Well, it’s 2022, and we all got here, so firstly let me wish you a Happy New Year. We got through Christmas and New year unscathed and stepped into 2022 in a reflective mood. Instead of looking forward to this year we looked back and was grateful for everything we had been able to do in 2021, our time together, our trips away and another year in each others company and in the company of those we love.
For the past two years Simon has struggled to get into the “Christmas mood” but this year was different, house decorated, and time with families was spent. It was important for both sides of the family that we got together, whilst we are still in a pandemic we did everything possible to make sure everyone was covid safe. Lateral flows instead of Christmas crackers, a warning to guests to wear layers of clothes as windows would be open, thankfully it was pretty mild! But a good time was had and it felt good for us to be together with family.
Simons health has been good over the whole Christmas period, in fact he looks incredibly well. We do feel that there has been a subtle change in his health, nothing in particular wrong, or that we could describe even but something and apart from the occasional days when fatigue is his friend, we carry on, on those days of fatigue we light the fire and watch movies. He is still trying to keep active, and do things at home and the occasional walk (normally weather dependent), my chore list still exists.
Whilst all this sounds great, and it was, there was a shadow that followed me around, and in fact has kept me awake through the night, hence the title of this blog, first and lasts.
In our lifetime we celebrate the “firsts” throughout our life, from first breath, smile, tooth, step, to first day at school……….the list goes on, and from childhood firsts you move to adulthood when your firsts change to workdays and so on. I remember our first date, kiss, when I first realised that I had met “the one”, the day we moved into our first home. Can you tell I have spent hours awake at night thinking about the firsts in life, how exhilarating they can be and how celebrated they are. When in life do we move to “the lasts”, it’s like a secret movement of things never discussed, never mentioned, like the victorian child that is seen and not heard.
“Lasts” have been present over the Christmas period but not discussed, I have felt it from the moment we put the decorations up (in late November) to when they were taken back down I have had “the lasts” following me around. We have not let this dampen our spirits though, we had family with us, we have enjoyed films, log fires and the mountain of chocolate we had bought in. Simon struggled with the taking down the decorations, he didn’t want this to happen or for it to finish, so we took things down slowly and bit by bit. What would normally take us a few hours was actually completed over 3-4 days. The biggest struggle I had was that Simon was making sure everything was labelled, packed away safely and I knew where everything was, I knew what he was doing, I knew this what was on his mind, preparing me for doing this alone next year. We did talk about this, I felt it was a weird sort of nesting going on, Simon making sure everything was in working order, and sorted, not quite getting ones affairs in order, but I think you know what I mean.
I have felt like over the past 6 weeks “the lasts” have haunted me, mostly overnight, like the fourth ghost from Scrooge (I am at this point not likening myself to Scrooge), reminding me of the situation we are in, taunting me of “the lasts” that were happening. These last events were never discussed between us at the time, and only in one conversation over Christmas with some family did he mention this being his last Christmas. It is now almost a relief that with Christmas being over this is no longer hanging over us. I am not going to list the lasts we have gone through, as I am not going to give them the power of being warranted or listed.
New Year happened pretty quickly and quietly, Simon on the whole hates New Years Eve. There were so many messages from people saying about the year past and looking forward to the new year with everything that entails and what to look forward to……..suddenly this became a thing, and almost every message felt difficult to read or respond to. We don’t want to be treated differently, and it’s definitely not anything we would want anyone to stop, the world does not revolve around us we know, but sometimes everyones life rolling on as usual is difficult to take.
Our van is always a source of enjoyment and has got us out and about, and to France! To give Simon a focus for January we have booked five nights away to Cornwall in the latter part of the month, we can never plan too far in advance, but as we have proven we live for today, tomorrow and the short term.
Now, I don’t want you to think we sat here over the Christmas period with black veils over our heads as we certainly didn’t, and we never sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, we are reflective for a while, we talk our feelings through and move on.
So, onwards and upwards and here’s to whatever 2022 brings.