Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A Turning Point.

It was coming up to Christmas last year - the first since I lost MTL - when I got a phone call from Jack.  I had known him since I was in the lower thirds at Grammar School and he was a dazzling fourth former - good at school work and ace at sport.  We both left at the same time - he to become a medical student and me to train as a nurse.  We kept in touch for a while - I had had a slight crush on him,  and then our paths diverged - he stayed in the north and became a doctor and I - after becoming stated registered - went south and started a modelling career.

Decades later I married MTL and went north again.  Visiting my mother I noticed in the local paper that one of the teachers I had known was mentioned and - on a whim - went to visit her.  She was full of enthusiasm for the School Reunions and mentioned Jack as being one of the stalwarts who always turned up.    She persuaded us to go to the next Reunion and there was Jack - much the same- and we became friends with him and his wife Jenny; we would see them when we visited our cottage in Yorkshire and they would come to see us when they came to the south west.

Our correspondence had dwindled because although Jack was an inveterate letter writer I was converted to emails and that was off Jack's radar so as age inhibited travel we kept in touch with the odd phone call - usually on a Sunday afternoon.

" Jenny and I were talking about you the other day and we thought - poor Pat - all alone in that big house."

After a bit more chat I put the phone down, made a cup of tea and had a think.  Those words reverberated in my head.  I was an object of pity;  I didn't feel sorry for myself - on the contrary I felt I have been blessed - so why should anyone else feel sorry for me ?  And these were nice decent people.  Have I been giving off pathetic vibes?

Sod that for a lark!

Something had to change; either I could spend the rest of my life spiritually crippled or I could take charge of what's left of my life and live it to the full, as if MTL were still by my side.  The first thing I did was book to go on a cruise - alone - to see the mountains and fjords of Norway.

On the first night I still remember the slight panic as I made my way to the restaurant I had chosen

" I was shown to a table where a gentleman was already sitting.  I knew he was a gentleman because he rose as I approached.  This was Dylan – he was Welsh and for the rest of the cruise we were dinner companions.  Dylan had asked to be on a large table but when I turned up decided to make the best of it.  Fortunately we had a similar sense of humour."

Dylan has become a firm friend - what we used to call a platonic friend.  Fortunately he is computer friendly so we can both exchange our daily minutia without boring the pants off each other.  Recently he came to spend a few days in a nearby hotel where he used to stay with his late wife and the weather was kind.  One day we joined our friendship group in Porlock Weir and it went well.
Of course it is difficult for people to understand when they haven't met the person involved.

DIL"We don't know anything about this Dylan -  you should phone your mother and make sure she is OK."
Son "  I did - there's no answer."
DIL"  She could be lying in a pool of blood!"

For a while Dylan signed himself the Axe man.

I'm grateful to Jack for prodding me to the turning point and in December - over Christmas - I am cruising in the Canaries - on the same ship as my friend Dylan and his 15 yr old Canadian grandson.

It goes without saying that my heart belongs to MTL.  Always.

33 comments:

rosneath said...

A brave lady who charms all she meets ... that's what I think of you PI!

I don't think you give off 'sympathy needed' signs, I think that people put their own interpretation on others' situations. So either Jack or Jenny finding themselves alone in a big house would feel miserable or daunted, but not you!

Big kudos to you!

xx

Ms Scarlet said...

*claps hands like a demented seal*
Wish I was going on the cruise with you... as per the last cruise you went on.
Sx

sablonneuse said...

As you never give off "feeling sorry" vibes in your blog I'd be surprised if you do it in real life but, all the same, if Jack's message helped you decide to take a cruise at Christmas so much the better.
Dylan sounds like a good friend and it's great to know that you won't go sway wondering if you'll have anyone interesting to talk to on the ship.

savannah said...

You, dearest Pat, are wonderful and not at all pathetic or needy. I agree with rosneath, people project, especially when they haven't a clue about a situation/status! Enjoy your life, and continue to take us all along on your journeys! xoxoxox

The Cloudcutter said...

Like I've always said Pat, you are a treasure! I haven't come across anyone else as inspiring, genteel and beautiful as you on the Internet or in "real" life for that matter. Wish you all the happiness always. I'm sure your MTL is proudly smiling down upon his favourite lass :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

You're my kinda gal, Pat. Pain is inevitable, but you don't choose to suffer. You choose to heal, to live, to not be afraid. Yay you!

