wings and things


on June 11, 2013

I don’t think ‘style’ is quite the right word but it will do.

There are all sorts of styles….
– of breathing
– of living
– of dying
– of grieving
– of laughing
– of hoping
– of loving


And each person’s style is unique, sometimes chosen, sometimes accidental, but always, always, very personal.

Let’s take grief, for example. My own for Anthony’s slow decline into the fog of Parkinson’s disease/Parkinsonism and dementia has taken a few U-turns. No, no – that’s not right – it is I who took the U-turns.

I know this is going to sound terrible, but I have gone through phases of not wanting to see him; getting him home only to find it impossible to lift him, and becoming angry; wanting the wheelchair taxi to come early. Can you imagine the guilt?

But of course these emotional transitions are not just mine; they are his too. In the 18 months since he entered the nursing lodge, Anthony has had to get used to hands other than mine undressing and showering him, meals that I didn’t cook, unfamiliar blankets, surroundings, people….


This is my grief, my guilt, my love, my style, my Anthony, and, despite the private/public paradox of my blog, it has never been a cry for help.

My style:
– Do not try to rescue me
– Do not worry about me
– Do not try to get me out-and-about
– Respect my privacy.

I love Ants in a past/present way, that beautiful figure of male virility, running through the paddocks to get the cows in and yelling, ‘Jules, RUN!’

We were friends for years before our relationship became serious … and now we are friends in that original, platonic way (despite his occasional innuendos).

And I seem to have fallen in love all over again which is quite weird until I realize that Anthony is the only man I have ever loved in that falling-in-love way. It is the same for him.

35 responses to “Style

  1. elizabeth says:

    Sorry Julie, but I’m in tears. Sending you love and hugs from here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE “Your style”!

  3. bulldog says:

    Julie I’m speechless, not something that happens to often… one wants to pass words of comfort or consolation yet your strength shines through to such an extent that I think we gain strength from you… your tenacity in the face of the hardships is something we can all learn from… you are a person to be admired… and I do admire you.. a real tough, yet soft, Australian women with such a big heart… go well Julie and keep up that strong attitude… Hugs to you and Ant…

  4. viveka says:

    Beautiful written …. somebody has said that a perfect marriage is when we fall in love again time after time, with the same person. I think it’s so fantastic that you have fallen in love again with a different Anthony – and that you still have your love for the old Anthony intact. So lovely written, Julie.
    Did you get my details on email ???

  5. Debbie says:

    Discovery and revelation are such mysteries. Beautifully written. It is a journey. Jim England said, “There is great meaning in life for those who are willing to journey.” Yours is certainly not a journey anyone wants to take, but it does contain great meaning. Sending you BIG Texas love across the waves…

  6. Michelle says:

    I love this post Jules. You are so right – you two are doing it in your own style. It’s so joyfully and tragically you two. I love you both.

  7. gita4elamats says:

    {{{HUGS}}} Thank you for sharing your love and your grief. 🙂

  8. Terry says:

    what beautiful thoughts about a love so great

  9. That was so beautiful and so moving, here is to you falling in love again with Anthony and Anthony with you. hugs 🙂

  10. You are right. Everyone has different styles. Yours is so honest and raw. And nothing you say has ever sounded terrible to me.

  11. Rhonda says:

    there is no rescue…just wind under your wings to lift you…I’ll just share mine with you

    can’t get you out and about…you are too damned far away, but sorry, if I could, I would…for me!
    okay – won’t worry, and you are actually quite right. worry is not the thing anyway…will just keep thinking of you…and sending hugs and shit cause that’s how I roll.

    always respect your privacy – as well as everything else about you. but if we ask and you don’t want to answer – tell us to fuck off – just do it with a smile…always works!

    Love ya Jules…xo

  12. mrs fringe says:

    This was lovely, and honest. I can not rescue you, can’t even try, but I’m wishing you peace.

  13. niasunset says:

    Oh dear Julie, I am in tears too. But no one could express this better than you dear Julie, you are so beautiful soul, My love, my wishes always for you, love, nia

  14. fgassette says:

    Your love is so strong. A wonderful example. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers.


  15. love the way you explained this – you are right–this is your way of handling the grief–but the falling in love again is so sweet
    I never feel sorry for you, but I feel for you

  16. Robyn Lee says:

    This is just so beautiful…. I wish every couple facing challenge of chronic illness and neuro deterioration can read it. You (and your Ants) are truly an exemplary role model…
    Love and Tears – x Robyn

  17. FlaHam says:

    Julie, You make me smile, you keep it simple, and it always comes from the heart. Thank you, Bill

  18. Your writing is absolutely poignant and beautiful.

  19. I love reading your words, being a fly on the wall to this incredible honest intimate painful human journey. It’s so easy to not just respect your privacy but all of you, that you expose to us. So glad I found you. Big cyber hug.

  20. I loved this. It seems so …. honest. And beautiful.

  21. Julie, this is a heart-wrenching beautifully written post.
    Although you are writing about your situation, the thoughts you express could be applied to other situations. You describe the feelings one has in battling grief so well in that there are no written guidelines that prepare us and so we must write our own – “this is my grief, my guilt, my style”. You are a shining light.

  22. tootlepedal says:

    I might worry about you a bit.

  23. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    How beautiful your love for Anthony is.
    Falling in love with each other all over again must be the nicest possible way to be in your current situation.

    It’s precious, enriching, heart-warming, enchanting and totally like a good love story should be. Maybe it’s one of the ‘great’ love stories of this time. How Blessed you are in this.

    It also indicates to me, how lucky you both are in being friends before & during your marriage. So many people marry for the wrong reasons in this modern age, but you both married for the very best of reasons – deep unconditional love and genuine life-long friendship.

    Don’t forget that saying “Love means never having to say you’re Sorry” (and that, includes any guilt you feel from time to time).

    Sending you lots of hugs and Love. x Vicki

  24. Blogging this afternoon I have smile, laughed and now cried……………

  25. tersiaburger says:

    Your love story is on par with Love Story…. Hugs my brave friend.

  26. Ms. Boice says:

    My style is to have you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that is okay.

  27. Ingrid says:

    That is so beautiful Julie … I am still coming to see you … just as soon as I can find you ! 🙂

  28. as everyone has said this is beautiful and moving. thank you for sharing and putting into words what i have been feeling.

    sending warm hugs:)

  29. I am awed at how you and Ants keep finding each other and your love through his disease – like an epic story of star crossed lovers battling each new obstacle with old world romanticism and undying passion (even if now limited to the imagination). “Love Story” seems vacuous in comparison.

    While love and lovers are never perfect, the two of you show us all that it can be deeper and richer than many of us imagined. Hugs to you both. And thank you Julie for sharing your unique style of living, loving, interacting, etc. You make the world a richer place.

  30. Helen says:

    I think this is just lovely Julie. xx

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