firstly thanks to Jude for posting for me - then thanks to any and all who enquired about my whereabouts!
Actually, it was a case of 'take a break or suffer the consequences', so I spent a couple of weeks in Italy with Nina. British Airways helped by their special offer of £69 for a return flight. I don't usually give them much credit [especially since they took out emergency exits on the transatlantic route, to cram in more seats] but these flights were absolutely on time and service was great.
I went abroad because I needed some uninterrupted quality time with Nina, and if I were in this country, I'd still drive however far I needed to make my daily visits to Jan's care home. Nina basically saved my life last year by giving me something to look forward to, in a world that had become very, very bleak.
When abroad, I have to forego making care home visits, and it is probably better for my health that way. Friends and Nina's daughter and family visited Jan and sent me texts telling me how things were, and the home had my mobile number as well so they could call me in the event of an emergency.
The break certainly did me a lot of good [ photo attached, showing my spooky choice of shirt in a sale in Farnham just before going - I blended in with the umbrellas on the beach at Spotorno!]
On my return, Jan greeted me as if I had been in the day before, so I am clearly not indispensible. One of the things about being a carer is that one feels that no-one else can do the job, and that if one is not around, all hell will break loose. Well, it often is not the case. As many have said, carers need a life as well.
Today was our 36th wedding anniversary and I rolled up at the home at 11am with flowers [freesias as Jan can't see and I wanted something with scent] and a card. Unfortunately, she had been up late last night and they were letting her sleep in, so I drove 25 miles back home and returned this afternoon, this time with some of her favourite Thornton's chocolates.
I like to think she understood me when I wished her happy anniversary. She certainly liked the chocolates, saying "oh YES!" in the best "When Harry met Sally" way, as she took a first bite of a champagne truffle.
While it is good to have a break, it is all a bit overwhelming to return from a 'normal' world to one's own normality. I'm buried in things at present so will be a bit sporadic on TP for a while yet.
I LOVE the shirt. You look rather like a extremely happy wasp on holiday in a exotic fruit plantation.
Glad to know that the holiday was such a success and so relaxing for you. Feeling 'indispensible' is a two edged sword really. Sometimes we all think that WE are the only ones who can look after our loved ones properly. I always feel that way with my parents, although I've learned that the carers can and do an extremely good job without me.