Our son climbed Mount Elbrus this week. The highest mountain in Europe, one of the seven summits. Now, while this in itself is remarkable for anyone to achieve, it was something else for Philipp. Not only had he lost his dad just three months ago, he is also very ill. He doesn't talk about it much, it's not an illness one likes to talk about. Is isn't a visible illness either, so if you'd see him, you wouldn't notice. He's a bit pale, a bit too skinny, maybe. He wouldn't tell you that he is ALWAYS tired, that he's running to the loo ten times a day, every single day. He wouldn't tell you that he is in pain. He wouldn't tell you that he was hardly able to leave his room for two years, that he had spent his teenage years pumped full with high doses of steroids and tons of other meds.
I talk to my children about their Dad very regularly. Tell them funny stories about my life with him or stuff he told me about his younger days. I’m trying to fill in the gaps. I edit out the bad stuff because that was between him and me as I’m trying to keep a positive set of memories alive in their heads. They have lost a male role model. Someone who was there to teach them to drive, teach them how to make pancakes, teach them how to survive life and all its difficulties. A father offers a very different relationship to his children than the mum does. Of course, we both loved our kids and raised them together but, each parent brings their own skill to the job of parenting.
I've been watching the 2016 Rio Olympic games from the start. I've loved watching many sports over the years but, to be pretty honest I've lost my mojo for getting into all things Olympic because of all the doping and corruption scandals. I began to watch last week with a huge dose of cynicism. Today I shed tears while watching the rowing finals. Ireland's O'Donovan Brothers have won a silver medal. It will be the first medal in Olympic rowing that Ireland has won. I felt very emotional and move
So. I'm off work on sick leave. Again I have found my inner self being in conflict with my work self. Stress and anxiety. How to cope? Small steps forward led me back to an activity that had been a joy to me throughout my life. I've rediscovered my love of reading. I joined the Galway City Library recently. For free. Hundreds of books from A to Z. I was going to substitute a novel instead of doing more therapy. I was taking a big chance but it's working.
So, we had a bird in the bathroom yesterday. The joys of living with two cats. I would have thought they had killed every bird, shrew, rat, mouse in the neighbourhood by now. Nope, Eliza managed to find another one. And brought it in the house. Because it is so much more fun to play inside. What was I thinking, leaving the backdoor open?? It’s like an invitation, right?
Hi Handsome, How have you been. You must be so fed up with me talking to you ALL the time, so I figured another letter might be nice for a change. I hope the postman in your universe is more reliable than ours. A birthday card for you arrived yesterday. It got delivered to the wrong house (together with some pretty vital stuff) and it took more than 3 month to get here. I’d make that a speed of less than one centimetre a day. That is slow. Even for Ireland.