wings and things

Chapter 60: Piecing it all together [2021]

on November 4, 2021

I’ve been going around in circles over the last few days trying to figure out how to put all the bits of this story into a cohesive whole that isn’t chronological. At this point I have three separate sections: (1) the experience of Anthony’s Parkinsonism both at home and, eventually, in the nursing home, and this will include blog entries from way back that describe how this experience unfolded as it happened; (2) the ‘Imagined conversations’ that I blogged after Anthony died; and (3) the recent nearly 60 anecdotes/chapters that give context to the overall love story.

I have a few more anecdotal chapters up my sleeve and I still want to include more of Ming’s point of view, but I feel like I really need to concentrate on the structure of the book now.

Some of the things that I’ve written about over the years that I’ve been blogging have been really painful; remembering and writing about these things has also entailed a re-living of some aspects of the past. One of the strangest things I’ve noticed about myself is that some of the past traumas Anthony and I faced, as he became more and more ill, didn’t feel as traumatic then as they sometimes do now, in retrospect. From time to time over the years, I’ve experienced the dreadful overwhelm of PTSD symptoms and have sought professional help but thankfully this hasn’t happened often because the bulk of our story – Anthony’s and mine – has been so buoyantly happy, against all sorts of odds.

Another thing I’ve discovered is that on the days when I miss Anthony the most, it isn’t the long-ago healthy Anthony I feel the stab of nostalgia for; it’s the more recent, unwell Anthony. Sometimes I just want to be back in that nursing home in the chair next his armchair, or next to his bed, with my arm draped around his shoulder and my feet resting on his knees, watching comedies on the television. Sometimes it is these memories of contentment and acceptance that gallop themselves into feelings of trauma – weird!

Anyway, I won’t be posting much for awhile because the book is more or less written and now I just have to piece it all together.

9 responses to “Chapter 60: Piecing it all together [2021]

  1. beth says:

    that’s all so tricky and such a delicate balance. best of luck on this next stage of your book

  2. Julia Avery says:

    It’ll be a good yarn, Jules.

  3. Judy says:

    I’m going to miss your posts, Julie. I’m sure you will find a way to stitch everything together in a spectacular way!

  4. susanpoozan says:

    Good luck, you deserve it.

  5. tootlepedal says:

    Good luck with the piecing.

  6. I said this before but it bears saying again- I am glad you are writing the book because I believe you will help so many families with Parkinson’s live the best life they can but also that you are a captivating writer. there will be the sad parts but also extremely funny parts, too. Wishing you the best, let us know when it is published.

  7. Robyn Jones says:

    Good luck Julie putting it all together – you, Anthony and Ming had something special and a life full of love – and still do! Xx

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