©2013 Edward C. Lunnon
Tuesday 5 March 2013: 6 years 6 months on …
Physical: Advantage CBD / Mental: Advantage ED
Aurora Hospital is raising funds by selling a recipe book with local citizens’ favourite recipes. I have been asked to contribute my recipe and a picture of me.
So I headed off to the photographer Beverley Darlow last Monday and that put into motion the need for the Lunnon family to do a family shoot – something we have been trying to do for years!
I eventually managed to organise an appointment for Wednesday afternoon at four thirty. In a major logistical arrangement for us, the four would come from different directions and meet at the studio in Walmer.
But, as luck would have it, at three I got a call from Bev to postpone the shoot as her daughter had been rushed to hospital that morning and was still waiting to be seen!
So, thanks to modern technology, Blackberry and cyber-diaries, the appointment was shifted to Saturday afternoon at one thirty.
Well, cut a long story short, we eventually managed to complete the shoot on Saturday and now await the final product to arrive.
Our home walls would be so different and bare without pictures (photos?). They are the storeroom of our memories and the depot of our past. The work put in to getting them there is often taken for granted but they remind us of our previous generations and us in better days! Just about all the photos that I have seen on walls depict the happy things of life. Despite the circumstances, the pictures usually display smiles and laughter – maybe sometimes even a forced smile!
I would not be able to be a model! Hundreds of shots taken from one direction and then another – just in the hope of getting THAT particular shot: the right lighting, the right smile, the right background, the right clothes, the right composure, the right angle, the right body language …
But it gave me time to think, both during Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday when I went for a long walk along Sardinia Bay Beach in the most sublime weather that we have been experiencing of late,
I thought about the last seven years (almost) of my illness and how it has affected the family. Life, certainly for me, and especially for them, has been very different to that which most other families experience.
Pera has become a bread-winner, a housewife, a Mom and a carer – each one a very difficult job in itself but the four together, juggling between the various roles, become an incredible act to master! Not one for the feint-hearted!
Throughout their high school careers, the boys have lived with an ill father and everything that goes with that. They are preparing for life but at the same time are only too aware of preparations for my death.
I thought of how different it was all supposed to be. I thought of what it should have been like and could have been like. For once, I allowed myself to think back – to look at those old photographs of my memories.
Regrets? Yes, as the song says, “I have a few” … but these I will mention!
I regret that I haven’t been able to be a proper husband and father. I regret that I haven’t been able to fulfil an occupation. I regret that my “job” has been a “pensioner” since age 49 – after all, we as human beings are often defined by the job we do! I regret that I haven’t been able to contribute in every aspect to society. I regret that my life as a healthy and well and productive human being has been cut short. I regret that I haven’t been able to entirely support my family financially. I regret that I have now lost 84 salary cheques (and you can calculate what loss that is!)
I am not feeling sorry for myself and I don’t want anyone to have to do that for me! Because, whilst there are regrets, there are so many other things for which to be thankful. When I have spoken at public meetings, I have highlighted many of the gifts that my illness has brought.
I want especially to thank those people who remember us financially and who choose to do so anonymously. Their generosity and kindness have made that I have so much less to worry about, that we have not wanted and that the boys are receiving their education and preparation for life.
One day, when the family pictures taken this week adorn the walls of the homes of this generation of Lunnons and those to come afterwards, there will be much to unlock in the memory banks that they will create.
After all, every picture tells a story (and a story behind that story that the picture doesn’t tell )!
And regrets? There are ways of dealing with them too. I will write about that next time.