My flight from Christchurch got into Palmerston North just before 8pm last night and I was home by 10pm. Alan and I had stopped for a pie for lunch at Arthur’s Pass on the way over from Hokitika, and then afternoon tea at the airport so I didn’t need to stop for dinner.
The house was warm (thanks Janet) but quiet and empty…my new normal. Goldie was delighted to see me and yelled at me for a bit before getting up on the bed beside me and dribbling a lot. I think, at 16, she’s got a bad tooth or two!
I popped in to see Tony quickly on my way to work – sometimes I won’t do normally – then spent almost 2 hours with him after work. We’ve ordered a shelf for his room to put bits and pieces on, and a new paint by numbers. At the rate he is painting them, we’ll going to end up papering his room with them 😉 We’ve ordered a duvet set to make his room look more like him – pale grey/blue satin isn’t really his thing.
I’ve come home and unpacked, done the washing & put it on the airframe in the lounge seeing I never go in there, cooked dinner, cleared the mail and then sat here thinking “ok, now what?”. Normally I’d be looking after Tony or, if he was particularly well, chatting with him. I don’t want to start the paper tonight and it feels too late to start some art.
Tony & I will settle into a new normal but who knows what it will look like. When we fell in love 30 years ago I didn’t imagine myself, at 56, visiting my husband in a rest home. We always said one day the 18 year age gap would bite, but somehow the reality is different.
He’s made friends with the resthome cat, and it pops in and out of his room regularly. He was tearful when I left tonight but, given it was my first day back after he went in 11 or so days ago, I think that was understandable. Overall, he’s looking much better than he did a few weeks back. With the anxiety of being home alone gone, he looks less frail, although he had another fall t the weekend. I’m sure some people are going to think he doesn’t need to be in a home but they are so, so wrong. Anyway, today was a small step towards a new normal. One step at a time…