The past two weeks have reminded me how important it is to spend time with those we love.
First, spending time with an elderly relative and another who is their carer rekindled the delight of leisurely conversation, shared memories and simple pleasures.
On my return, our oldest dog was taken ill with vestibular syndrome: flickering eyes, loss of balance and nausea. We thought we were going to lose him, but now he is stable and slowly recovering. It’s reminded us of how we cared for him when he was a puppy 13 years ago. We’ve had to carry him up and down stairs as he falls over. I’ve had to escort him round the garden on his lead to support him. And we’ve been having lots of cuddles. He has been very loving, which has been wonderful as we were worried that he would be frightened. Even though he cannot do some of the things he wants to, his tail is wagging happily.
While age and illness are often viewed as a curse, they do give us the opportunity to get closer to loved ones, to give them the time they deserve and to help them however we can.
This has rather disrupted my plans and left us exhausted, but we don’t regret it. I don’t want time to race away and see my relatives and dogs age and become infirm, but it is inevitable for us all. I feel the time with them has been spent more usefully than some other activities I get involved in, especially meetings, which can drive me crazy.
It is making me evaluate how I want to use my time.