In 2006 when I began blogging, the reason was to record feelings and events surrounding my dad’s heart attack. I have stopped writing so much about him. There are reasons for this: even though I see dad on average at least once a week and we chat about things and go strawberry picking and philosophise and entertain my baby, I feel it is unfair to put someone else’s diary in the public domain. It is also unfair to celebrate one person in this way on a long term basis.
And in truth, dad is still recovering in different ways from the impact of having a heart attack. Day by day he checks the weather forecast and gets his walk in while it isn’t raining. Month by month he takes new risks and tries new recipes, but his life is different now from how it used to be and probably how he expected it to be.
I have found interesting parallels and new ways to appreciate him and my mum since becoming a wife, a teacher and a parent. My life is also different now from what it used to be, and very different from what I expected of myself by the time I was 31. Sometimes when you expect the sun it rains.
I refuse to see the rain as negative. Rain brings life, healing and hope. It’s just dressed up in clumsy bursts of wet. So although I’ve been playing the victim for the past few weeks, I have decided I need to change my attitude. I am Not the Victim of circumstance. It is true that my workplace have made my brief return to work difficult and emotionally costly for me, but there is a lot to get excited about. I have permission to do new things in my life now. It does not matter that I was not invited to the official Leavers’ Do, because it is a very busy place and my absence was extended. (I have since been invited.) It does not matter now that my login has been prematurely deleted, or that I was not invited to work for a part-time position which arose, having been refused part-time work, because in the bigger picture, great things are happening. I am not going to sit in the puddle of my circumstances when I can splash about in it and laugh.
Nor am I going to be a survivor, building a great boat and hoarding all that is precious to me and floating above the problems.
I am going to be a hero. Ine.
I am going to engage with the emotions, tackle some of the practical details and find solutions. I am not able to do this on my own, but I have found a lot of people able to work with me and a God who answers prayer.
Which is where I return to dad. Sometimes he can say that he is a victim of a heart attack. Or a survivor. Personally, I’d class him as a hero. He had a heart attack, but he is engaging with what it means to live a healthy lifestyle and splash in the puddles.
That is, if he gets his walk in the rain.