well. We’re managing at home, with support, and Doug is being his cheeky self.
Being a personal blogger writing about my life can be a challenge at times because I wish to respect the privacy of my family while at the same time share to connect with others in meaningful ways. The difficulty for me lies in the fact that by the nature of the beast we live with, that is Doug’s chronic illness, means we have intertwined and shared life experiences… albeit from different perspectives.
I truly believe “Through the sharing of our stories I have faith that strength resilience and hope lie within us all and are nurtured from knowing we are not alone’ as I state on my About Page.
I also say on that page “I hope that by sharing pieces of my own story that you may find validating comfort in pieces of your own story”. But there are parts of my story so intertwined with others that I feel those parts are not mine to tell.
So, I hope you’ll forgive my sometimes cryptic posts that may leave details unsaid. I endeavour to share while honouring my own beliefs around storytelling with thoughtful respect to family.
May the New Year be treating you kindly.