How long have you had those trousers on?

On waking, I heard Lucy downstairs, up early to go to skipping club. I jumped up to spend a few minutes with her, and then blubbed a bit, which didn’t make for a very peaceful breakfast for her. Alice put the dishwasher on this morning and then examined me with a critical eye. “How long have you had those trousers on?” she asked. They look after me a lot.

I’ve just returned from a lunch date with J at the hospice. She seemed very bright at first but I have to acknowledge that it’s well over a week since we had a rational conversation. She also now has trouble with cutlery – selecting the right implement and even holding it the right way round. I cut up her food for her, else she’ll take a large potato and deal with it by nibbling it until it falls from her fork, knife or spoon. Today the staff had provided her with a pinny to put on for meal times, which is also a first I think.

I set up the Harry Potter audio book (as read by Stephen Fry) in a CD player that I brought with me. As long as she can manage to press the “play” and “stop” keys that I’ve arrowed with a marker pen, she should be OK. The idea is that it’s an alternative to daytime TV, the mellifluous tones of Mr.Fry should be soothing and if she does fall asleep, she knows the basic plot & characters and can pick up the story as it continues.

We had what might pass for a row, she asked for some hand cream, smeared a large dollop onto her hand, then forgot about it moments later. Result, large blobs of hand cream smeared all over her top. “Where??” she said, pointing to her top and smearing more over her. “It doesn’t matter, it [the top] can be washed” she said. What mattered to me was how quickly she’d lost awareness of the situation.

I produced a Wispa bar for her after lunch, she knew what that was alright. It’s nice seeing her eyes light up at such a treat.

Earlier this morning I did more scanning of old photos. I also found a ring-file folder from a three-day “Personal Leadership” course that I’d attended in 2000. I’d thought at the time it was about being a team leader and the like, but it was actually a very intense self-examination of oneself, with modules entitled “Learning to Learn, Learning to Think, Learning to Live” and so on. The course had stuck in my memory as one of the more memorable ones I’ve attended (and not just for the midnight skinny-dipping in the Warbrook House swimming pool. Another story for another time).  Anyway, there was a section called “Party Celebration” where you had to write down what people might be saying about you at a surprise party for some event, say a significant birthday celebration. People being neighbours, club members, work colleagues, family. In another exercise you had to draw (they were very insistent on that, no matter how bad your drawing skills) your Personal Mission/Vision.  I’m not going to reveal the results of either exercise, but almost 11 years after I wrote and drew my responses, it’s more or less turned out OK, as hoped and anticipated for. Except for Juliet’s situation of course, that didn’t occur to me at all.

About hodders

Husband and proud father of two daughters. Now a widower. Trying to balance between not dwelling on Juliet's death, but telling the world how much I loved her. Tricky.
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