The kindness of friends
I've mentioned lots and lots of times how amazing our friends have been both before and since Ash's diagnosis. They've been there for us in so many ways and I have absolutely no idea how we would have managed without them.
I hear from others about friends disappearing as soon as dementia is mentioned but that has been so far from our experience that I can't even begin to guess what it feels like.
We haven't lost a single friend since that dreadful day when our world came crashing down. Instead old friends we'd lost touch with have come back into our lives and new friends have appeared on the horizon, every one of them wanting to help.
There are so many examples of solidarity I could give you from invitations to meet up to phone calls to check we're ok, emails, messages, comments on the blog, following of the facebook page, so may ways that let me know we're not on our own and it makes all the difference.
So now a recent example. Last week building work started in the middle of the village and Ash announced his intention of taking photos to add to his collection of village events. Most of the workmen who come into the village are very accepting of him and his camera but my heart sank at the thought that these might be the exception as I worked out whether I should go over and mention that they might have a visit or two and also whether I should explain. I was still trying to work out what to do when a friend said he'd had a word with the workmen and done the explaining for me. Apparently they're more than happy for Ash to record the work for posterity and I'm so grateful that we have friends who realise how important it would be for him. Taking those photos makes him feel useful and does wonders for his self esteem.
And then there's the shed roof. I've been ignoring the water stains on the ceiling for quite a while but then I began to find patches of roofing felt on the lawn following high winds and decided I needed to do something. The builder who'd re-roofed the veranda wasn't available and the rain kept falling so something had to be done. I put out an SOS and a friend in the village said he'd do it. He came today and not only got started on the roof but also hung my beautiful new picture on my bedroom wall.
Those are two very recent examples of friendship but there are many, many more which may go unmentioned in this blog but are very much appreciated and never go unnoticed.