Well its been a long time since i wrote. I lost myself in grief and pain. Slowly my inner strength the thing that defines me took over and helped me survive the death of my husband.
What to do next? Really you get to a certain age and just assume you will spend the rest of your life with the person you love. Sadly it wasn’t to be for me. Once i lost my Mike it left me a widow, a pensioner widow, who had a good life to be honest. Now all I could see was me whiling the rest of it away in a recliner chair Waiting for God. I sound sorry for myself. Not really i am a realist. Who would want to take on an old disabled pensioner like me? Really. I had resigned myself to spending the rest of my life just existing the best way I could. The time since my hubbies death just flew by in a blur. I missed him so much it was hard to deal with normal life.
My house became my prison. I hated it slowly over time. I could see Mike in the conservatory; hanging over my disability arm in the bathroom crying in agony, obviously scared, I think he had a sense his life was about to end. I cant bear to go in there. I have to get a shower, i have to say guiltily that most of my life now is having a wash by the kitchen sink and hoping no one notices me.
After much soul searching i decided to sell our house. We bought it together it was ours, without him it was just a house. I needed to move and heal. I would bring Mike with me, not only in my heart but his ashes would come with me as i wanted us to be joined in death when the time came.
The house went on the market, i sold it straight away. I had spent a huge amount of money having it repaired and updated most of my savings from my mothers legacy had gone to make it a good saleable property. I wrote to mike in my book and asked him if it was ok, and next day i found a lovely bungalow ideal for me just a minute away from our home. I took that as a sign he was happy for me. 3 months down the line, and packing as we were about to exchange contracts, the beginning of the chain fell through.
I was devastated, deflated, demoralised and distraught. The decision to move away from my home with Mike was hard enough but to be faced with this failure was even worse. What made it harder was the person who owned the bungalow wasn’t about to wait and for some reason took it back off the market, so my lovely bungalow was gone, like it never existed and i was left with a debt to pay a solicitor who had done all the work. What a bloody kick in the teeth. I was left with nothing, just a bill for £1,000. Think on folks if your buying a house make sure you have the money to proceed because if you don’t it causes nothing but heart ache for the people who are in a chain.
The stress of all this nearly put me in hospital. I felt ill and anxious every day, I lost my spirit. I felt deflated……what was the point to life. MS has this weird habit of turning anything into a major drama. Where you would have normally just accepted something and got back on your horse, MS would make you feel emotion, irrational it is a really hard disease to understand. It took months to get back to any semblance of normalcy.
Finally, I plucked up the courage and tried again and put the house back on the market. In a few hours it sold again. This time to a lovely couple who were very excited about the prospect of owning it. I was assured that the chain was solid and things would go ahead.
I found myself a lovely park home where i could take my pets it was outside of my town but not too far away. Of course I was worried as it would be a wrench for me to move out of the area i had lived in for so very long since 1982. However I felt reassured and glad they were going to have my home. It meant a lot to me that the right couple or person would take it on, as within its walls were a lot of good memories and yes some bad ones, but a lot of laughter and love too. Oh and of course a lot of loud discussions too. We had regular family parties Mike and i could put on a mean party and barbecues that’s for sure. Also we had a few spirited spats too like any normal loving couple do. But overall the house was a happy house.
My beloved mum enjoying one of our many parties. Yes the house was a happy house.
The garden was huge and Mike had to make sure he filled it at the front with classic cars which he loved. His shed was full to the rafters with all the bits of mechanical stuff you never know you might need one day.
He could put his hand to most things when searching but i used to laugh with him and say hun you spend more time looking for things then doing.
But that was my Mike a hoarder. You cant change who they are. Warning to anybody out there who is thinking of marrying an engineer/mechanic/electrical your house will never be yours. Board up the cupboards or quickly claim them for yourself. Believe me every little bit of space will be used to hide the next little treasure that is unearthed. You have been warned……………..
Just a few of our cars you would see parked on our drive. Yes sometimes all at once. Mike was a superb driver and belonged to the Stroud Motor Club and won award after award each year for his hill climbing skills. I used to go with him at the beginning before I got sick even had a go at it myself. It was amazing fun. So yes my house was full of bits and memories.
It took months to sort out all the stuff left behind when he died. It was really upsetting to have to move stuff on that I knew he loved and had kept just in case someone might need it. Yes whoever had our house would also take on all its memories so the right couple was important to me.
For two months things went smoothly then the day the phone call came again….the chain at the beginning had collapsed and i knew in my heart my lovely park home i had offered on would never ever be mine.
In the meantime my doctor had become concerned about my health and wanted me to move into sheltered accommodation. Now weirdly enough when Mikes mum had her stroke we had to move her into sheltered. I had found her a lovely flat. Her requisites were whatever i chose must have a good view be on the ground floor and she should see the trains go by. Well as luck would have it, when i saw the council Housing Department a ground floor flat had just become available, so off I went to see it. Well it was perfect for her. A lovely flat with a view of the park and a railway track.
A lot of people never get on with their mother in laws but i loved Joan, she was spirited and said her mind and had a no nonsense attitude to life. Yes she could come over a bit fierce, but she loved her son with a passion. To be honest we took her on holiday with us several times, and had no problems. In fact she made them for me, as I always felt comfortable with her. The picture below. Joan and I on one of our holidays to Malta.
I got her settled into her flat, bought her furniture and she had a team of care workers to help her through the day. She told me one day and her daughter that she wished she had moved into her flat years ago, rather then stay in her old creaky cottage, which was hard to keep warm, had awful bendy stairs and a huge garden which her husband George used to look after. Yes 3 years she loved it there, sadly we finally lost her and another chapter in my life was closed.
