Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Penny Drops a Little Further

Or perhaps it is that several pennies drop, one by one. At any rate, I come to various realisations, rather slowly. Old ways of thinking, I suppose, take a while to clear.

It dawns on me that I don't have to keep old videos he treasured, which I am never going to watch again. Old war movies for instance — he loved Second and even First World War stuff. They don't grab me in the same way. When he was alive, I would never have thrown them out. There was the idea that one day we'd get them turned into DVDs. No, the opp shop can have them.

Last time I changed the sheets, I finally took the incontinence protector off the bed. Towards the end, he was sometimes in danger of accidents. Having that in place gave me peace of mind and saved him some embarrassment. But I am really not going to have any such accidents myself — maybe when I am much older, but not yet. The protector was unobtrusive, like an extra sheet, but the bed is even more comfortable now that I am that much closer to my beloved sheepskin underlay, which nurtures me in all weathers.

I dare say I'll never again need cutlery for 18 people. I don't remember ever having so many dinner guests at once, even when I did more entertaining! But a friend persuaded me to keep them. 'What if you get sick?' She asked. 'You can leave the washing up until you feel better, if you've got lots of clean things to use.' Good point; I'll hang on to the cutlery, and the extra plates and glasses, at least for now. 

There were television programs we used to enjoy watching together, which now I find don't interest me enough to turn them on. I still love my great favourites, but some others I'm surprised to find I can't be bothered with now. I'd rather read a book, or get on the net, or even do a bit of housework. Yet I did enjoy them when we watched them together, and I could enjoy them quite well now if I did watch; it's just that I can't summon up the interest. I realise that what I enjoyed most was the sharing of the experience, the togetherness. I have to reassure myself that it's OK to let them go now, and to become better acquainted with my real, personal tastes. There is no-one else I have to consider. We broadened each other's tastes and interests, no doubt, but now I may narrow mine again if I please. It's not a bad thing; it's just what is.

So, bit by bit, I create a life that is mine, not ours. To write that fills me with grief for what has gone. Yet the truth is, I quite like this solitary life, having my own space to myself (except, of course, for the cats — but they are little trouble). At times it feels pointless and purposeless, but that happens less and less often. It also feels free and autonomous.




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10 comments:

  1. It feels good to put things in perspective- and you should be thinking right now, about you!

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    1. Well, I'm getting the hang of that! Just have to remind myself from time to time. Thank you for the encouragement.

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  2. Several of my friends are facing life alone after many years of marriage. I am 62 and my hubby is 67...we don't feel ancient..but neither were our friends that have passed. I guess we need to enjoy each day...and prepare for "that time" to come. I think it is hard....and full of adjustments. You sound like you are taking the necessary steps...and finding out what you enjoy, all over again. May God be with you as you make your adjustments! Linda

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    1. No, you're not ancient, and yes, it is important to make the most of whatever time you have left, which I trust will be long. I comfort myself by thinking about the good times we had, and how his quality of life was in some ways excellent even when he had some limitations. And, yes again, it is also important to put a few things in place like wills and power of attorney.

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  3. I remember when my mother died keeping things of hers that I didn't really want then realizing that she would tell me to 'throw it out'. Sometimes you have to move on, but it doesn't mean you will forget.

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  4. Beautiful introspective writing and though sad your resilient and vivacious spirit still comes through

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