“We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped”. Psalm 124v7
Escape… it’s what this blog has been about. I started it at a point of deep frustration, trapped by circumstances with no possible exit. I was thrashing about emotionally, looking for ways to cope, ways to accept the boundaries that having a son with a brain tumour put on us. We had to ‘stay put’ in our too-large family home in order to be near him. A shadow lay over the future and planning seemed impossible. In addition my husband’s working hours left us little time together: I was lonely and at a loose end.
Having never had a career I’ve been trying to re-invent myself for the past few years, desperate to find a new lease of life like so many of my friends seem to have done since their kids become independent. But under the unusual circumstances, with our grown children still needing us emotionally and financially while we are all simultaneously grieving over all that has been lost and wading through the associated depression… well, it’s been difficult to find the energy and direction required. I guess many people have similar issues for various reasons of their own – it’s the stuff of life. We are all trapped by situations, emotions, financial constraints, responsibilities. Escaping down memory lane or into a beautiful garden, going away on holiday for a while or taking in a movie – all these things can help a bit, as I’ve discovered and blogged about at length.
The writing itself has been a wonderful therapeutic outlet – though I still don’t really understand the impetus to share one’s deepest feelings with an unknown audience via the internet! I have had a love/hate relationship with it, which I guess is why I’ve stopped blogging over the past months, since completing the crazy Haiti journey posts. Writer’s block so quickly takes hold – all that feeling stupid and “who cares anyway?” and “what’s the point?“
Shaving my head and going to Haiti… hmmm, that was a strange way of ‘escaping’ and no mistake! Perhaps the extreme circumstances of our lives actually led to it – a project to be involved in, an all-consuming venture that took my hair and heart: it certainly gave us something bigger to think about! Anyway, through the recovery and growth of my grey hair and into this new year another plan was forming, again born out of desperation and the longing to escape…
As a result here I am on a warm summer day, sitting outside the beautiful classical building of New Walk museum in the centre of Leicester, making use of their Costa coffee and Cloud Wifi, with a perfect view of the Georgian house opposite where we now live during the week. Ha – unbelievable as it seemed – we have escaped!
It’s only a rented flat paid for by having lodgers in our family home, but from here the breadwinner can easily walk to work and being right in the heart of the city we can enjoy it’s restaurants and entertainments in the evenings. What a gift! On top of that the flat is beautiful and we love it – a haven of peace most of the time and a place of rest.
Thinking outside the box, doing something crazy again – despite the risk, the cost, the extra work – has led to a new lease of life. 11 miles away, Sam remains well and we can see him at weekends – when I can also enjoy my garden without the noise of the nursery children next door. If he needs us or wants a change of scenery the train ride is very easy, 30 minutes door to door. There are still things to go home for – broadband, TV, a washing machine – home comforts and a longstanding community: the big old house of 13+ years is still our home for now. But meanwhile – this is my outside office extension ;-)
Here in the sunshine I have found some peace – and so at last I am drawn back to this page in an attempt to tie up the loose ends of the past 8 months of silence and make some sense of it all.
Look: I’m actually writing again!