As my father’s body failed – his mind remained. As his cancer grew – his mind succumbed to depression. It was a time in our lives of three short months. Beautiful days and moments – grounded always in reality.
Towards the end dad couldn’t go up or down stairs – the park outside out of reach – so too fresh air to breathe – and the sun on his back.
A stair-lift was arranged-installed … a big-metal-electronic-fixture. It was dad’s freedom – his stairway to the fresh air and sun on his back!
From dad’s wheelchair those stairs must have looked very scary.
He never used it and died soon after. It was sold back to the company at a fraction. I always thought it an unfortunate waste.
But something happened recently that changed my mind.
This current lockdown.
And my shielding for 12 weeks.
Which is “Lockdown-With-Attitude”: separate bedrooms and bathrooms – separate everything.
Mrs Paul and I haven’t touched for 8 weeks now.
Shielding for me – and lockdown (not like any other) for Mrs Paul.
But now lockdown is being unlocked. Every government testing every scientific measure … all seeking to validate easing lockdown … All wishing us to be putting-back instead of taking-out (taxes obviously).
So … as your joy rises at the thought of (new) normal again – my 12 weeks is now a probable 52 – 78 weeks (or more). Probably until a vaccine becomes readily available (or not).
So as your world returns –
Mine is pushed ever further away.
No fault or blame … no pity-party here … This isn’t about fair or unfair – this is about “is”.
But whether fair or unfair – depression whispers ever louder.
And I don’t want to succumb. Because depression is not a place of rational, calculated decisions – nor of joy, hope and love.
So as your normal virus-world soon takes up more and more of my safe-space – I need to be MORE aware and MORE alert (not less). I desire love and those I love – and who love me. But even in the past eight weeks …
Depression has already whispered.
So my response – now looking ahead?
Letting conditional out-of-the-box to fly.
Free of this (soon to be) shrinking-world-of-mine.
Free of both prison and depression.
The ideas flowed freely!
.From cheap “bodging” …
To expensive “bodging” …
(did you know the whole world is making barriers of Perspex and Plastic and PPE ?)
And did YOU know that odd-ball crafters and builders use Powered-Air-Purifying-Respirators”, PAPR (with filtering standards up to ICU requirements).
It filters everyday particles and hazardous stuff – makes clean air out of dirty. Because who wants plaster dust … MDF fibres … chemical vapour/spray … in their lungs …
.Just like I don’t want coronavirus in mine.
What if …
I wore that and a builder’s coverall-suit … What if Mrs Paul and I cleaned “surfaces” even more … Wouldn’t all THAT maintain a “portable shield” between me and this unlocking world?
A world in which I could then both interact AND remain shielded with my portable shield.
Loads out of stock! How many others are blue-sky thinking?
I found one in stock WITH superb-filtration
(and minimal “Darth-Vader look”)
Because standard PPE is not for socialising. It hides the face as much as possible to keep us safe inside.
But I WANT to socialise.
I want our children – especially our young grandchildren – to see my face … See a proper smile – full frown – real laugh – genuine tear … And this does.
And this (when the time is right) makes hugs and cuddles possible as well.
And that makes me “me”.
I am dressing up safe to be naked for those I love.
We ordered it.
HEALTH WARNING: we both know this is a calculated risk – with socialising “surfaces” become hot-spots even more – increased levels of awareness and cleaning more necessary – the possibility of infection risk increased beyond what it is now …
Staying sanitised is not living.
Not for another year or two.
Not when there’s an alternative.
And that’s how I learned that the “big metal-electronic-fixture” we bought for dad which was never used and sold back at a loss and was a waste …
It was hope and an act of love where living was dying inside.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
We are not the same dad and I. Not his circumstances then – nor mine now.
But love is
Love is his and my circumstance – his and my story too.
Love is universal, eternal and right now – for him and me and you.
For all of us.
If we allow.