Very little has happened since my last entry. I couldn’t get to sleep very easily and so was given something to help which has left me a bit groggy. The reason I couldn’t get to sleep is because I was looking at my photographs and thinking about all of my friends who have given up so much time and effort to care for Louise, Oscar and me. I thought I feel the need to acknowledge what they have all done so willingly with something more than a limp-wristed handshake or a stubbly kiss. I thought they should each have a letter.
I immediately then thought that the process of writing so many letters may be the cause of my expiration prior to MND taking me (sounds like a good idea I hear you say, but alas I still have much to do). Therefore, this post is a letter to all of my friends.
Simon, Rhona, Stephen, Cash, Alison,Tim, Sophie, Colin, Anita, Morag, Emma, Brian, Gill, Paul, Jo, Jon, Lorretta, Rick, Lula, and Noreen, I am sorry that I cannot write you individually but I know you understand.
Family, bloodlines flowing back through generations, I feel instill a sense of duty, responsibility and obligation. Add to this the unconditional love which certainly flows through my family and Louise’s and the troops immediately rallied to our call. I believe each member of our respective families knows, or at least they should, that that support would be reciprocated the second they required it.
Friends are different in my opinion. As the old adage, blood is thicker than water. There is no duty, responsibility or obligation, not at first. There is certainly no unconditional love. I believe we find each other. Over time, we get to know each other. For some of us, we get to know each other so closely it feels like family. For some of us really we become family. That’s how I think of all of you. You have all given far more than you had to or were needed to, and as a direct result you have magically improved the quality of my life and that of my family.
Be it Reiki or furniture moving, general filing or technical services, provision of entertainment or cooking dinner, laundry or babysitting services, feeding me or feeding Oscar, cleaning me or cleaning Oscar, any one of a hundred different domestic tasks or wiping tears from my eyes – you have done it all.
Know that I would have done it for you were the roles reversed.
I promise I will never forget it.
All my love,
P. S. For Louise, only the last four lines need apply. I love you more than I did before. And for always. x
We were all learning how to care for Neil together, and many of our friends didn’t have children so they had to learn how to look after a one-year-old pretty quickly too. There was no avoiding getting your hands dirty in our house!
But the learning wasn’t just about care, we also had to deal with the emotions of saying goodbye. Every time friends left the house, they made plans to come back, but they would never know if they would see Neil again before he died. Despite this, nobody brought tears to our door, they brought their sense of humour, rolled up their sleeves and mucked in. – Louise (2013)