Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Picking up the Pieces

Finding solitude in woodland above Todmorden, West Yorkskshire
It’s surprising how health issues impinge on one’s ability to do anything constructive, no matter what the genre in which one works, plays or creates. For me, over the last few months, it has been writing: as if I am afraid to begin again, or seek new commissions. Afraid, too, that what I write might become an ongoing whinge about grief, and death. When I grieve (or become tearful), it’s as much for the double-whammy of simultaneously dealing with cancer has my husband grew ever more frail, and died. His death came nearly six months ago, though it is a year since I discovered that tiny nodule in my breast. 

Broad beans in what was RQ's veg plot
I have lost confidence in myself, but have everything to live for. Indeed, at my latest check-up last week with my excellent doctor, she asked if I felt any joy. To which I replied, “oh yes!” but did not elaborate. In fact joy in so many things: my children and grandchildren who are a constant source of love and support. Then there is the garden which keeps me active and provides me with so much pleasure, as I maintain and reclaim our acre whilst re-modelling to suit my needs. Vegetable plots/ flower patches and orchard - plenty to keep me busy.

Whilst I re-organise our home to suit what I am now doing - in phases - I have the joy of creative activities: stitching and making my funny little stitch and paper booklets, plus commissioned pieces for exhibitions, writing the occasional word-whisper (poems to the uninitiated). And updating my various and sadly neglected Blogs.

Our home since 1969 - large and rambling, with an acre of ground
It’s time to move on, and re-purpose my life: ‘The Shifting’ - as noted in my diary, scheduled to start next week. Nothing will ever be the same - how could it be. I may still be crying in my heart for my beloved RQ, but treasure the morning last summer when he held my hand and said to me, “I must tell you how much I love you”. Special memories, always, but there is still also a horrible niggle that will not go away. I’m so afraid that the cancer will return. And of what use to my children and grandchildren will that be?

Not running away, but commissioned to exhibit at Water Street Gallery
(image courtesy Rosemary Holcroft)