I had a full day out of the office yesterday, a little trip with a friend to a place I love, where I used to live, Liverpool and had lunch in one of the fancy new cafes that have appeared since I left over ten years ago.
Sometimes we need to take ourselves out of a situation to see it clearly.
And that’s what I did. The distraction helped. Two things I worried about from my sense of limbo got resolved while I wasn’t looking.
But my real lesson in perspective came from sitting in a place where I sat some eight years ago. My friend was visiting an elderly aunt in the same hospital I spent every day for three months when Lee was ill.
I sat and read my book in the same cafe I’d sat so many times — and I was absolutely fine. But everything about the place made me remember. And I saw people with that look and if you’ve even known someone really ill you will know what I mean. As I dipped in and out of my book, read the odd email, I wondered about their lives. When someone you love gets really ill you find yourself in that situation; you become part of a world you never knew before. You inhabit it for a while. To quote a poignant line from one of my favourite films, Good Will Hunting, uttered by the amazing Robin Williams, as a recall it anyway, about his sick wife — one day they get so sick hospital visiting hours don’t apply to you any more. And so I sat there yesterday with the same sense of detachment I remember, only this time it was happening to someone else. And I was eight years on, looking in from the outside; like an angel with so many blessings to count I lost count.
And I thought, this is happening to people every day of their lives. It’s so easy to forget.
There I am worrying about pennies, lack of work and the biggie — not being able to get the cover quite right for the novel — but really, is that such a biggie when you take that step back. We’ll find a solution and this time no one will die.
It truly hit as I reflected on the day last night and no doubt that scene will appear in one of my stories at some point. I wasn’t going to blog about it but I think there is a lesson in there for us all.
We all need a sense of perspective. And it might seem odd to gain it from sitting in a hospital cafe. But maybe we all need that once in a while to remind us.
Maybe an angel took my hand and walked me there to remember.
I had a great day out as it happens and now some work, some sorting things out ready for a whole weekend off — for a change.
Have a peaceful one everyone.