Monday, October 17, 2011

17th October

I’m not sure if I should be doing this, writing my blog at this particular time tonight. I usually write quite spontaneously and most evenings, I sit down and stare at a blank page for no more than a couple of minutes before writing whatever comes into my head. And tonight that’s not good as I’ve just been thinking about Christmas. I was just making a very tasty Balti and suddenly remembered shopping with Jane. Last December we separated in Derby for a 30 minute ‘buy each other a surprise Christmas present’ excursion. And we had fun trying to avoid spotting where we each shopped, yes it was surprisingly enjoyable as I don’t normally like shopping there, but it was all Jane could cope with. The assistant pastor from church was there with his wife supporting their child involved in a school thing and it was all just so very nice. But that is not at all how I feel right now. I feel horrible thinking about Christmas, I’m not interested, I feel like avoiding it, it’s too painful.

I had a successful morning though having started a new project at home. This is officially Day 1 of my redecorate the upstairs bathroom project. As always in recent years the plan is to do something every day, whether that be 5 minutes work or 55 minutes it doesn’t matter as the job will get done. So I’ve dismantled the 3 old bathroom cabinets ready for the tip; and now we’re just 2 blokes with 2 toothbrushes, shampoo and soap we don’t need so many shelves for dozens of bottles of who knows what and I’ve been shopping for a much simpler replacement. I feel quite satisfied with progress so far.

It was on my way out shopping that I had another little challenge. The local funeral parlour in co-ordination with local churches has planned a memorial service on the 30th for their customers benefit. As part of the service a Roll of Remembrance including Jane’s name will be read out and it seems a nice thing to do. But it did need a trip into their office again to let them know we would be supporting the event and that wasn’t particularly easy. Well nothing’s easy at the moment. I keep thinking about the oncology department at Nottingham City Hospital which we visited countless times over the past few years. It became almost like a second home with all the people we got to know and I particularly remember the receptionist in the CT scan department and the friendly chats we always had with her. The last time we went there she said the worst part of her job was when the regulars stopped coming… and now I actually miss the place, which is a weird thing to say. I miss sitting, making brave jokes, in the consulting room waiting for the bad results that were the norm. I miss the friendly consultant proudly showing us pictures of his new baby. I miss his research assistant telling tales of her dog getting into trouble. I miss the so caring chemo nurse patiently finding one more elusive vein for yet another infusion. I don’t miss the sheer terror of leaving Jane outside of the operating theatre and the uncertainty of what would happen, I hated that. But everything else I could live with, quite gladly, in support of Jane in her time of need. If only she still needed me… it’s all I feel like doing at the moment, helping my sick wife through the impossible. Oh dear I’m really feeling down tonight aren’t I?

Compared with some we had it easy. When Jane went through radiotherapy I spoke to an older woman who was all alone going through the treatment. She needed help then getting to the other end of the hospital to visit her husband who was seriously ill on a ward. One time earlier this year I spoke to a guy supporting his wife through chemo and he told me that she was his second wife; his first had been through the same treatment on the same ward and eventually died of cancer. Another time a woman had travelled 30 miles unaccompanied for chemo having left her elderly husband at home recovering from a stroke. She sat for a couple of hours simply waiting for transport home after her treatment was completed. I feel so privileged and grateful to God to have been available for Jane absolutely every step of the way and no matter what she went through she was always a delight to be with. She did not know how to complain, ever.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ‘Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.’ (NLT)

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