It’s true, isn’t it, that grey skies can heighten melancholia. I had decided to take a day off from visiting Dorothy and, instead, go for a long walk (well, two or three kilometres) but when the day dawned rainy and miserable- well, it isn’t going to happen! Perhaps, after I finish penning this note, I will cover-up and brave the slight wetness – it is, otherwise, a pleasant temperature.
Yesterday the weather was really lovely, and I was able to take Dorothy for a small walk in a nearby park together, I must say, with many others, but that didn’t diminish the joy of walking hand-in-hand among the gum trees. Finding a car parking spot was difficult, but it was so good to see the number of families and couples able to be out and about, not just at shopping centres but, even better, to see them enjoying the ambience of a natural environment on such a fine day.
My lifestyle now often slips back into an attitude and a mindset that is still trying to accept that it’s the ‘now’ that’s important. Yesteryear, I keep telling myself, with its excitement and sadness has gone. Yet the memories of that emotional journey, started more than sixty-five years ago with Dorothy, linger on, and tend to colour everything in my current activities. Those remembrances are bittersweet and sometimes overshadow everything I do or say, even now, and always seem worse on days like this as the sky scowls down on my dark and muddled thoughts.
But some weeks ago, recognising that the mental clouds would also become darker if I didn’t take remedial action, I booked a week at our two-bedroom with separate bathrooms, timeshare retreat in country Victoria, just over an hour’s easy drive from here. Discussing it at the time with a neighbour, I invited her to visit me whilst there and remarkably she agreed and has kindly offered to be a companion at arm’s length for the whole week. It will be strange, and we are both more than just a little apprehensive about how it will work out. Of course, I have explained the journey with our children, friends, even our neighbours and, I am relieved to say, they have all unequivocally endorsed it. It does still disturb me that not only will I not see my dear Dorothy for a whole week (for the second time in over two years) but I will be in the company of another lady for some of that time, a person I have known for several years and we both acknowledge our history and respect our stories.
It’s possible my readers will not understand my need to have a break, or may form some other, different points of view, but those who know me can be confident, despite the ‘whether or not’, or the weather, it might be a time of healing for me as I move along the dementia road, always with Dorothy, metaphorically, beside me.