In New York

In New York

Friday, 8 April 2011

The kindness of strangers - and two tidy Bridies...

I have spent the last few days in Dublin, visiting my mother. Two of Roch's brothers came to stay with them here while I was away. Often when I've been away my return is met with - let's say - a bit of housework to be faced. This time was different and some words of Mary Maher came to mind - the 'tidy Bridies' had been at work. Thanks guys and thanks to Eoin for all the jobs done around the house and garden. You can come anytime mate - I'll have a list waiting...! All went well in my absence and I think Roch really enjoyed himself. They noticed that he's slower and that he gets tired more easily, but I think they were pleased that he seems in good form. He does seem in good form. I don't know how he manages it. I think he may be keeping the monkey at bay with sheer will power and bloody mindedness! It's funny but when I'm away I find I can't fully relax. I'm really not at ease unless I'm here. Maybe it's just me being a control freak but I'd like to think I just miss them a lot. We went to the AGM of the local MND Association branch a couple of weeks ago. I always have to brace myself to face these meetings, but usually when I get there I'm ok. So far I've found them a bit of an ordeal, some less than others. This one was the usual AGM kind of stuff, followed by an interesting presentation on the medical research side of things. I find the meetings more helpful and easier to negotiate when there's a focus of some sort. Some familiar faces were present and some new ones. After the presentation I introduced myself to one couple I hadn't seen before. I know what it feels like when no face is familiar. He looked like he was at a very similar stage to Roch and he talked to me about his diagnosis and his experiences so far. His wife's first language was not English and I was conscious of the fact that she wasn't taking part in the conversation, although she was listening. So I turned to her and asked her how she was feeling. "Sad," she said, without hesitation. "Me too." I replied. We looked at each other. We didn't need to say anything else. Later, as we were leaving and our husbands were exchanging comments on their respective rollators, (each clearly hating the things, but having to make the best of it) she and I hugged each other. "Good luck." I said. "You too," she replied. I left feeling supported and understood, having exchanged seven words with a stranger. It was my best meeting yet.

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