So much time wasted
Three weeks on from the birthday lunch and still no anger or frustration on show. After the events of the past few years that's nothing short of a miracle and has changed both of our lives for the better.
Because I don't feel as though I'm treading on eggshells the whole time we can chat, in fact we almost have proper conversations. Because we chat we have a connection and because we have that connection we're learning to laugh together again.
Laughter was such a huge part of our lives that to be without it for so long has been very hard and now it's back I appreciate it even more. In fact I think we both appreciate it and realise how much we've missed it.
Someone said to me a while ago that one of the differences between young onset dementia and old age dementia is the level of anger and frustration the person with the diagnosis feels and that's certainly been the case with Ash. The sad thing is that his reaction to it all has meant he's spent so much time battling the dementia and being angry with the world that he's missed out on doing the things he used to enjoy.
Now however, things are different. He smiles all the time, he laughs when he makes mistakes or forgets something, he makes jokes, he holds my hand when we're out and you cannot begin to imagine how much happier we both are.
Today we gardened together again. For the past four summers I daren't even mention gardening because if I suggested Ash might like to ................. (insert any task) I would get my head bitten off. As a result I put my headphones on and listened to an audio book or podcast, lost in my own little world, while he sat in stony silence refusing to even look my way. In contrast, today he mowed the lawn, trimmed the edges of the newly mown lawn and dug a flower bed. In between times we sunbathed a little on the patio and laughed every time the builders on the other side of the hedge started up some power tool or other disturbing, as they did, the peace and quiet of our relaxing afternoon.
I will just say that life still isn't perfect. I'm not good when Ash wakes me up before 6am and I struggle when I have things to do only he needs entertaining because he has no idea what to do with himself but we get through those things and I console myself with the thought that life is rarely perfect for anyone.
This life, in fact, could be much, much worse and the last few years are evidence of that fact.