I slept well last night, I woke with this feeling of lying in luxury, it was a moment that was destroyed as I had no choice but to move. Lying back down slipping back into the exact position I had been in before the alarm sounded, didn’t work. I couldn’t get back that feeling of comfort, a feeling not often found these days, it wasn’t as though I had woken pain free, but I had woken feeling as though the bed was hugging me gently and doing it’s best to make me feel better. The alarm broke that spell and there was no way back. Life is made up from moment, not hours, days or weeks, just brief moment of joy, sadness, pain and happiness, those moments take over and our memories make them into much larger and fuller experiences, but think carefully and the truth is, it’s nothing more than a moment.
Last night we were watching “Holby City”, a British hospital drama, at the end of the show there was a moment, the ice queen of the show was sitting holding the hand of her baby who was in special care. Adam said that that was what she had to spend more time doing if she was ever going to bond with her baby, I told him he as wrong. When Christopher was born just like his brother Jeffery he was in special care, but unlike Jeffery he was going to get better and he was going to come home. I couldn’t bond, I tried sitting there beside him, but he was a baby that I felt nothing for other than fear and a feeling that I shouldn’t even touch him, just in case. I was as mechanical and cold as the character on TV, even when I went home without him, I didn’t find it difficult, I had done it before so I went home to be with my daughter. We went to see him on Christmas eve and I was told he could at last come home with us, I had a bag ready with clothing and a shawl, and I set to removing his hospital gown and dressing him in the clothes that were his. There were a couple of nurses in the room as I guess they weren’t too sure just how I would cope, but I will remember one second of that day for the rest of my life. Dressed and ready all I needed was to sort out his shawl, I picked him up and placed him floppy position over my shoulder and laid out his shawl. That second he touched my shoulder, that second that I felt his true weight on me and he snuggled his head on the back of my shoulder, was the second that he became my baby. I even caught out of the side of my eye one of the nurses smile and nod to her friend, they too knew that I was at last acting and feeling like his mother. One moment in the first two weeks of his life, one moment in the past nearly 30 years, one moment that took me for observer to mother and still to me the most important moment in his life. Pick any day you like, your wedding day, the day you first feel in love or the day you learned to ride a bike, all great days, but all with that one magical moment that made them truly special.
My day started with a moment, it probably won’t be one written in my heart, but it was enough to start my day on a note that has meant I have been happy since, I started the day well. I realised a long time ago that days that I could put down as a totally wonderful special day, had probably passed me by, as there is a limit to what can really happen in my life from now on, but momenta, there is room for many more. I often think that people try to hard to make a day special, planning out the details from waking to sleep, every second scripted and set out to give a friend or family member a day to remember, when in fact they only needed to plan one moment of it, for it to be never forgotten. In the years of my being housebound I have seen Adam go out of his way to try and give me those special days, days where he pushed himself and spent hours cooking a meal or what ever, just for me. Days when he did everything to make me happy, days that although great could have been just as great without so much effort. Not just from Adam but from others too in the past I have had that feeling that they are just trying to hard, simply because I am housebound, somehow I get a feeling of guilt from them, simply because they can’t take me somewhere. That a trip to the theatre or out for a meal, that they may have offered when I was fit and well, had somehow become a subject of guilt, their guilt. We all know friends disappear once we are ill, I am sure most disappear out of guilt more than anything else, a guilt that they can still go out and about, that they don’t know what to talk about as well all they do is so much more than what anyone once housebound could possibly do. What they forget is we are still the same person, and even if that phone call lasts just 2 minutes, it’s a moment that means something more than they might every think.
Everyone’s days are made of moments, ones that make you laugh, cry, feel proud or embarrassed, there is texture and change through out your day, from home to work to out for dinner. I can’t talk for all of us who are movement challenged, but I am almost certain that none of us want anyone to feel any guilt, or to spend money on gifts to ease that feeling. It just takes a moment and nothing more, get it right and it will form a memory which is the greatest gift of all.