I’m leaving many things behind, giving much of my life up – that’s what I’ve been thinking when I was looking at my life, my work of several decades. Up to today.
There is a man who has been supporting much of that work over the past years, a man who became a friend. He told me today that life is about changes. That there was a lot I had done, that a lot of that will live on, though certainly different from the way I might have envisaged and different from the way I would have continued that work.
But so what? he said. You’ve got so many more things to do, so many important things to look at. You have decided to spend more time then before with your family. And that’s what it is all about.
I walked out of that room where we had met feeling good about leaving my old life behind.
Because the life ahead is going to be all about looking after each other.
Which is what life really is all about.
Pádraig used his MOTOMed arm trainer today and started to work it himself. It was a huge effort for him, but he managed to do it. The same way, he managed to hold his head up high today, all by himself, when he stood up in his fully height in then standing frame. I know all those things are small and he is not yet able to do them over a longer period, but I can see he’ll be getting there.
This coming Saturday, at the An Saol Café, the last one before the summer, we’ll celebrate life. Tomorrow week, we’ll be on our way to Pforzheim, for another intensive therapy session.
PS: Have you been watching the Eurovision? – I really liked the programme they showed tonight about the Eurovision, just before the competition started. And I like the theme: Celebrate Diversity!
EITHNE O'CONNELL said:
Good luck with retirement-I left early last yr at 59 cos I couldn’t manage the combination of full time lecturing and minding a fairly healthy but quite difficult 91 yr old mother. I have never once regretted the decision for a moment and you won’t either. Animó
Haven’t decided yet (about retirement), Eithne – though the Department introduced so many changes since I took carer’s leave (e.g. axed my programme:) that I wouldn’t even know what to do if I went back, and neither does the Department, it seems – though they said they’d welcome me back – not having much of an option I would have bought…
Anyhow, what you’ve done is the right thing. It’s not always easy to know what is right and what is wrong, it’s easier for some people to see that than for others. But that is just the first step; one you know what is right you then have to do it and that might involve big changes to your live. Those take courage and determination. So good to hear that you feel after a year that you’ve done the right thing. If I think of the options: going back to a Department that will ‘welcome’ me back and my family who loves me (most of the time:), I should be able to make up my mind once the basics and mechanics are viable and clarified.
(The ‘funny’ thing is that I applied for early retirement twice before and that application was rejected twice by the President who felt they really needed me.)