We had another beautiful day here in Auckland yesterday. Officially the last day of winter, but it felt like it was already well into spring.
We went for a drive and stopped at the Arataki Visitors Centre with beautiful views over the Waitakere Ranges. Jacob found a friendly Park Ranger who gave him an impromptu lesson about native birds and and we just enjoyed being out and about.
But there was time for some serious discussions about our views of what the future should look like and whether that meant maintaining separate residences or moving in together at some point. At this stage we are very opposite in our views on this particular topic; both of us bringing our past experiences into play. But as we both acknowledged, it is very early days for us and lots of things could change in the next few years that might impact on it.
Later in the evening, thinking more about this issue, I remembered that maybe the decision to live together wasn’t as simple as us wanting to do it. I had temporarily forgotten that my health was a major factor in it too. In the past I have written about the topic of aloneness and also about dependance.
In those posts I had talked about how alone we are sometimes in this modern world when people are all around us, yet we are on our own and also about having to depend on a loved one for your care when you end up with a debilitating illness.
The topic of aloneness is relevant at the moment because my mum is visiting us for a few days. The first time she has done that since I bought this house just over two years ago. Before that I lived a few houses down from my sister in a different suburb. My health situation was very precarious at the time of moving house and my mum had already made plans to go back to Sri Lanka permanently. She did it despite my doctor ringing her up personally to tell her that maybe it was best she stayed to look after me even if it was only to cook me a meal or two. The doctors were trying to weigh up the option of surgery which carried a high risk of spinal paralysis or non intervention with stress management. I was very scared I couldn’t manage on my own. The task of looking after myself was daunting enough without throwing in Jacob’s care and a house and home that needed taking care of.
I have come a long way since then. One by one, I tackled the issues that scared me and put measures into place to address them. A medical alarm connects me directly with the St John’s Ambulance service for 86.38 a month. Instead of using a lawnmower I use a battery operated weed eater to cut my lawns. I carry my laundry baskets up and down the steps balanced on my hip instead of putting the weight on my back. I make sure I carry the shopping up a bit at a time instead of all in one go. I have the heating going full time in winter to make sure my circulation is not affected by the cold. And anything over and above the ordinary housework, I pay someone else to come and do. So I have it all figured out and am independent to all intents and purposes.
And yet, at the back my mind, there is always the prospect that my situation could change at anytime. My health could deteriorate and I could lose my independence overnight. And that brings the prospect of dependence. However much I am loved by someone, I am very clear that I do not want to depend on them if this situation eventuates. There is nothing worse than knowing you are being a burden to someone regardless of how much they love you. The movie Amour illustrated that very clearly. And considering all this, I think there is only one course of action open to me; that is to live the life I have setup for myself currently and continue maintaining my independence so that if the worst does happen I know I am not someone else’s problem.