I’d like dad to retire from inspecting completely and write. He is an able communicator, and would do well to sit back from the rat race and tell his story, the stories of the people he has met and the things that inspire him.

Maybe he wants to do this, but he explained to me yesterday that even going back to work involves another ECG test with a Physio at the hospital and coming off certain drugs and watching the impact. Even if he is fit to drive he may not be fit to change a spare wheel. And I cannot believe mum should sacrifice the next four and a half years of her own life to follow him around (even part time) so that he is not alone. They both have so many personal skills and gifts which would be lost in the interim, just to achieve a slightly more comfortable pension. Their quality of life would drop enormously, and the schools he visits would never appreciate the cost to him to do this.

We would never let them get to the point where they couldn’t afford to heat the house, or to eat properly.

And there is another change in dad. It may be the drugs, or the impact of thinking about his own mortality, but he takes no nonsense now. He tells it how it is, for as long as it takes. And he needs listening to. This is not the man who aptly and diplomatically guided schools in their inspections, or the man who listened to me when I failed my first year at University, or the man who praised me up on my wedding day. I have let go of that man. My brother and sister are questioning who dad is now, but I feel they have to let go of him too, in order to get him back in a new way. Like toddlers, teenagers, all the rest of us, he is entitled to go through changes and it is painful for him. Allow him the pain. Allow him the space to become what he is becoming; an articulate man who deserves a voice. And then feel the excitement beat around your heart again as you hear him warm to a subject he cares about.

When you can let go of what you truly love and desire, and give it over to God, you can know real peace in the situation.

I have to say, we have all been saying how strong and wonderful mum has been since the clocks changed. She is all the stronger for retiring when she did, but she alone has what it takes to live with dad in this. We are planning a trip away together and looking forward to spending time doing some fun visits and travel in the UK.

So much on right now. School to prepare for, decorating the toy room, planning a minor building project and a new kitchen, time to think and time to act.


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