Travailing on

That’s not a misspelt word. But it does describe our journey rather well for many of us isolated and alone or as couples, as we progress through what we hope will be a run-down towards a more open society. Some of us older cohort tolerate being confined to barracks quite well, we are not usually social butterflies anyway. Nevertheless, these can be troubled times for many families and a test of our resourcefulness, our patience, our attitude, and our behaviour.

By a strange quirk, as I was just about to do a ‘progressive Save’ of this document, I noticed a piece I’d written just over a year ago, whilst Dorothy was in care, titled “Travelling on” (7/8/2020). So, of course I opened it for a quick read! Here’s an excerpt, written when I was able to remember, but she couldn’t, about those earlier travelling times:

“But that doesn’t preclude my solitary recall of them, nor does it diminish their importance, it simply means I can’t re-share them with Dorothy even though she’s still with me, but apart. And they are no less real, and I can still recall and savour those times. Dorothy’s ability to reminisce slid away some years ago and those memories totally elude her; nevertheless, those earlier shared experiences most certainly have shaped us, in our behaviour and attitude to others, even in our now different lives”.

Certainly, my life is different this year without Dorothy. And, although I still miss her more than words can tell, I am moving on, as we all must. Determined to savour the present times I can share, albeit remotely because of COVID, with our wonderful family, their partners and our grandchildren, and this year, a great-granddaughter! In the midst of this pandemic, despite some stupid selfish acts by some ill-informed reckless people, most of us recognise the severity of the virus, we’ve had our vaccination and we adhere to the rules of engagement even though they are onerous, knowing that to ignore basic isolation can cause so much collateral damage to so many others.

As we move through this phase of COVID, hopefully with some more freedoms soon, let’s continue to be patient as we cope with the stress of being cloistered at home and to keep in touch by phone and email with friends, and especially remember the many who are ‘stuck’ in care, mostly without any allowed visits. Safe as they may be and even with people around them, separation and loneliness creeps in and, believe me, it can be very depressing. I thank God that I live in a retirement village with a caring management and with kind-hearted neighbours and friends around me, and in a local council area with good support structures. Many older folks don’t have such privileges! Well, that’s it for today, as I continue plodding along on my personal journey, doing my best to travel this single narrow solitary road and to not feel the travail’s!