Friday, January 14, 2011

Shed time

I've been a right miserable git recently and I have no right to be. Christmas was superb, it was the best day ever, fun and food and love and laughter. Wendy had put on a superb spread with an incredible roast and then pecan pie for pudding. I guess it wasn't a traditional Christmas day spread but it was fabulous and it was ours.

There were days last year when it wasn't clear if I'd be around at Christmas so being well and being present was brilliant. Everyday is a blessing and recently I've lost sight of that.

We trogged on down to Wales on the 27th and for me it was a real achievement driving all the way, we stopped at Brian and Eve's which was lovely except for Bertie embarrassing himself on the side of their sofa! We'd 10 miles or so left when I was aware of a limit to my endurance, my wrists ached and my head was slowing down but soon enough we were drinking tea and laughing with Anita and Jason. I was knackered for a day afterwards but I felt like my masculinity had returned, driving has been such an important part of my life that to be able to drive to Wales was a massive tick in the return to normal box.

Jason and I had a bit of an adventure courtesy of his round table Christmas do, I thought it'd be a quiet pint and a meal in Cardigan. It turned into a quiet meal in Haverfordwest and then several less quiet pints back in Cardigan. A much bigger night than I'd expected or have had for an extremely long time, it finished with a kebab and me telling Anita how much I loved Jason and her and being in Wales. I meant it too even in the cold light of day.

We had a lovely time at Bill and Bron's even if the table was a little crowded it was great to see Bron's son Graham and family and the post dinner Just Dance 2 competition was great fun even if it wasn't the best way of settling a meal!

It was new years eve when I started feeling totally rubbish, I'd felt a little ropey the day before but put it down to the night before and probably doing too much, but now I felt rubbish and it panicked me. A phone call to Weston gave me some reassurance and a trip to Haverfordwest hospital gave me a little more, oh and a dose of tami-flu just to make sure. It was a rubbish time to go to Withybush as Wendy's mum had passed away ten years prior on that day so how she must have been feeling heaven only knows. Needless to say the evening wasn't the festivity we had all hoped for and by half ten I made my apologies and went to bed.

Welcoming the new year in had always been such a happy occasion but this year felt different to me, yes I was poorly but I felt like I had to be more respectful to the coming year. Why I don't know, maybe I felt daft for having drunk so much, my body has been through so much and it doesn't need anything else to cope with. I'm not signing the pledge or anything but I'll be more careful in future.

Getting home was to be such a simple affair, we load the car, I get in and drive home. Simple. I had nothing left, as I stood at the bottom of Anita and Jason's stairs crying I couldn't find anything in me that would safely get my family home. I didn't have the concentration nor the physical energy to drive 230 miles and all of a sudden, because of a poxy cold my masculinity dropped out of my trousers and ran and hid under a stone. To say I was grateful to Anita and Jason driving us half way and then mum and dad driving us home is an understatement, I probably didn't show much gratitude as I sulked most of the way but I'd just lost one of the biggest normal's I measure myself against and I didn't know how to find it again.

I have been focusing on the negatives ever since, the cold has me up in the night coughing which isn't the nicest but it's rubbish for Wend as she's back at work now and is understandably knackered from that. How she does it I have no idea, she's gone straight back in and it makes me wonder. I struggled doing a couple of hours here and there last year and I'll do a phased return this time too. Jason's dad has had the horrible news that his cancer is back, what the future holds only time will tell, but I've allowed that to stir up emotions and memories which have scared me again. I should really be living my life and being there to support Jase, that's where I should be.

I don't have a shed, I have a cellar. It's not big, it's not clean but it's dry and it's full of stuff. I don't expect everyone to understand, in fact I expect very few to understand but today I cleared part of my bench and threw things away. It was a cleansing of sorts, throwing out negative thoughts, worries about aches and pains. Sweeping up shavings from wood cut for turning projects, collecting my thoughts about Geoff (Jason's dad) and about me and where I am. Putting up clips to hold tools so that they are readily available when I need them, getting my priorities straight. Oh and looking at my bike, just cos I like looking at my bike. I like riding it more but looking will do for now.

Then my mind started to find all the positives, the letter from Uncle Gordon which made me and mum cry, the phone call from Wendy's dad on Christmas day that made me cry because he was nice to me, the bumping in to Sarah at the climbing works (didn't make me cry), the fabulous family times we've had over the last few weeks (with and without crying). The time I have spent with Wendy and the love and laughter we have shared. The time spent with the girls laughing and admiring their sense of being and their love of life even after all they've been through. Time spent walking the daft dog. Time just being a big hairy Yorkshire bloke with a cold. Just because I've had a stem cell transplant doesn't make me immune to coughs and colds. That's part of being normal, well as normal as I get anyhow!

Now I need to shake off this cold, start getting fit again and then get on with my life, in all it's normal glory.

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