jmgoyder

wings and things

“I just don’t understand you!”

Ming and I had a couple of altercations today that were impossible to resolve. This is so frustrating and painful and yet it points to the fact that we all think and feel differently and trying to match someone else’s way of doing both is impossible.

So what on earth do you do with irreconcilable differences? How does a 20-year-old son understand a 55-year-old mother who is trying to understand a 78-year-old husband? The only way, I think, is to accept the different points of view about everything, to accept each other (despite these differences), and to develop a capacity for sympathy. Empathy would be better, of course, but if the other person just cannot fit their great big size 13 feet (Ming) into your shoes, then agreeing to disagree is your best option.

I have always loved the concept of difference but I have never had it thrust in my face as much as the last few years, with Anthony’s declining health and Ming’s growing up. Neither of them understand that, at the center of this dynamic (in terms of age alone), I struggle sometimes to give them both what they need or want. And neither of them even think, unless I remind them (rather vociferously sometimes), that I might actually want to be considered too.

Perhaps love doesn’t require understanding? I am not complaining here (well maybe a bit!), or posing a feminist argument (hell, no – most of the misunderstandings I’ve experienced have been with women); I am just observing that sometimes you just have to accept the fact that you will never agree with the other person.

But you can still hug them and keep your “you are wrong!” thoughts to yourself. Ask Godfrey the gander!

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Heaven!

Gutsy9: I love it here!

Gutsy9: I love it here!

Could I stay a bit longer? It's only early.

Could I stay a bit longer? It’s only early.

Yay - this is heaven!

Yay – this is heaven!

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Are you asleep yet?

Are you asleep yet, my beautiful husband?

Midnight approaches me with dark, unfamiliar claws, so I go outside to find some moonlight but it is pitch black out there and, when I can’t find the moon, I race back inside frightened.

The dogs are barking at a moonless sky but they will soon settle.

Are you asleep yet, my beautiful husband?

You said the other day that you just wanted to sleep wth me but you have forgotten that we have not slept in the same bed since the evening when you could no longer reach the height of the bed and I wasn’t strong enough to lift you into it, and we had to put you into the smaller, lower bed in what we always called the spare room.

I know.

I know you have forgotten those years of tortured, sleepless nights for both of us -, me in the big bedroom, you in the spare room but calling me, calling me, knocking on the wall with your walking stick until, finally I began to sleep in the other small, low bed in the spare room, so that I could help you during those moonful and moonless nights – to pee, to turn over, to be warmer, to be cooler, to get your knees inside the covers, to sleep….

Your dreams were terrifying and you would yell out in your sleepless sleep and I would lie in my bed next to yours hoping it would stop.

Is that what is happening now? Are you still hallucinating about the girl with the bleeding eye, the mob who are chainsawing all of your palm trees to death, the calves on top of the television, the phantoms in the dairy?

The peacocks are crying, crying, crying and their sound is a haunting lullaby.

Are you asleep yet, my beautiful husband?

Please say yes. All you have to do is whisper it and I will hear you, I will hear you.

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Is it a bird…? No, it’s my own personal super-hero

Finally, tomorrow, Husband is getting out of hospital and Son and I are elated (even though we still haven’t put the Christmas tree up – argh!)

The following pictures are a random sample that represent, for me, the idea of home which is, quite simply, us.

I cannot wait to have my hero home!

 

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