Splendid Isolation

I have always enjoyed my own company, I am pretty self reliant at entertaining myself but I am rarely on my own these days. When he is not at daycare, Joshua is my shadow. But choosing some time alone is quite different to living alone permanently and that, after a while, would get lonely I am sure. When my father died, Mum lived alone for 5 years before she too passed away and after so many years as his carer, she was given a new lease of life; she got heavily involved in church activities and she had an active group of friends who would go to the cinema, theatre and eat out regularly. In the last years of her life, Mum’s social life was busier than ever. But that is not everyone’s experience of being a widow. Even with all of her social scene, and how busy she kept herself in the garden, she would still say that the afternoons dragged and got lonely without Dad around.

Joshua’s Nanna has come to stay with us for a few days, not having made it over here since pre-covid times. It is her birthday today and we did not want her to be alone on that milestone in particular, so my husband drove over the night before and drove her back, with her dog and mobility scooter. I cooked us an evening meal for when she arrived and all of our dogs were introduced to Cassie, her dog as they ran around together outside. Today we are going out for a birthday lunch and tomorrow her youngest daughter and family are coming over to visit too. As a widow, she lives alone too, but she will be bombarded with family this weekend.

Before she goes home next week, she will accompany us to Daycare’s Jubilee Celebration, which will be a good opportunity to see where her grandson goes for daycare and to meet the staff and other learners. I cannot wait and have buns and biscuits to make for the event. When she gets home, she has a birthday Barbecue to look forward to with her eldest daughter and her grown up ‘children’. Her granddaughter shares her birthday today, so they will have a joint celebration there too with Pimms and more cake . So this birthday will be well celebrated and she will be surrounded by all of her family for the next few days.

Nanna is not as mobile as she was so she uses a mobility scooter when out and about and has been finding a walking stick helpful, but with these mobility aids she is able to get around well and access most of what she wants to do. We will take the scooter with us when we go for lunch so she will be able to look around the shops afterwards. Even at home, she is able to take her dog for walks and do her own shopping using the scooter so she can maintain her independence, which is important.

Hopefully when normal life resumes after these festivities, she will be sustained by the memories and photographs of the long weekend and that she will not feel too sad or lonely afterwards. It will be a busy break in her routine, so hopefully she will be ready for a rest and some quiet time with just her and her dog next week.

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