October 15th got off to a really good start for me. Time with a friend. With no pressure to be anything other than who we are. It did not get off to a good start for my wife. I'm writing this on October 26th. She's home now. Recovery will take a while. But she's home.
On some days it's hard to fill out a gratitude diary. But there are always things to be grateful for. Always. It's just that on some days we have to search hard. And on some days they may be smaller and be swamped by things for which no sane person would be grateful. I haven't been through the worst of life. Of course not. And I hope I never do. If I think of those who have suffered in concentration camps or gulags or suchlike places. If I think of the terrible journeys of refugees and the terrible circumstances that forced them to flee and seek refuge. If I think of someone locked in to their body with their mind active. Yeah, I've not been through the worst of life. Not by any means. I wonder if I would still be able to fill out gratitude diaries if I was going through them. Those who have suffered deeply have often written about it and even for the most positive of them there would have been moments in which they were tempted to utterly despair, or in which they actually did despair. But many of them write of positives too, even when in those dark places. Right. I'm rambling. Time to stop.
One thing is for sure. When I write my gratitude diary I don't ignore the difficulties. They are part of life and a diary without them does not portray life in a way that reflects reality. So my posts contain the (perceived) darkness as well as the (perceived) light. A Taoist story asks whether we can truly know which circumstances and events are darkness and which are light. I think there's a lot of wisdom in that story. I also think that sometimes the story is nonsense and some things are just a bit crap!
Grateful to be able to meet up with a distant friend, look at the photos at Side Gallery, and sit and talk in a cafe. Grateful for a new 99p soft toy friend.
But I am not grateful for the rest of the day. The rest of the day is a bigger negative than the first half was a positive.
My wife fell from a ladder and is in hospital. She fractured her spine. There is possibly nerve damage too that may affect things. And probable spinal surgery tomorrow involving titanium. We can be grateful though that she isn't paralysed. She's in a lot of pain but thankfully we still have an NHS and it's still staffed by good people so she's being looked after well.
Sunday is a blur. It began, after little worried sleep, with the news that Beth's fall hadn't just resulted in muscle problems but in a fracture to her back. I went to A&E and it's such a blur that I can't even register whether Kit was there too but they must have been. Beth was moved to a ward after nearly 24 hours in A&E and we stayed for a while before returning for official visiting. Beth was understandably not feeling or looking good from pain, drugs, shock, fatigue and injury. Grateful for morphine!
I think we're all just grateful to have got through Sunday and got through Saturday and that the events of Saturday aren't going to be drastically life changing. Yeah, I'm bloody grateful for that. Things could have been a hell of a lot worse very easily.
Grateful for the comfort of soft toy friends.
Notagiraffe was bought on Saturday in the good part of my day.
I am holding Amethyst, Portal, and Got A Warthog. All of those are important to me.
Also grateful that KFC was both open and had the right things when Kit and I left the hospital in the evening. I've gone there with Kit four times before and failed in the quest to buy what was wanted. It meant that they could at least have something tasty to eat on their 16th birthday. It really wasn't the birthday we would have hoped them to experience.
Grateful that today improved. Beth was much more alive and smiling. Grateful the RVI staff are being so good. Grateful things are not worse than they are.
And that the view from the hospital cafe is pleasing.
Grateful to have got out to Whitley Bay charity shops today.
Grateful that Newcastle has attractive places. Like Metro stations and hospitals.
Grateful that Beth is doing as well as can be expected and can walk a little. She is grateful for morphine.
It's been horrible. The next bit of time won't be great. But we are all grateful that things should (hopefully) get back to some semblance of normality well before the end of the year.