Friday, 15 May 2009
TOUCH, HOW I MISS IT AND I NEVER KNEW
As time passes you forget what's gone before. You have to live in the moment, not realising that something has been lost. I have never been the sort of person to want to live in the past. I have enjoyed (or not!) what the day has brought.
But on Monday I got a glimpse of something I had a long time ago. Something that at the time I'd treasured. I'd hardly realised it had slipped out of my life, as I work with life as it is right now.
And what was this something? It was my son's vulnerability whilst he was ill.
Now I do not wish any more ill health on him at all. But to get to hold his hand, cause he was scared was a joy I haven't had for years.
The last times we ever held hands would have been on the walk back from infant school, up to about the age of him being 8. We would walk home with the dog we had then (see picture of Denny), and Alex would click his double jointed knuckles in my hand, which I hated.
When I held his hand on Monday I reminded him of this, and he clicked his knuckle. I still didn't like it, but I so liked the fact that he was needing to have his hand held.
I was allowed to rub his chest, to feel the fragile person he's become with all his weight loss, his ribs sticking through his muscle layer.
He needed me to rub his feet, whilst he lay uncomfortably on the trolley. His feet were so cold, although he was burning up. And I rubbed and massaged the dry skin till it felt warm to him.
At some point he rolled onto his side to sleep, his T shirt rolling up exposing his back, which I covered with blanket, but not before noticing the nodules of his spine poking through the skin.
I felt so sad and upset at this sight. This was my baby and I couldn't help him feel better. Although he had faith in what I've told him about what's wrong. It wasn't that, it was the frailty of human life and it being of my flesh that cut my soul.
He is without doubt an awkward critter when he's well. But to see my tough son reduced to this scared child was unbearable. For him to feel so ill that he needed his mummy beside him, even if I was just there reading. I was just needed there.
There was such a poignancy to this need for touch from him, that it was all I could do not to cry in front of him. I don't get to touch him very often anymore. There is the occasional hug that he volunteers, and the odd kiss on the top of my head on his way out of the house.
What has never stopped though is the telling of love between us, so on leaving him in the hospital at midnight I could kiss him and say I loved him, as we say to each other every night if he's around when I go to bed.
Today though, he's better. He's not stopped eating since he came out. Tonight I made one of his favourite meals, home made fishcakes with lemon mayonnaise and salad. It was the first time we'd sat down together since he was first ill. So it was an absolute pleasure to sit at the table and share our day with each other.
And tonight a new thing is happening, he is staying over at his girlfriends for the first time all night. So those precious moments of him needing physical contact by me are now a distant memory for him, as he needs the touch of his sweetheart.
As for me, just for a while I'm sad at the passing of the years of my child, as I hadn't realised how much I'd missed those contacts, that when I was getting them I never gave a thought to the time that they would be no more.
There is in all of us a yearning to be touched, and I know that is why I'm so glad to have Trix, so I can touch and stroke her. And she touches me with her cold wet nose and wags her tail to show that she loves me.
This is of course not enough,but it will be when I stop being sad,and then I'll be okay with what I've got in the here and now as I almost always am.