As I write this post I am camped out in the orangery. This is day two. The under floor heating is being installed in my living room and the floor tiles are being laid in the hall, which means I currently have no access to the rest of my house. It is inconvenient but not unpleasant. This unseasonably warm weather means it gets very hot as the sun beats down on the glass roof but I have the bi-fold doors open and my dogs must think its wonderful as they can dip in and out of the garden at will. I have some books, my laptop, phone charger and a stash of snacks to nibble on. In the evenings I can watch tv on my computer, so it’s all good. In fact, if I had a Portaloo in the garden I could probably live in here quite happily. In reality I will be out here for the rest of the week I expect, with varying degrees of precarious access to the kitchen and bathroom. Vern is away all week so it gets a bit lonely out here but the results will be worth it.
It has been an emotional roller-coaster recently as Vern deals with an issue regarding an elderly aunt who sadly needs care as her mental health deteriorates. She is a very strong little lady and stubborn as a mule but has become vulnerable and unfortunately steps needed to be taken to keep her safe. The whole family is pulling together to help her through this transitional stage, this is when I realise how lucky I am to have such an amazing second family. It has also made me stop and consider what might happen to me in my twilight years. I mean, hopefully Vern and I will remain in good health for many years to come. We have discussed this issue somewhat and ideally we would toddle off to Switzerland together and enter a medical facility, happily downing a final, sleep-inducing cocktail at sunset and drifting off, hand in hand. Neither of us can stomach the thought of one of us having to watch the other decline into a vegetative state through dementia or be incapacitated by illness. As much as I adore my husband I have no desire to wipe his bum for him, and I know he feels the same. My daughter was horrified when we mentioned our plans for a joint departure, but I feel that if the time came when we were unable to look after ourselves, our children would hopefully be in middle age and just benefitting from their children becoming more independent and I for one would hate for them to have to put their lives on hold in order to care for me.
Of course, all this is pure speculation at the moment. I do feel that it is important though, to have frank and open conversations about the future. To at least let your loved ones know how you would like to be treated in old age, and after your death. I have always maintained that I am happy for any useful body part to be harvested if at all possible and the rest can be chucked in a skip for all I care. My spirit will already be gone to a better place, only the shell will remain and although perfectly functional, it has never been particularly attractive so I won’t miss it! I don’t have a favourite hymn, I don’t need kind words or funny stories to be told at my funeral. The people who know and love me, and there are relatively few, will hopefully respect that a simple send-off would be fitting for me. I care deeply for the environment and nature, I am a spiritual, gentle soul who bleeds easily. I’ll take the love of my family while I am living and when I am gone the world will keep turning.
Oh dear, this post has turned from a simple progress update to something deep and meaningful but I don’t apologise. Sometimes a period of reflection is needed to put things into perspective. Sometimes a reminder to myself of how much I have to be thankful for is a welcome distraction from the stressful situations we have to work through. So as I sit here, with the sun setting on another beautiful day I look at my three dogs, snoozing peacefully on the floor and I feel calm.
Thanks for reading. xx