wings and things

11. Lightning visits

on August 3, 2017

During my bout with mycoplasma pneumonia, I wasn’t able to visit Anthony for about a month, if I include the week before and after hospitalisation.

Ming and my mother, Meg, visited him almost daily and that way I could speak to him on the phone, tell him (in my usual dramatic way) that I was terribly sick and in hospital and that’s why I wasn’t there with him. All these weeks later, now that I am well again, Ants still remembers my absence and continues to ask me if I am okay. A couple of the carers at the nursing home said that he behaved differently during this time, that he was uneasy I guess. I think that maybe the way he was missing me was quite visceral, rather than cognitive but I don’t know.

Now that I am pacing myself better, and looking after my health with lots of green juice, homemade dahl, and sourdough, I’ve allowed myself to do what I call ‘the lightning visit’ –  a visit lasting a few minutes rather than a few hours.

The lightning visit idea allows you to visit your loved one fleetingly, but memorably. I might spend most of an afternoon, holding Anthony’s hand, watching his favourite comedy, whispering sweet nothings into his ear, and the next day he will say, “Where have you been for so long?”

On the other hand, whenever I am on the fly and in a rush, Ants remembers my visit – the rush of it, the urgency of me having to be somewhere else. Sometimes that ‘somewhere else’ is a volunteer commitment, a get-together with friends, a dentist’s appointment, but sometimes this is my excuse to go home.

The other day, when I was leaving Anthony after a lightning visit, I apologised to him and he said, “Don’t be sorry, Jules. You are so sweet.”

Okay so I am not particularly fond of the word ‘sweet’ because it’s just too sweet, but it reminded me of when Anthony was wrestling with the idea of us getting married. He was so worried about our 23-year age difference and kept saying that I was too sweet.

I remember that moment vividly.




10 responses to “11. Lightning visits

  1. arlene says:

    He is so sweet Jules despite his illness.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Those are precious memories to keep and revisit. What a wonderful soul you are. Proud to know you, Moira xx

  3. Lightning visits are often the best. He may remember you visiting even if you leave a quick note reminding him so, he may remember something you’ve brought for him but won’t remember how long you actually spent there. Time often means nothing in terms of length, just that you spent time with him.

  4. ksbeth says:

    this is so true and such a good strategy, jules. lightning.

  5. Lighting visits make sense.

    And I too have the same response to the word ‘sweet’. 😀

  6. Judy says:

    Love this! As you “bolt” in and out – you are making a difference and taking care of yourself at the same time. This idea came to you in a “flash” and it’s a great one!!
    Ps. Sorry for the bad puns. Glad you’re over the pneumonia and being healthy!

  7. susanpoozan says:

    So pleased that you are finding the time and energy to look after yourself, so very important for Anthony.

  8. tootlepedal says:

    You are a continual stream of interesting thoughts.

  9. dogdaz says:

    You capture moments so well. The idea of short visits being more ‘memorable’ is interesting. Glad you are doing better.

  10. misifusa says:

    Just precious! I like the idea of lightning visits. Thank you for sharing.

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