Friday, 17 February 2017
As we walk along the pathways in the woods and along the fields I think and reflect over the last six months. It's a glorious and mild day today, the birds are singing louder and the days are a little longer now. The last few weeks have been quite dismal and wet and looking out to the horizon, everything looks warm and golden in the sunlight today.
I remember walking these pathways with Rob and Ted, our dog, late last summer or was it early autumn? I can't quite recall properly, as so much has happened. One thing I do remember though, was that the weather was still warm and the sun was shining. We'd had a good summer and I'd said to Rob as we'd wandered around enjoying our walk and the countryside, 'Is it wrong to be looking forward to winter already? Those muddy walks; crisp fresh air; wellington boots; warm, woolly jumpers...' Rob was retiring and there seemed so much to look forward to.
Then life threw one of its spanners in the plans as it does and we ended up back on a roller coaster again, as I battled with acute rejection in my lungs through the autumn and into December and we missed coming back here to the woods to do that winter walk and all the walking and exploring new places we'd planned to do. Autumn and the lead up to Christmas had been a difficult time, but luckily things improved with my health by Christmas - yet another crisis steadied.
January and things were feeling much brighter and we were getting back to some normality, expectantly waiting for Sarah to have her baby. She was two weeks overdue when the baby started to come and things didn't go quite to plan, as often happens with pregnancy. There were a few complications, a few sleepless nights and a few worries as the labour stretched on for days. Then all was well and ended well with the birth of our beautiful grandson Freddie. It was a huge relief.
We were back to some normality once more. It was fantastic to feel well enough to help out in those first few days when Sarah and the baby came home and I felt so grateful my 'rejection' had stabilised itself.
Then the roller coaster set itself off once more. Sarah was rushed back into hospital with complications. We were thrust into the deep end of grandparenting and found ourselves late one night suddenly caring for a newborn baby while worrying about our daughter in hospital and what was going to happen next.
I'd begun to feel by the end of last year that I had little reserves left to pull on anymore; that I was losing the inner strength to keep on coping with all the issues that just my own health keeps on throwing at us. You can surprise yourself sometimes though and strength can suddenly come out of nowhere. We somehow rallied to the crisis. I suppose you just have to. Rob said, 'It's what we do best!'
After she was treated for a few days in hospital, Sarah and her family came home to us for a few days while she recovered and then felt fit enough to go home. A happy resolution with mum and baby both doing fine again.
So we're back off the rollercoaster, back on level ground again, feeling relieved and thankful and during February we have been settling back down to normality once more. Back to those plans of last September. Picking them all back up again.
It's great to be back walking in the countryside once again, just quietly walking our dog, enjoying the mild weather and winter sunshine. Enjoying peace and tranquility and some normality. Making new plans, exploring new pathways again.
We are a little different than we were six months ago when we last took this walk. We've been starkly reminded again with the events of the last few months just how fragile health and life can be and how lucky we have been yet again. My lungs are a little different than before, they don't work as well unfortunately. We're still unsure yet whether they ever will. Only time will tell.
I have more tests planned and another MOT at clinic in a few weeks to see how things are. There is one thing for sure though, I'm determined that some breathlessness isn't going to stop us enjoying life again and making plans to do new things. I'm determined to keep on trying to get fitter to see if it can help my lungs improve.
We are different than we were a few months ago too, because we are grandparents now. We have a beautiful baby to enjoy and spoil and I'm determined to stay well so I can enjoy him and watch him thrive and grow. I don't think I could have any better incentive.
Today everything looks golden in the sunlight.