My brightest star

You may recall an earlier posting here about my very own star. MAnjula was without doubt a shooting star who exploded, touched all of our lives with an intensity that left slivers of influence for all of us with lasting effect and with one assertive example.

 It’s the early hours of the morning I’m often woken by a thud at my bedroom door. It may four or five heaves before she breaks through to sleep by my side on the Tibetan rug.

In the morning as I prepare breakfast she stand motionless staring through the kitchen door, waiting.

Later in the day I’m sitting in the balcony chair or lying on the Divan, reading a book and as soon as my eyes begin to droop: she talks loudly, a friendly attention seeking growl. This is since Manjula slipped through my clumsy fingers. It feels as if one of those slivers of the shooting star, the thoughtful caring spirit is now resting within Lucie. There is no doubt Lucie has taken a more assertive role and Manjula’s presence is felt , I have a new boss.

 

MAnjula is with me in so many ways and nothing dampens her spirit, then or now.

Unbelievable

This message popped up
Simon and I were part of the team that created an event called Prince’s Seeing is Believing for business representatives from the U.K.
My response
India can be astonishing in so many ways. At precisely the time I’m writing about the first visit of the Seeing is Believing event in Mumbai, to a crèche on a construction site, I get the message from Simon.

We were working for Business in the Community and organising a Prince’s Seeing is Believing event (named after the Prince of Wales) to help leaders realise how their business could be more responsible. In 2006 it included this event, a conference on sustainability organised with the Bombay Chamber at the Taj and a week of workshops for smaller businesses.

We also had a wonderful time falling in love with India and it’s people.

Floaters

The type that we elders 😉 have in our eyes.

I’ve had a squashed fly looking floater a few years ago. The ophthalmologist in the U.K. said it would be no problem but to have my eyes checked if more appeared. One did in my left eye yesterday. It’s like a squashed mosquito. It makes it difficult to hit flying things with our electric tennis racquet.

Called the hospital, arranged an appointment for next morning (cost 260Rs) when they spotted a hole in the retina, followed by a second consultation (300 Rs) and then laser (1500Rs) to put a finger in the dam (seal the hole). Total price 2060 or around £20. All done and dusted by one o’clock.

Now before you Firangis swoon over the speed and price. In a commercialised service, as we have here, (think USA) you’re not quite sure if you’re getting what you actually need. I am however impressed with this hospital’s treatment of me and the Manj. I’m not casting aspersions but you never really know.

and the price may seem cheap but when some only earn 200 rs for a days work, it’s a lot to pay. Their access to service is severely restricted.

As someone born and bred in a country with the National Health Service, which has its faults— especially as the incompetents (politicians) are actually trying to destroy it — it still gets my support.

Faced it

I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t been avoiding it.

I’ve travelled through the most difficult period in my life. I’ve faced it, even embraced it, it’s still with me and always will, grief has become my unwelcome friend.

Psychology Today has something to say on this.

As I follow Manjula’s teeny tiny steps, remember our happy and yet challenging life together, as peeping through the cloudy sadness I learn more and love more about her, realise how lucky I was and continue to celebrate my beautiful, wonderful, kind wife.

I’m sharing always, and I continue to write our story but it will be some time yet before it’s finished. At times, it feels like I’m showing my devotion by building the Taj Mahal in matchsticks. So hang on a little longer. 🙃

In the meantime, there’s early postings about our life together, here on our site for you.

Check the contents page.

Hug them closer.

I wish I’d discovered this earlier, when Manjula was with me in person. 

I realise with Manjula and others I love, that there are often times when I’m — ‘not quite there.’ I have a tendency to distance, to go numb when stressed, withdraw and move to the edge.

On reflection, I think this might be one of my most significant failings. OK OK, queue here to add to the list….. (of significant failings) 😉

Presence Stephen, be there …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Maria Popova’s Brain pickings which arrived in my mail box today, relates to this, and has introduced me to Thich Nhat Hanh.

I love this quote and there is more here, if you’re interested….

Some of my friends have been kind enough to share that when I lost Manjula they felt for me and hugged their own loved one closer and tighter.

It’s great that friends gain insights from our loss, which heightens their appreciation of their loved ones now.

….

I”m not sure we can maximise every single day and live it as if its your last (how exhausting) but Thich Nhat Hanh points out that we should strive to be there, to be present and connected to our loved one(s).

I realise, I did what I could in the circumstances but it’s always possible to do more and better. 

The intensity of loss highlights how important your love always is and will be, it shows how invaluable is the support you can give each other especially in challenging times. 

Manjula continues to give and she was always there and present, remarkably so, more than anyone I’ve known. More in our story, you’ll just have to wait.

I realise now that then you’re shocked by untimely death your love doesn’t perish, it grows in intensity and in a way, absence doesn’t diminish presence.

Her presence is of course beyond all the pics I’ve got around me of Manjula at home or that I occasionally ride through the city 😉 .

Really?

Could this get anymore awkward?

I blame myself. Nurse Farrell is trying to rehydrate Lucie. It’s a drip set up for water under her skin that will then spread into her body.

So it’s relatively straightforward and not intravenous. It’s twice a day and there’s lots of water.

Between us though we manage to add complexity.

Last night, after a major spillage of half the water it was relatively easy-going.

Next day, not so good.

First thing today Lucie decides to do a big shake as if she’d just stepped out of a river, presumably because the bad bad nurse dropped a smidgeon of water on her fur. So needle came out and I had to replace it and jab her again.

Next she was standing rigid, clearly uncomfortable, I got her to sit down. The early puppy training of SIT! being useless so it entailed manhandling. Eventually I get her to lie down without knocking the needle out but on my feet.

I’m now stuck here watching the interminable drops expecting it to last an age.

I have time to catch up with my writing. 🙂✍🏽🚴🏽🗄🧷🖌☮️🚭🔔 and realise there’s soooo many emojis.

But I’ve still not had my breakfast!

Do we really need to do this twice everyday? It’s taking hours. I’ll plan better with my paraphernalia around me…..

This was how the professional did it yesterday. Doc Bhagya.

So who’s the drip?

Update

The merciless drip drip dripping took three hours and we’ve now created a camel, perhaps more accurately a dromedary.

Evening drippping completed in 40 mins morning torture must have been something else problem. Only issue this eve was jittery ness from fireworks.

Farrell Factoid: Lucy has had both liver and kidney issues this year, primarily shown through, vomiting and ‘loose’ motions. She seems quite good in herself and most recent blood test suggests kidney situation has stabilised. This all might be due to age or Tick fever earlier this year.