Eldest:- minor crisis – job contract ends in 4 months so unemployment beckons.
Middle:- minor crisis – job not what was promised in the beginning so feeling frustrated.
Youngest: – no crisis – unless lack of clean clothes can be counted.
Me:- mini crisis – trying to remain in Florence Nightingale mode while O.H. continually coughs (I’m not completely heartless – it’s been for 2 months).
Other Half:- major crisis – suffering from a chest infection as well as… details below.
This quote popped into my life and I love it so much I thought it was worth sharing. I’m determined to keep it uppermost in my mind in the future.
‘Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow! What a Ride!”’ Hunter S Thompson.
Life has been crazy since I last posted. Not crazy, ha ha but crazy, OMG. It has been a real mixture of highs and lows but reassuringly there have been enough familiar touches to remind me that some things stay the same. When I started The Empty Nest blog it was my antidote to all the negative stuff floating about, not only in the world but in our lives too. Writing is my cure. It makes me happy. I was determined to write a funny blog to cheer everyone up but… you knew there was a ‘but’ coming, didn’t you… it’s been difficult at times to gloss over the sadder element of life in our empty nest. Don’t think for one moment that life here is always bright and breezy. We have many happy elements to it but like others, we also have many challenges to deal with, I just try and approach them positively.
Sometimes I have to dig deep.
The Christmas holidays were busy. Busy with the nest full of chicks and others who fluttered in to roost for a while. Sadly underlying all this the whole time we were coping with the demise of my brother-in -law. O.H.’s beloved elder brother had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer only at the end of November. Undecided each day if he was doing the right thing, O.H. carried on regardless, juggled hospital visits, site meetings and phone calls from Macmillan nurses, trying his best to support his brother and keep all his other plates spinning.
This all comes too close behind my own brother’s demise last May. I am number 5 of 6 children, so yes, odds are that there will be more of us to pass from this earth but that doesn’t help when you are faced with caring for a loved one in their final hours. Very sadly the speed of my brother-in-law’s illness surprised us all and he passed away in early February.
It was at 8 am during one of these crazy days when the builders were banging away downstairs laying a new floor. I had a bad headache and decided the only place to be until it passed, was my pit. In the dim morning light, snuggling back under the duvet, I hit a lump as I stretched out my feet.
‘What the hell are you doing in here?’ It was Youngest, curled up on his (empty) father’s side of the bed.
‘Bloody noise! I can’t sleep. Thought it might be a bit quieter in here.’
‘Well, you can’t sleep here either.’ There are times when my bed is my sanctuary and NOBODY else can be there. ‘Out! I’ve got a migraine.’
‘Awww, Mum. Can I do anything for you?’
If I hadn’t been lying down already you could have knocked me down with the proverbial feather. This was Youngest talking. I recognised this as a light-bulb moment not to be missed.
‘Well, actually… yes. Apart from get me a glass of water, we need some food. The fridge is empty.’ Now, who knows whether it was the thought of replenishing the supplies or Youngest had reached a momentous stage in his life, but his answer astounded me.
‘Give me a list and I’ll go for you.’
An hour later Youngest was dispatched for half a dozen items including:-
- Catfood – the usual, any flavour but it must say senior on the packet.
- Dogfood – 4 regular sized tins of the usual
- Rice milk x 4
The morning passed and my headache improved. On venturing down to the kitchen I looked at Youngest’s purchases. No rice milk. Nevermind, maybe he forgot it.
Dog food – 2 family size tins. I didn’t even know they existed this big. We have two normal sized dogs, not a pack of huskies. It’ll take them months to get through a tin and by then it would smell like huskies.
But his star buy was the six, neatly placed, tiny containers of gourmet cat pate. Not a senior in sight. We have two bog-standard moggies. Even we don’t eat pate this good.
Now here was my dilemma. Did I congratulate him because of the kindness of his actions, not wanting to put him off from offering again, or chastise him because of what he bought?
Ah well, the cats will always be grateful for their taste of the fine life.
This post is for my brother, Paul
and brother-in-law, David
both wonderful, inspirational, caring men who graced this earth and I was lucky enough to have in my life.