The family together

Yesterday was a day were in many ways I don’t really know where to start and for more reasons than one. I suppose the first thing I need to say is that it wasn’t just Teressa and Jon who where here but also my son Christopher, even those who have read for a long time won’t have heard me mention him, our story together is a huge complex and very painful one which today isn’t something I want to write about, but I will when it feels right. For now it is enough to say that Christopher was for the majority of his life bought up by adoptive parents, Teressa and Christopher found each other years ago and he had actually been to see me once before a few years ago, but then nothing more happened. Teressa did her usually and she decided that we were going to meet again and once getting each of us, actually with ease to say yes to the meeting, then took over.

Just after 2 o’clock they all arrived and I found myself siting surrounded by a larger family than I have had for many many years. I decided that right then at the start of the day I was going to grab the bull by the horns and I was going to tell them in my words what is happening and why I have taken the decisions that I have. I wanted it over, out of the way, spoken about and done with, rather than having it sitting there like some bad smell everyone was trying to ignore. I didn’t expect any of them to be at ease talking about my death and none of them were, but they all understood my reasons for not giving up my cigarettes and the damage that my MS has managed to do to me in the recent past. Many times over the 5 hours they were here, I caught looks that I can only describe as worry and pity in one, but I said nothing to those, as it is up to them if they wanted to voice them. Several times Teressa gave me a cuddle and we comforted each other as tears came as we talked.

Most of the time we spent talking about a mix or how we landed up all in such different places without each other and what had happened since. When Christopher and I first met we got rid of almost all the why things happened, as there will always be more, but this meeting was much more about the shared moments that to my surprise he still remembers so many of. I think the funniest moments was when I told him how as a baby he had been a vegetarian, this he took with total horror and disbelief but as I related the story of how he refused from the earliest stage to eat even baby food with hints of meat to them and how the battles had led to him eating sausages and so on. Then came my final push and demands that he ate unprocessed meat, as I spoke an embarrassed look of a distant memory appeared, Christopher is now well over 6ft and well built, there is no look what so ever of a vegetarian ever being part of that person, but as I explained how he sifted meat into the side of his mouth, pocketing it like a hamster, then totally refusing to swallow it, there was a clear note of embarrassment and more.

We all spoke freely through out the afternoon, talk of how Adam and I met, how both Teressa and Christopher met their partners and for the slightly silent Jon, well I found him a single grain bourbon to ease his silent times as we all laughed and tried to bring him into our family stories. There were times where as happens daily where I found it not as easy as it should have been to breath, times when my words vanished on me and when mind lost track of where I was going, but not once did I feel pressured, I felt really at ease just to be the disabled wreck in the corner. I have sent so much time with just Adam that it is actually a daunting prospect to be with others, even if they are a family. I don’t know why but I have little doubt that if it had been just Teressa and I together that the conversation of my health may have been longer and more detailed, I just had a feeling that she had questions, but didn’t want to ask then. Sometimes it can be hard in a small flat to ever be alone long enough to say or ask the things that you may really want to. The dynamic on Thursday will be very different as Christopher will not be here, so I expect that it will be then that she will say anything that she needs to.

When they left just after 7pm I was actually really exhausted and to some degree still am, there is no way of explaining how bringing someone so precious as your son, back into your life can be. Christopher to date hasn’t told his family he has been here, other than his wife and they are both going to come here soon, we agreed to that before he left, but he too now has an emotional meeting with his own parents as he also agreed it is time to tell them. I have such a huge and such a mixed array of feelings and I can’t feel them all at the same time, throw in the pain and need to just sleep and well what do I do first, or at all. In some ways I don’t feel up to any of this but in others, well I am running out of time to do any of it, no second chances I suppose.