Last year, I could…When that photo was taken I had just walked down the field, or up a mountain… ‘Mummy remember when you carried me across the channel to the forest?”
That was then. Before my legs got so weak, I managed many things, and did many things. Before is a difficult place to think about, when you can’t recreate it in the present. I know I’m not alone in that particular struggle. People who have lost somebody very dear to them, or an ability that defined their identity, struggle with the then/now conundrum much more than I do.
What I know I need to learn is how to face the now and turn it into something great. My family has not gone anywhere, my house with its enclosed garden and a kitchen you can fit a table in (the two stipulations I had when we moved) are still there. I can still sing, cook, laugh and write. There is a need to focus on the things I can still do, and not fixate upon the ones I’ve lost. There is also a need to create things that I never thought of doing before.
Come on strong character, stand up (or more likely – sit down) and fight for this! Don’t just lie in a heap of self-pity. Cast your eyes around to see what you can turn your hand to, or who you can help.
This is the place I’m at right now, and I’ve got to find a way to dance in it. I’m writing this in Donegal, looking out as my 2 children and their daddy disappear round a corner on the beach, headed for new exploits on a further shore. My further shore is here, in this stationary moment. A harder challenge to face, but it’s there if I push on, and don’t look back. ‘Further up and further in!” as Narnians would say.