A lovely day but ...........

 A very lovely day today.  This morning saw us out to the garden centre where we didn't find what we were looking for but we did have a coffee, saw some sights and Ash made me laugh out loud several times.  This afternoon he asked me to go with him on his dog walk then, when we were out, talked to me and held my hand and I realised that in the three and a half years since his diagnosis that's the first time he's done those things and certainly not all three at the same time.

A complete change of attitude for him then and a lightening of life all round so why the 'but' I hear you say.  The 'but' is of course because it's too late and it's not enough.  Dementia takes away so much and we go along with it; we make the most of what we have and, usually, our lives diminish so slowly that we don't even notice.  There's no one big moment when everything changes, just small steps to a life very far away from the one we envisioned and because those steps are so small we get used to everything and rarely see what's gone.  Now however there's been a slight reverse and it's caught me up in memories.

I'm happy we're at this point of course, how could I not be?  This is the first time in years and years that the eggshells under my feet feel less fragile.  On the walk this afternoon I had a sudden image in my head of a similar outing during the first lockdown last year.  We'd taken almost the same route but Ash was frightened and anxious and he shouted at me almost the whole way round so I revelled in the friendship and the humour of today's outing and thought myself lucky to have this new Ash by my side but I've been spoilt and this pale imitation of the man he used to be still isn't enough.

I also know that this can't last.  I'm hopeful that the good humoured acceptance will stay but even that's not a given hence the eggshells being less fragile as opposed to having gone altogether; I'm hopeful that the new found confidence will remain and it would be lovely if he kept the sense of humour because all of that will help both of us cope with what's to come but I'm under no illusion that we'll stay even at this level.  The question really isn't 'will it last?' but more 'what's next?'.

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