Tuesday, 4 February 2014

fear and terror

Firstly, does anyone else think that ducks sound like Greeks? I have had this bit of Latin text from my A-Level stuck in my head for, erm, twenty-five years about 'suddenly hearing the sound of rushing feet approaching'. There's a link here to an easy-to-read version of the second book of the Aeneid and it turns out that it's the bit six paragraphs up from the bottom:
And now I was nearing the gates and seemed to have passed safely along every street, when suddenly I thought I heard the regular sound of marching feet approaching, and my father, peering through the blackness, shouted "Son! Run, my son, they're getting closer! I can see their shields flashing and the glint of bronze." 
Aeneas is carrying his father on his back, pulling a child along by the hand and his wife is following them out of the burning city. It's such vivid imagery that it's stuck with me all this time - the city in flames around them, the son weighed down by his father but unable to leave him, picking your way through twisty streets in the dark, with smoke clagging the air and not knowing whether the people you see coming are fellow fugitives or a conquering army on the rampage.

For some reason, anyway, I think of it whenever the ducks rush past the cat-flap. Their feet on the gravel make a rushing sound and it takes me right back to Dr Gill and his striped shirts and the smell of dead chalk in the Latin room.

Seguing neatly on from that, let us remain with the fear and terror.

We had a visit from a couple of members of 'our' team from the hospice yesterday. It was just for a friendly chat and catch up and it was lovely. They brought cake, for a start. We took the opportunity to ask some difficult questions, though. We talked about the 'Document of Wishes' that parents are encouraged to work through for life-limited children, which involves setting out your current wishes for worst-case scenarios - whether we'd want to give IV antibiotics and have her ventilated, for example, or simply stick to oral antibiotics and have her at home. And I asked about organ donation. I'm pleased I did. But it was a bit grim and I'm mentally stuck on the image of another child having her eyeballs and looking out of her eyes.

I think my brain is in a sufficiently melted down state to have just latched on to that as a thing. And it keeps throwing it back up at me in silent moments.

Is this the worst it can get, do you think? Is this a watershed, where we are processing these things and then we can go onward from here?

The other thing that we discussed was a holiday with a charity like 'Make A Wish' whilst Nenna is still mobile enough to make it relatively easy. We have some ideas and I'm trying to focus on that rather than the A Gift From Earth aspects of yesterday. Also on a positive note, we are test-driving a wheel-chair accessible vehicle this week, with a tail-lift, which would make our lives so much easier.

A final positive thing - I have five chicks in the incubator and more hatching. And the Mrs Rabbits are bustling about their respective cages preparing for babies next weekend.

For today, I think that's enough.


  1. That's more than enough, Cheryl. What you have to go through... I truly admire your courage and strength. Bless you.

  2. I hope that, having had that discussion when you felt able to, you can shut it away for a while and let it process in the back of your mind. I hope that today will be a good day. Love to you all xxx