I’ve been to hell and I haven’t yet come back but I have at least turned round. I know this is nowhere near “coming to terms with” or “accepting”. I know I will always love Carol, and Chris. A cloud has lifted with my increasing return to mobility.
Hell was thinking about things that I can’t write here. Hell was that I haven’t yet worked out what the point is. Maybe I never will, maybe the point is not something I can hold in my hand.
Well Frankie I don’t know what I’m gonna findBruce Springsteen
Maybe nothing at all, maybe a world I can call mine
Shining like these streetlights down here on the strand
Bright as the rain in the palm of your hand
Take everything away and what is left? I started to count my blessings. I have a beautiful home, Carol and I made it beautiful with a great deal of help from Paul who knows our house and especially the boiler better than me. I live in a nice area with great views and it’s really quiet. There are goats in the field next to the house and sometimes a cat comes to visit. There are birds and owls and bats. And then there are my friends.
I have one friend who came every week, she put the recycling out, brought me a Costa espresso, odd items of shopping and posted my mail. And she hates driving up the big hill to Blackstone Edge.
One friend took me to A&E and stayed with me whilst I got fixed up in the first plaster cast. Two friends took me to the GP and kept me company, another picked up drugs at a moment’s notice. Two friends came and cooked me lunch. Seven friends took me out to pubs and restaurants where we had lunches and a taster dinner, one of them also brought me supplies of meals she had cooked to go in the freezer. I now have a good knowledge of most of the pubs within a 4 mile radius. The Moorcock was amazing and I’m thinking of walking there for a beer one evening when I can.
I was brought brownies, daffodils, deluxe chocolates and biscuits. I was sent books and a jigsaw, still working on that one! I had face to face visits, one a complete surprise which was totally delightful (we hadn’t seen each other for a long while), video calls and phone calls. One friend rang me every week and got me through the shittiest bits. One friend stayed with me and took me out and helped me to get used to life on the hop, including how to make real coffee easily. And one friend came every week and worked on the house, tiling the bathroom, rehanging doors and shifting a tree’s worth of logs. He is now repairing and sorting the windows.
Then there are the Facebook friends who have helped to keep me up and made me laugh even when I’ve been very down.
Some friends are family and many of my family are friends. The best thing is that I’ve found out who my friends are and my friends are just exactly who I thought they were.
Carol and Chris are no longer here to “catch me should I fall“. I did just that, and found out what I needed to know. Thank you so much.
Here’s Liz reading Neil Bartlett’s That’s What Friends are For.