So Much Love

P1030215.JPG I am completely spoilt. I get up, showered, dressed (activities with which I require increasing levels of assistance), and move through to my throne in the window of the living room. Here I am served food (of increasing levels of liquefaction), snooze, read, do puzzles, check mail, knit (three tea cosies at the last count, although I fear morphine levels have now more or less enforced retirement from the fair isle knitting bee), and receive visitors.

P1030209.JPG Terry did come for lunch, bearing roses and champagne, and greetings from colleagues in Scottish (and Welsh) HE. Hazel and George brought the largest, freshest eggs I’ve seen in a long time, which I thoroughly enjoyed boiled ‘baby’ style chopped up in a bowl. And cakes, and flowers. The living room is scented and bright with fresh flowers. Hazel returned, carrying good wishes from many people I used to work with at Paisley. I had a grand catch-up morning with Muriel. Katie has been for coffee a couple of times, and it’s always good to talk to her. Clodagh keeps in touch and comes by (the last time bringing some of her most delicious home-made bread). My three longest-standing friends from school, Alison, Anne and Susan (now firm friends of us both I think), came through one evening, making stalwart efforts to get here for a reasonable time, and we had a lovely time with great food, drink and especially chat. It was a special evening.

Alison and Rebecca came through one afternoon and it was lovely to see, well both of them of course, but especially Rebecca whom I hadn’t seen for a while as she’s always been working when I’ve been through to Glasgow. We had a lovely leisurely lunch and afternoon with Jean, very pleased with herself for driving all the way here from Strathaven in a relatively straight line! Mum and Helen came for lunch, also opting for the car, which took a considerably smaller chunk out of their day than the first time they came here by bus (11 hour round trip for a two-hour lunch as I recall).

P1030218.JPG Wilf and Gélise are here as I write. They arrived here on Friday, hot from the première of their film Fat Cat at the IndieLisboa film festival. They will fly back to Brussels this evening, and Wilf will leave again tomorrow for Geneva.They’ve come to spend this precious time with us, and I feel very special. Katie and Martin came for dinner the other night and the house was full – hard work as it was, it was really good for Dee to have something ‘normal’ to do, what she likes doing, making good food and enjoying it with other people. It’s been good for her to have Wilf and Gélise here, and for me too. Rose sent W&G on a mission to the florist’s on Church Hill to return with the most fabulous bunch of double scented peony roses I have ever seen or smelled. (Having wheeled me round the Botanics a couple of times in recent weeks, Dee attests that my scent-glands are particularly acute at the moment. Probably the morphine. Or the position of the wheelchair in relation to the spring flowering shrubs.)

ScotsPine.jpg People stay in touch in other ways. Email was never this much fun. There are regular text exchanges with Wilma and Alison, regular skype calls with Rose. Jean too sends daily texts. Dorothy phones. The living room is festooned with cards, some from quite unexpected sources, some containing just a few words, others with some moving accounts, memories of shared times and, well, tributes I suppose. I admire the courage it takes to commit to paper how you feel about someone, what they have meant to you, what you have learned from them. Dee and I – often these are shared tributes – are mildly shocked at the extent to which we seem to have had some some of positive effect on the lives of others. Dave, a colleague and friend, has planted a Scots Pine for me, facing towards Glen Affric, in the course of a tree-planting week in the Highlands with Trees for Life.

Yesterday I received a lovely, scrumpled, hand-written and heart-felt note from Joy’s grand-daughter Ashley which quite took my breath away. As Ashley said, we haven’t seen one another in two years, but she thinks of me as a fighter and that warms me greatly.

If all goes according to plan, Alison, Anne and Susan will come back tomorrow evening. I’m not so fit as I was for their previous evening here, but I’ll try not to put the dampers on things. Alison is bringing Mum through on Friday morning to see me. Wilma, I know, would come through in a heartbeat if I asked her to, but is busy with the hum of her life and anyway I agree with her that she’d prefer to remember me on the beach at St Andrews. Enough is enough. Thank you for all this love.

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