You're right too, if Jack and Jenny hadn't made that comment...

johng1962 said...

That brought a tear to my eye!! xxx

kenju said...

You GO girl!! How proud of you I am. This is wonderful. Genial companionship is a great thing and I am so glad you have found some!!

Pat said...

Rosneath: thank you. That makes me feel much better:)

Scarlet: make it a New Year's resolution?

Sablonneuse: exactly! You've hit the nail on the head:)

Savannah: You are kind:) I can be pathetic but usually recognise it and stamp on it PDQ. It's nice to know that there is this lovely backing of caring friends.xoxox

Gia: now - like John below - this brought a tear to my eye.

GG: yes I recognise a kindred spirit:)

John: big hugs to you.

Pat said...

Judy: thank you. 'Genial companionship'. That is a great way to describe it:)

maurcheen said...

Another cruise? Do you know how jealous I am? Annette doesn't do boats so you will just have to take me along as a bag carrier or bodyguard or some such.
You are an inspiration to me Pat, as you are to many others I am sure. :-)

Xxx

Pat said...

Maurcheen: MTL and I spurned cruises for years and then when we realised the benefits he felt he wasn't up to masses of walking etc. In fact there are many, many passengers with walking difficulties and they are well catered for.
Maybe Annette will come round eventually - as I did.

Pat said...

maurcheen: afterthought: we have to remember the Olsen group are ships and they are deeply hurt if we call them boats:) So difficult to remember.

maurcheen said...

I am mortified. Please relate my sincere apologies to the Olsen Group. ;)

Xxx

Kim Ayres said...

You have a love of life that is inspirational, Pat. My world is warmer for knowing you :)

Rog said...

Have fun Pat. And tell him I've got all his albums up to Desire

Pat said...

Maurcheen: never mind - we'll be mortified together:)

Kim: oh good! I thought you'd gone off me:)

Rog: promise you won't tell anybody but that is a pseudonym.

Pat said...

Maurcheen: never mind - we'll be mortified together:)

Kim: oh good! I thought you'd gone off me:)

Rog: promise you won't tell anybody but that is a pseudonym.

Granny Annie said...

Good for you my friend. I envy you a masculine companion. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the company of men and at my recent 50th high school reunion I was very comfortable around the men. Before Ron came into my life I had lost all trust of men and he brought that back to me and made me realize there are still good guys in the world. I enjoy knowing that.

Exile on Pain Street said...

What a great story! This is the nicest thing I've read all week. Good on you, Pat. Enjoy yourself as, I'm sure, he would have wanted to you to. Bon voyage. Christmas on the high seas. What's better than that?

Pat said...

Granny Annie: yes there is a subtle difference between friendship with a woman and the same with a man. I do appreciate it.

Exile: so glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed writing it. Yes it's good to have Christmas sorted.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I feel exactly the same as "CLOUDCUTTER"...you are a rare and very special person, dear Pat, and I am so happy you have found a good friend and continue to burst into life with ssuch enthusiasm....your dear MTL would be so proud of his girl!

Pat said...

Naomi: thank you Naomi. That makes me feel very happy - even if I don't deserve it:)

Mage said...

Bravo to you. After my father, grandfather, and grandmother all died in a short period, mother sold the big house and went cruising. :) I have some stunning pictures of her as Mrs. Gotrocks shaking the captains hand, and other's of her in golf attire carrying her own clubs. Lovely stuff,.

Pat said...

Mage: quit a gel your Mum - like her daughter:)

rashbre said...

Go, Pat, Go!

Pat said...

Rashbre: I'm doing my best:)

Kim Ayres said...

How could you possibly think that when we play scrabble every day? :)

Pat said...

Kim: well I am a teensy bit paranoid.

giveitanothergo said...

I love that your DIL is looking out for you.

Pat said...

Helen: yea I am very lucky with my family:)

Vagabonde said...

You had a great response to your friends who felt sorry for you – sorry certainly was not the right word for you. A cruise is a perfect answer. When the doctor told me that my husband had Alzheimer, that was also my response – we went on a cruise to Hawaii. Since then we have been on a cruise to the Black Sea, another couple to the Caribbean, another one last May to the Balkan. Cruises are always a good answer.

Pat said...

Vagabonde: I'm so glad you have discovered the joys of cruising and hope you and your husband will have more.