DEAR OLE DAD
This morning I returned to Glasgow after three weeks in California…
For those who didn’t know – I got a call at the end of August, halfway through my Sunday Late Night Love radio show to say my dad had suffered a stroke and was in the hospital in San Jose. Suddenly my life felt over. Well, I was in shock and immediately had to leave the show (in the middle of it – my boss took over).
After barely sleeping that night – I woke up and booked a flight to California for the next day – Tuesday which consisted of seven hours to Newark, a seven hour layover and nearly seven on to San Francisco. To say the day was excruciatingly-long would be an understatement.
My dad is my dearest friend and biggest fan. To imagine a day without him is nearly impossible for me to do…so all I could do on the trip was wonder what I’d find when I saw him. I was scared and excited in equal measure, I think.
I felt a whole lot better the next morning when I arrived at the nearby rehab facility that he’d been moved to, and I barely left his side for the following three weeks. It was challenging having this role reversal – if I am being honest. Suddenly I was the parent – getting excited about his first steps, worried that he might fall and continually asking if he did a poo that day. Seriously…
It was startling really, to see that this six-foot four (one-time) strapping man had become older and frailer when I wasn’t looking. Through all of it (almost) he kept his sense of humor intact (as you can see on the right).
He made some crackin’ jokes and remarks on a daily basis like, “I’m going to become ambidextrous through all of this”. Some people there at rehab really liked him and a few (seemingly) loathed him, but the whole experience was perspective inducing. To see the determination in his face was pretty inspiring.
Everything fell to the way-side in my life. Not just my workload (especially this blog), but even my emotions fell too – as I switched to caregiver. The whole three weeks away – I didn’t really feel happy, sad, good, bad or anything. I’d just reached my limit and all I could do was switch off. Comfortably numb as it were.
Today as I type these words, I feel like my feeling is coming back. Thank goodness.
Now, I have to concentrate on my own life and health for the coming weeks and then will return to the USA for the rest of the year to be the chauffeur for my father – who at 77 still works eight days a week. He works so hard he rather puts me to shame…
I just wanted to catch you up so hopefully I’ll be forgiven for my lack of content here on the site. I’ll endeavor to get this blog back on track and am looking for help with content for any budding writers…site members, life coaches, counselors – anything relevant – get in touch.
Was sent along this article about the two types of SINGLE WOMEN by my ole Uni chum Mandy a while back – which got my thinking.
These days it’s amazing to look at my clic from that university era and see where they all ended up…Thanks to Facebook – I have reunited with most of them. All are pretty much married and most with kids (of course…)
Basically the other path. As ever, I am the odd one out. I have always taken the unorthodox route, marched to the beat of my own drummer, and it’s not always been the easiest way to travel.
But this whole concept of LIFE has always intrigued me – why some people get those long-term relationships and families and others – well, don’t.
Truth be told, I’ve never saw myself as that getting-married-and-settling-down sort of gal. It’s never been my ambition. That said, in my last relationship I played the role of a surrogate mum and I loved it. So maybe people change?
I guess, if I look back, maybe twenty years, I thought I’d be this successful career woman who’d never marry – so it was odd when a few years later I did end up getting married – which lasted a few years. (Still waiting for the career success!)
Actually I was one of those girls who wanted the wedding day but not the marriage…and I ended up with the marriage and an elopement to Nevada!
Nope life is not how I planned. Or as Lennon once famously said : “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
But who has the life they have always dreamed of? Are those friends of mine who are married with kids more happy than me? Honestly, it doesn’t always appear so. Their stresses seem far greater than mine. The women often have to be expert jugglers – career, family, wife – and still find time for themselves in there.
Me, I have all the time in the world – to spend with me, my favorite person.
Went on a solo weekend break to the Highlands the other month, and go to the cinema or gigs on my own regularly.
Though I will be honest with you, it can get lonely at times, but I’d not have my life any other way – for now.
There are many advantages to living alone – and I intend on savoring every minute of it! Society almost seems to look down on us singletons. God forbid to be a woman of a certain age with no partner and no kids – and no real desire for either…People look at us like there’s something wrong with us it seems – at least some of the time.
That said, I can’t tell you how many people I know – in relationships and with kids – who were looking at me enviously as I prepared to drive across America all by myself a few years ago.
So yeah there are advantages to being footloose and fancy free!
Just as there are advantages and disadvantages to having a partner…
Some times both parties can have a tendency to think the grass might be greener on the other side…That just seems to be part of the human condition…
Half the battle in life is to be content whether you’re in a relationship or out of one…This has always caused a bit of an inner civil war but for the moment, I feel like I’ve sussed it. I’d not have my life any other way and I am truly grateful for all that I have and everyone who’s surrounding me. Lately I’ve been reminded just how great some of my friends really are. Some friends went to some pretty extreme efforts to help out me and my father. To those people I am grateful.
I’m embracing that attitude of gratitude for all of you – you know who you are…