I sat and watched Linda doing exactly what she does best...organising. No wonder the Alzheimers Society want her. There is no compare in the world to her when something needs doing like that. Being that most model of husbands and with an inbuilt survival instinct for a sound skin; I always let her get on with it. Not that I am not organised myself. Not also that I can't do it either. Its just that my level and standard is nowhere near her's; pretty low in fact. Beside's; this is Linda's comfort zone and she loves it.
From job interview to start date for the new job we have been given five weeks. I had every intention of folding like a pack of cards but Linda had no intention of doing that. In fact...over the last five weeks she has come into her own. It has been a unique experience for me watching the "Linda Machine" in motion. Like a juggernaut she rolls inexorably on...and gets things done.
In a matter of days we were down in Cornwall for a long weekend. I clung to her hand as she hurtled through the fastest three days of my life. I don't think I drew a breath until monday evening. Linda networked, she e-mailed, she rang up, she visited, she cajoled, she badgered, and she planned. I made her cups of tea and kept my head down.
Incredibly, she turned every single hour to good use and we left Cornwall on Monday evening the proud tenants of one of the loveliest cottages you could ever find, in one of the loveliest villages you could ever find, in one of the loveliest counties you could ever find.
In no time at all, Linda had managed to get a job, a home, and a fresh purpose to her life. She was reborn.
That she would miss her family and friends was understood by us both. That she was strong enough to take that sorrow and gain a positive strength from it was also understood by us both. That I would be the only person she would take this leap of faith with, and that because she loves me as much as I do her, was also understood, but this time by everyone.
I too have got a new home that is a delight to me; I have prospects of a job with Royal Mail; and without a doubt, I will have a fresh purpose in my life with my writing. Most important of all is that we will be together. Linda has been my rock and my support with my writing. In fact...it was her who first recognised some small talent and encouraged me to enrole in classes and improve myself. That I had the courage of her convictions has given me the chance to write. I am elated and feel on top of the world. I have been given a chance long denied and I intend grasping it with both hands. She has been one of my three greatest gifts.
And yet...surprisingly its been me who has struggled. Unlike Linda I do love the job I am leaving behind and I do love the work. That I shall miss my family, just like Linda, is as sure as the sun rising and setting every day. That I shall miss my two girls is beyond contestation. I love them deeply and have spent my whole life wanting to move and take them with me. They have, and always will be, the other two greatest gift's I could ever have. Now the chance has finally materialised, and alas, they are flown the nest, settled with their own partners, and living lives of their own. But at least family can come and stay and we can come and visit them.
There are also people I have been friends with outside of work. My friends I have known for ever, and the friends I have made through my writing. Irreplaceable people, they have helped shape me, enriched my life in a multitude of ways, laughed with me, and cried with me. They are as much the fabric of my life as the air that I breathe. I know this is the same for Linda and we understand each other up to that point.
What has caught me by surprise is just how very much I shall miss my work at Royal Mail, the friends I have made there, and my customers that I serve.