wings and things

Anthony picking olives a few years ago

on October 5, 2014

I have had a much more social week than usual with the arrival of my niece’s in-laws from Scotland: activities have included a beach barbecue, a day-long winery tour, a visit to our farm, my great-niece’s first birthday, and then a 21st last night. All delightful! Obviously, this altered the routine with Ants and the volunteering, but not hugely and I didn’t visit him at all on the winery day, hoping he wouldn’t notice.

This week is similarly social, with my best friend, Tony (the priest who married us), coming down for the night and a professor I worked with a couple of years ago, dropping in with his wife on his way back to Perth the next morning. This will slightly alter the routine with Ants once again but since it all worked out okay last week, I figure it should be okay this week too.

I think I blogged about the new routine awhile ago; it’s pretty simple really and was probably staring me in the face for several exhausting months, but I have always had rather slow reflexes – ha! The epiphany arrived at the doorstep of my heart one foggy morning and said two words: “Switch homes”.

It took me ages to understand what Epiph meant but then, bingo, the penny dropped. Instead of bringing Anthony home, either by wheelchair taxi, me, or Ming (visits that became increasingly gruelling, physically, mentally and emotionally, for all three of us), it was gently suggested that I simply make myself at home in the nursing home. Epiph is good like that; she recognizes my lack of pragmatism.

Since then, our marriage, Anthony’s illness, Ming growing up, and all the other bits and pieces of emotion and stuff….

have uncurled raised/dropped fists
have unfurled the residue of grief into a great wide flag of hope

The social stuff is good too because it provides me with conversation material for Ants. He loves it! I feel like I am learning something really important about dementia, or maybe love, not sure yet. A year ago I was struggling with how to cope with the impending boredom of the nursing home. Now, this is my attitude:

“Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.”
Thomas Szasz

38 responses to “Anthony picking olives a few years ago

  1. Eli Pacheco says:

    This is the perfect way to start my day! I adore that quote and I adore you.

  2. jensine says:

    what a perfect quote … and isn’t home really there where you want to be … with Anthony?

  3. Colline says:

    As I was reading this post the following thought came to mind – that you have become more accepting of your situation. And as you grow more accepting, it is less stressful for you. Am I right?

  4. bulldog says:

    Colline has said all that I was feeling… and I want to add… never feel guilty if you take a little time to yourself, you are entitled to it and I’m sure Ant would understand… never let the visits become a ball and chain, let it continue to be fun… I love it when you tell of a visit with cheese and wine or what ever… just sounds like good fun… Sterkte…

  5. I love that quote Jules. Great picture of Anthony, he looks so happy olive picking. 🙂 You sound so happy with just the one simple switch in arrangements. I am so very, very happy for you. 😀

  6. Love that quote about boredom Julies!
    Diana xo

  7. susanpoozan says:

    You are so clever to have looked your life in the face and then reorganised your thinking. I do so admire you.

  8. That quote can change lives. Your friend Epiph needs to visit some more of us. (When I saw his face in the picture I broke out in to a grin and said HELLO ANTHONY!) 🙂

  9. Judy says:

    Well, Julie – you finally gave me an opportunity to tell you puns again. Here we go: Instead of giving up you’ve decided instead to say, “OLIVE (I’ll live)!” You are also definitely “branching” out. You point out how you had that epiphany and I understand. Sometimes we just keep doing the same thing, even though it becomes harder and harder. Change is hard. But when it becomes necessary, it turns out to be a gift. I am trying to learn that in my own life. I am hoping that I don’t have to wait until things become really difficult before changing to another way. This really is a great lesson you shared.

  10. I was searching for the word.. and I think it’s that you sound ‘content’ with life… Diane

  11. Rhonda says:

    It’s another chapter in your love story…and your life. It’s freaking great and I’m happy that you have found not just the renewed enthusiasm when it comes to the new routine…but that this new routine leaves room for more…namely, time for you to participate in the rest of your life too. It is apparent that this contributes to your times with Ants, and that is fabulous. Keep it up Jules…this all looks incredibly GOOD on you! xoxoxo

  12. I like that quote never heard it before but it so spot on……………..

  13. Vicki says:

    I’m a great believer in changing one’s mindset, Julie. It’s helped me enormously in recent years and I know it will help you too.

    After all, what is anger, grief, boredom etc It’s all a State of Mind.

    Sometimes we become so stuck in our routine or way of thinking, that even the simplest deviation takes a long time in becoming realised. But when it arrives and becomes wholly integrated in to our lives, we feel rather foolish for not having recognised the obvious.

    Sending much love your way….Vicki x

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks so much Vicki – I guess we all have to learn these kinds of lessons in our own different ways, via our different experiences and attitudes. You have taught me a lot over our blogging relationship and I really appreciate you in my life – thank you so so much! Jxxx

  14. You’re a heroine and a muse. You inspire me, darling! ❤

    And I'm not just saying that–it's true.

  15. Ann Koplow says:

    You are AMAZING Julie.

  16. so happy you have found your rhythm! i can’t imagine you ever being bored my friend with all you have to do and see and breathe in. you inspire us all and it is re-assuring to know you are taking care of you.

    big hugs and love to you

    • jmgoyder says:

      Sandra, I hope you realize what an inspiration you are to so many of us. You and I are the same age and we both have older husbands and we are both dealing with handling terminal illness: yours and Anthony’s. The parallels are uncanny and mismatched in terms of actual age, but the love stories echo each other. Julie xxx

  17. Trisha says:

    I’m so glad Epiph visited you with that solution that is working so well. Enjoy your flurry of social activity!

  18. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks. Pleased to have found such a heartfelt blog. All the best. Regards Thom.

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