2018 has been a year of significant change for this Sussex girl in the Midlands, and avid ‘rose tinted spectacle’ wearer. Looking back as I come to the end of the first week of 2019, I am amazed at the changes that have occurred, and am immensely proud of the way in which my family and I have adapted and adjusted to those changes.
Oh how true I find this quote to be. Sometimes we yearn for change when we are stuck in a difficult situation, especially when it goes on for a long time, and we can see no light at the end of the tunnel. For those of you who have been following my blog, you will know that I have been mum and carer to my son Simon for the last 32 years. As a single mum for 20 of those years I’m sure you can imagine that there were many times when change was needed, if only in the form of a break. I longed for the wind to blow in a different direction, but as my mum would often say to me, “keep plodding on Alison” so I would adjust my sails and continue to float, wondering if the wind would ever blow my way.
This time last year we were busy packing, buying and preparing for a change that I really never thought would happen. Simon had been given the opportunity to move into supported living accommodation. He would have his own flat, but there would be on site carers to help him with the daily tasks in life that he finds too challenging, and sometimes too unsafe to cope with alone. The day he was handed his key is a day that I will never forget, and a day that brought positive change for both of us. And although Simon will always keep us on our toes with his antics, I guess I could say that it’s a day when the wind definitely blew in a different direction.
This massive, unexpected change has taken some adjusting too. Over Christmas, Simon was sat chatting with me and said: “Mum, when I spent my first night in Parklands I felt like crying, I felt so alone”. My heart broke a little as I sat listening to him, but also gave a little jump of pride as I sat looking at my son, who with all his difficulties has stuck with his new situation, however hard he found it at first. He now has far more support not just from me but from his family as a whole, and our relationship is vastly improved.
Meanwhile, as we were working our way through the Simon Changes there was another rather lovely life change on its way. My first grandchild Arlo Frank was born on the 21st of July. A lovely healthy baby boy and thankfully safely delivered at home. Over the next few days Mum, Dad, and baby Arlo began to work their way through those first tentative days as a new little family. I have to say that I am so proud of those two newbie parents, and the amazing job they are doing of caring for my grandson and each other.
Well, what a year! I became an empty nester and a Nonna in the space of a few months. I’m sure those of you reading this who are already grandparents, will know what I mean when I say that the unexpected love I feel for that little boy is incredible.
Just over two years ago I had a bad fall downstairs which my body is still recovering from, but looking back on 2018, a year of major change, I am also proud of myself for what I have achieved during a time of personal difficulty. I have also learnt to look after myself, to pace myself and to have faith in the adage that ‘time is a great healer’.
We can I’m sure be proactive in making changes in our lives, but sometimes we have to be willing to sail through the storm however long or hard it may be. We have to learn to adjust our sails and take a day at a time, until one day the wind begins to gently blow our way……….when the ‘timing is right’.
Now here’s to a great 2019!!
Love Alison x