The cheetah, the blue marlin, the peregrine falcon – none of these creatures are as fast as the hairy house spider that suddenly scuttles across the living-room floor late at night. Last night in fact, across my floor. Now obviously I could handle it, but Juliet was always so much better at dealing with them. So I er, got Lucy out of bed to manage the situation. “Hmm, he is quite big isn’t he?” she said from the kitchen. No, the spider had not moved rooms, there were now TWO of them at large. Lucy dealt with them.
Today was mostly a better day in terms of emotions. The girls told me off when I mentioned this at lunchtime. I think the funeral planning is helping. I also started writing to some of J’s ex-teaching colleagues whom we’ve lost touch with. Some are easy to trace via the internet, others are proving more elusive. I’d rather they heard the news directly from me now, instead of by accident in several years’ time. Some of my pals from Uni days that I’ve contacted just recently have been very shocked. They probably think of J as still being 19. Mind you, 48 is no age.
Juliet’s hospital bed and associated medical equipment – ramps, wheelchair, pillows, etc – were collected today, so I rearranged our bedroom back to how it was some months ago. I started to go through the contents of J’s bedside drawer, which of course was a mistake. I found the last birthday card she’d given me in November 2010. Her greeting didn’t read quite correctly and her writing was shaky, even then. “You’re doing this too fast” said my eldest about-to-study-Psychology daughter. However I did discover the last multi-page letter which I’d written to Juliet, starting in February 2010 and ending the day before Valentines’ Day 2011, when I realised she’d need to read it sooner rather than later. Re-reading it was very reassuring as I remembered I’d had time to tell her everything I wanted to while she could still understand. In that sense I have been lucky – luckier than a pal (PS) who had a tragic death in his family last year. Had a useful chat with PS again tonight, comparing how we’re dealing with our respective situations.
Ian brought his two new kittens round which was fun.
Bertie (Smudge), the fluffier of the two kittens, went behind the sofa and came out covered in cobwebs. He could well have dusted the whole house. I was hoping he’d find and eat one of the house spiders. Mind you they were about the same size as him.
Caught the late post at Upper Heyford and posted yet more documents. Back home I went with Ian to view a pal’s newly-inherited collection of old books. When I say old… we are talking early 1600s, with the published letters of Charles I from Oxford for example, and the bound gossip pamphlets of the time. Amazing.
Today’s picture is of J teaching. I can’t remember where or when but she’d had her hair coloured very blonde, which was a short-lived phase. She looks happy.