Past, Present and Future

At this moment my past, present and future are all colliding like too many overweight people trying to get in a small car.

The present is in control. A broken fridge has made meals and drinks problematic and also made me ill (my fault for assuming a veggy burger would still be safe a day after it turned toxic – and warmer). The present also features a lot of trips to see my parents and journeys, with them, to hospitals. It seems there are two kinds of cancer. There’s one where surgeons pep you up with optimistic chats about procedures, survival rates and what you’ll do with your life once you’re free of the disease. There’s the other one though, where a nurse gives you leaflets and basically tells you not to expect too much from what is left of your life. One of my parents has experienced the first kind, the other is probably at home right now, not reading the leaflets.

The future is being projected by the present. Uncomfortable decisions. Money, paperwork, options for how to live and maybe where to live. A stair-lift, which was fitted yesterday, features in this future, but no one know for how long. I can’t help but have selfish thoughts about my future. My dad suffers from chronic arthritis in his knees and doctors recently found I have some low grade arthritis in mine. Maybe one day I’ll be making my way around the house by holding on to chair backs and mantelpieces. The difference a month can make is frightening.

The past is a whole other matter. My daughter’s memory of her granddad will probably be coloured by the experiences of the next few months and there isn’t much I can do about that. For once I’m hoping that my memories will be more governed by my happy childhood and the years when dad and I really got to know each other, rather than this, not always dignified, final stretch.


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