It's strange that when you have to change your life and ways of thinking because of a crisis, you adapt, somehow I found it easy because my focus was on hubby. I now need to change again, not because of the accident but because normality now beckons …. I've gone throught loads of emotions and feelings over the past couple of years, some I thought had no real effect on me… all I wanted was my hubby to be well and back to as normal as possible. It's what I've fought for, nagged and pleaded for, what ever it took to get him there.
He's amazing, he's gone through so much, and come so far.. He almost has his life as it was before the accident 3 years ago, me emotionally I'm still stuck, I panic as soon as he attempts to do something remotely risky. Not a good thing when the person loves motorcycles, yes he is out for short runs on the motorcycles again. I didn't even blink at this before. After watching every movement he made for 3 years to ensure he didn't do anything that would set his recovery back, I know I need to stop, so he can get on with life but it's so hard.
Then another crisis, hubby's Dad had not been himself for weeks, then there was the couple of times we could not get in touch with him by phone, he never really left the house, we did his shopping online… So he had start of ringing the police to check the house, the nagging feeling that something was sadly wrong. I hated the concerned look on my hubby's face, waiting for the response team to ring back. Dad had been admitted to hospital….
Dad was never the easiest person to get on with, He had a good soul, but was set in his ways, and fiercely single minded 'the world according to Gerry'. Over the years he eventually isolated himself from everyone, it was sad but I could never seem to be able to help with this. It was as if he didn't want to know anyone, He hadn't even spoken to his other son for years, only to my hubby, his eldest, but even then he kept him at arms length, with annual short visits by appointment only.
Inside I knew that the only way hubby could cope was to visit on his own, hours of driving on his own… Inside I was breaking I didn't want hubby to be alone, but my heart and head knew it had to be…. So I focused on making food supplies for his journeys (there were lots over the following weeks) then pacing the floor in my own home, waiting for phone calls, tearing myself apart for not going with him, then cooking again to make his homecoming warm and welcoming.
I did say I would go, but hubby always refused …should I have insisted …argued the case to go… I will never know really. But hubby would return, pleased to be home, for a while.
In his isolation Dad had neglected himself and his home. Hubby was beside himself, as he had been unable to travel far since his accident, and because of the distance he hadn't been able to visit Dad, yes they had talked on the phone, but nothing prepared him for the state things had got to in those couple of years.
Then it happened, we had the phone call in between one of the visits that dad had passed away, there were no tears just despair, despair that he had died so lonely, and there was nothing we could have done, even in hindsight, nothing… You search in your mind on how you could have made it better, nothing.
I was not going to let my hubby be alone for the funeral, no matter what, he didn't want my son or daughter to risk the journey and his Dad had not interacted with them for decades, he wouldn't even talk to them on the phone, saying he didn't understand what they were saying because they talked different, being from another part of the country!
It was heart breaking, I had attended that crematorium for many family funerals in the past. I had always thought of it as a small building, remembering people standing in the aisles. On this day it felt huge and echoing
How different families are, my own family always there for each other, when we need, nothing gets in the way. Yes we have own own lives, we live in different counties. But you can rely on that love and commitment, even through family arguments we are there to support and understand each other.
Then hubbies family, seem so distant, as if they are strangers, his brother, who appeared to be more concerned to be getting ready for his holiday, as he was traveling the following day …..
After the service, we started once again to try to sort out Dads house, a neglected rented property, filled with clutter, and evidence of so called miracle cure gadgets, and multi packs of vitamin pills, that certain mail order firms who target the old to sell them “cures” for all ails that are expensive and useless. Dad lived in one room of the property, with his chair and electric heater, not going out and being targeted by these unscrupulous mail order persons. His real medication left unopened in their boxes…. Why, I ask myself, why did he get to this stage, “I can look after myself” he used to say over the phone, “this is the way I do things” if suggestions were made to help, he would dismiss them, he just wouldn't see it may help, he could have moved into a smaller house, warm comfortable, with help from people… but he just refused…. It's so sad that we were never really allowed to see the real person, only an occasional glimpse of his kind soul, I have one or two of those little memories I will cherish, perhaps I will remember more of those little moments shared we eventually.
We are home now, hugs from my beautiful family make us feel better, I am so lucky to have them, we will move on now, life goes on….. making happy memories for the future.
Rest in peace now Dad, your gone but not forgotten. I will always be thankful for the wonderful husband you gave me xxx.
As we move into the Christmas season, everyone reach out to your family and friends keep in touch, and those independant souls out there, it's ok to ask for or accept help sometimes x