This is my family, well almost all of them!
We had a big family gathering last weekend, to celebrate my parents 60th Wedding Anniversary. Almost all of my immediate family were there and it’s not very often that we are all able to get together, so this made the day even more special. The photo above is my parents, their children, grandchildren, great grandson and spouses (I am the one sitting down with large pink flowers on my top).
None of my family live locally to me; my parents and siblings all live in North East Hampshire, 100 miles away from where I live, which is a two hour drive. Before I was ill this wasn’t too much a problem, I could drive and had my own car, popping down to visit for a day, weekend or more was easy.
However, now the distance might as well be 1000 miles, especially since my partner left! I can no longer go and visit whenever I want; I am reliant on other people to put themselves out in a big way. This is very hard for me to deal with! This year I have already been unable to see my Mum on her 80th birthday or on Mother’s Day and it was my first Easter not staying at my parent’s house. Of course they do understand, but time with my parents is precious, they are both in their 80s and although currently they are both in good health, I know they won’t always be there.
I last saw my parents at Christmas, thanks to my wonderful sister, who took time off work to make the 200 mile round trip twice, to collect me and to bring me home again. At that time I was, quite frankly, a mess. I was still shell shocked from my partner leaving me and at that point I had no idea where I was going to be living. Now, five months on, I am thankfully doing much better.
This time my fabulous friend, I shall call her ‘A’ (because as a friend she deserves an ‘A’ every time) drove me down to Hampshire. She did it once last year, so had already met most of my family, and my parents were delighted to invite her to join their celebration. ‘A’ is not used to driving such a long distance, so this makes me even more grateful to her for doing it for me. We travelled down on Saturday and back again on Monday, this enabled her to relax and enjoy the celebrations on Sunday.
To be away for two nights, have constant company when I’m used to the majority of the time on my own and socialise in a room of about 60 people is a double edged sword for me. It was wonderful to see my family and to be be looked after for a couple of days, but managing my energy was always going to be hard and I knew there would be “payback” (this I will try to explain in a future post) afterwards.
But, for me, the payback is worth it. I consider myself very lucky to be able to take part in social occasions such as this, even if it does knock me sideways afterwards and takes me several days to recover from; many other people with ME/CFS are not so lucky!