It was wonderful having my family with me for three whole weeks while we celebrated Roy’s life.
And it is impossible not to smile and laugh when the young are around.
I’m getting used to being on my own, and have started to pick up the threads again.
THIS BOOK is dedicated to Roy, who refused to use a kindle. He was a slow reader. He could take months to get through a normal sized book. At the beginning of 2017, he spent five weeks in hospital. I reminded him of my book, which had just come out in paperback form.
It was short, I told him, but it wasn’t an easy read. With some trepidation, I left it on his bedside table.
Ever since his first operation for cancer twenty-five years ago, Roy’s health steadily and inexorably deteriorated; until a particularly obstinate attack of adhesions – relating to that original operation – finally released him from suffering the day after our Golden Wedding Anniversary.
The past years have not been easy on me, either, as his wife and carer. Although the story is not our story, a great deal of emotion and angst went into the telling of it.
How would he react?
When I went to see him the following day, the book-mark had advanced a few chapters.
“I’m enjoying your book,” he said.
Roy was obviously engrossed, and for the first time ever, he seemed proud of my literary endeavours – even to pointing out to the nurses that his wife was an author. The book lay prominently on the table by his hospital bed. And then, several days later, he greeted me with the warmest kiss he had given me for a long time.
“I’ve finished your book,” he said.
He never was a good communicator.
A feeling of relief washed through me.
His fond greetings and farewells lasted until he was well enough to be discharged into the frantic world of a full home-from-hospital care package.
Others have reacted warmly to the book:
“…one of those rare gems that addresses real life emotions and hits compromise head on.”
“A brave and unique book, dealing with the subject of love, attraction and religious beliefs in more mature people.”
It affected one Amazon reviewer so much, he nearly couldn’t finish it: “I found this read very difficult at times as it reminded me of the toll illness extracted in my own family. But we have to face these things and deal with them…”
But then, he also said: “Take four men and one loving but unloved woman. Light the blue touch paper and stand – as close as it suits you, depending on whether you prefer a dash of passion or the quiet life.”
I’m still not sure I’ve got the blurb exactly right.
A raw story of hope and love, which addresses real life emotions and hits compromise head on. “Do I do the right thing, or do I live while I still can?” Ann is faced with a dilemma as she grapples with her sense of duty towards her ailing husband, Robert. She finds consolation in nature while walking in the hills of Sussex, but wrestles with her conscience when she enjoys the attentions of a stranger, Duncan. Peace of mind eludes her, until she returns full circle and discovers an age-old truth.
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This is a lovely post, Jane. —- Suzanne
Thank you Suzanne. One is always hesitant about revealing very personal feelings, and it’s good to hear that people appreciate it.
Dear Jane, I was sad to hear of Roy’s passing, and very sad we lost touch. It was so many years since we worked together in Shell BP House. He was a favourite colleague of mine, always cheerful and up for a chat, and I have very fond memories of him. I will get round to your books one of these days. Like Roy, I don’t often pick up a book, as I spend my days reading engrossed in technical documents. Kind regards, Sean