Well sorry i am flitting about again…. but background is important so you can understand where my thoughts are going. (Rather you then me)
The doctor wrote me a letter of support to our local council to get put on the waiting list for a sheltered flat. I was given a silver banding, and could start to bid on properties which may be suitable.
Each week I would bid on something but no chance, there were people far worse off then I. Then one Wednesday (the properties changed each Wednesday at 12pm), a sheltered flat came up in exactly the place my mother in law had been in. I was excited so bid on it and held my breath. All week I was number one on the list, then when the bid closed i was 9th in the list. I knew I wouldn’t get it. I was pleased though that someone who needed help would be moving into their new home soon. It was number 17 but at the front of the building. I was glad i failed as it would have been impractical with my dog (yes i could take my dog and cats).
I know people might think i am going insane but i talk to Mike all the time and write to him too when i feel particularly low. I did that day.
I felt alone and depressed. My house felt like a prison to me, the memories of him dying in the bathroom crying in pain was getting stronger and stronger, and I struggled to even go in there. I could see him all the time in my mind sat in the conservatory, frail and tired and depressed. I knew i was loosing him slowly as he had lost the man he used to be.
He was very independent, enjoyed doing things, you could see him struggling when he wanted to do anything on his car, or even try and mend a CB radio as his hands would shake. His life was not who he was anymore, and to some people to loose who they were is the end of their journey. I felt it.
Now i could just feel sadness looking in his conservatory. It was his not mine. I spoke to him spiritually and told him I needed to move it was my time now. I had my memories good ones, but for now the sadness was overshadowing my life.
Sounds dramatic perhaps but like i have said before if you have MS your emotions are not your own anymore. The gene or the beast which has invaded your brain calls the shots. If you feel you need to understand how I feel this is a good article on EMOTIONS in MS.
If your interested this explains EMOTIONS IN MS
DEPRESSION I would point out that when you have been with someone a long time, and they finally retire away from work there are signs you really need to look out for. A person who has been totally active since they were a teen to the age of 71 and suddenly face themselves with nothing to do, can be a slippery slope downwards. Just keep a gentle eye on them. Or if anyone you know exhibits any of these signs don’t leave it too late to take action.
I knew i was in trouble with Mike he was slowly getting more and more depressed would never get dressed and his life was just mooching around the house in his dressing gown, he was always cold and disinterested. I would be so worried and try and tell his family and they would be caring and come and see him, but he was like a chameleon could just change his mood. He would appear to them pretty normal. As soon as they left he would be back. This is one picture i took a few years ago, no one has seen this before only I have seen it as I took it. This is the real man the one i was worried about.
Sorry i have flitted about again, but the back ground of my decision is important. The reason i wanted to move was the sadness of the house was starting to make me feel depressed. Like I said EMOTIONS OF MS are irrational. Living in a large 3 bedroom house with massive gardens was totally impractical for me. I had all my memories they would be coming with me. I can always narrate them on my blog if i need to remember the good times, and i have lots of photographs.
It was my time now to move and try to heal. Maybe i wasn’t ready yet to give up. Yes i had felt like it so many times, but if i gave up who would keep the memory of my hubby alive. No one. I still have my daughters and grandchildren, and my animals and friends and family. I wasn’t ready just yet to leave them all behind.
Sorry so going back i do speak to mike. The next bidding day came and another flat came up in the same place. I was so excited so i placed my bid and refused to look until the end of the bidding week. I failed again number 8. Then just before Christmas the phone rang it was the council they were offering me No 12 which was just 2 doors away from where I had gotten Joan a flat. It was smaller but perfect had the view of the park and the railway line, just like where I am now. I was so excited and scared.
I had to start paying rent, find a way to sell my house and move. But I knew it was right for me. I feel it is time now and felt a rush of happiness as I am sure in my heart and my mind that those two in heaven Joan and Mike had planned it all along. The failed sales, the failed bid, then even though i thought i had lost my bid the phone call offering me my new home right where my mother in law lived. I could see the park and enjoy the trains with her now and i know mike would be happy I was safe. I honestly and truly believe this was divine intervention by two people I loved more then anything.
So i am moving I am going to start the next part of my journey with MS in a more safe environment so watch this space, I will be back as soon as I have settled in.
Thank you for following me this far. Its kind of exciting now…….and scary……..but i know i have people around me who love me to help me. I shall miss my house i have been here since 1991, but without my Mike its just a house. I think i will feel just as close to him in my new flat as he visited his mum there everyday and was often outside dealing with her bird table.
Below is the penultimate message I wrote my Mike its exactly as i wrote it. I mention the place in my message. Now tell me its not DIVINE INTERVENTION. I can almost see the two of them, Mike and his Mum Joan colluding together, to make my sales fall flat and pushing me towards the flat perhaps because they needed me safe. I honestly feel they have been instrumental in some way of me getting this flat as believe me it is a miracle to be offered it. They rarely come up in this spot because they are so popular.
Yes I really believe those two had something to do with it and it makes me feel kind of safe knowing that perhaps they are still around keeping an eye on me. I actually believe someone is there after an experience when my father passed, so I will never close my mind to the possibility that people we have loved in our life are still there in their death guiding us, we just have to believe and keep our minds open to the possibility.
UPDATE 4TH OCTOBER 2020
Goodness so much has happened. I will update but if anyone is reading this blog, i have moved again, in august to a lovely bungalow bigger and better for my needs.
It was Mikes anniversary yesterday 3 years he left me. Its been a weird 3 years full of emotions and changes in my life but i am still trying to move forward.
My aim now is to try and focus on making at least one persons life better. If i can do that I will be happy so i will add more updates to let you know what i have been doing.