Clouds of Stone
There’s a picture in the hallway in the Royal Hospital we pass when we’re going out, and it’s called ‘Clouds of Stone’. It’s a lovely picture, sad, heavy, hopeful.
I’ve learned that finding a Fox’s Glacier Mint in a jacket pocket can feel like a knife in the heart; realise that I can cope some of the time but not always; I’ve seen that love is enduring no matter what the situation.
I know now that time will not heal everything: the pain will always be this sharp – as bad as the first day – when it comes.
You’ll be glad, my darling Bob, that instead of letting my heart rule my head as I have always and ever done, more frequently these days my head is giving the orders. It’s likely one of the biggest changes in my personality, brought on by the tragedy of your injury.
You and I are both quite assertive people: mine maybe a more timid version but I have ‘learned at the feet of the master’, my darling Bob; you could cut a person in two with a few words. If they persisted, you would straighten slightly and pause – as if pleased that they had risen to the challenge and, while never being impolite – you’d conclude the discussion. It was an amazing sight to witness but you’d feel sorry for the other guy.
I like being decisive, giving thought to important things, and enjoying my work as well. Recently I’ve done some day hours in Fanagans and it’s therapeutic: there’s plenty to do and the chaps are so nice. They spoil me: keep all their funniest things to tell me, make coffee, and I get a good few hugs (as I’ve told you) and enjoy every one of them (as you know). My ‘Band of Brothers’, to be sure.
Know you’re proud of me, baby. I’m doing a bit better these days: had some dreams of you which I haven’t for ages. It was just us twining our fingers the way we used to do? It made me so happy for a minute. I was going to make tea and you took my hand and went on talking to someone, but loosely holding me to you.
I’m going to stay home on Christmas Day (very early to plan but needed to be done) and feel good about it. I’ll be with you early and take the work phones later, in our home where I should be and where we’ve been so contented together.
I do experience moments of happiness now and again, and that’s new. Even one moment of happiness can mean so much when for so long there’s been none. They take me by surprise, and the stony clouds lighten just a little.