Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lydia, David, Gene and Sid Visit

Oh, how I loved this film. It is joyous. I adore Jim Broadbent. I fell for him watching Enchanted April, and this little gem is just as alluring when it comes to his acting. It’s a great, great story. I absolutely loved it.

I cooked, cleaned, and tidied all day, but Sheba and I had two stunning walks. It was a spectacular day, warm and bright from dawn to dusk. In the afternoon, I wrote ads for the clinic and at 4:00 David, Lydia, Eugene, and Sidney arrived. 

Gene is dear to me. He was the first child I befriended. We were together constantly whenever Steve and I visited his home and parents. We formed a deep bond that lasts still. He knows how much I love him. It is wonderful to have him here—and his partner, Sid. We played games, had a dinner that they really liked, then Gene, Sid and Lydia went into the hot tub at around 9:30, and I went to bed.

The visit went quite well, given my speech problems. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I suspect that my extreme affection for Gene and my total comfort with Lydia and David helped me do a bit better. We have today planned, and I’m looking forward to all we do together. These people are family. I’m going to Facetime Steve when they are up and around.

Dreams do come true. I believe that soon, I’ll be working with our clinic doctors to develop copy for our Foundation newsletter.  I offered to meet with them, and to become their writer so there’s not so much time required of them to improve clinic communications. Besides being at the centre of our search for doctors, I’m also at the centre of our soon-to-be newsletter. I was asked to provide a list of topics that might form our first newsletter. I can’t believe how thrilling being a volunteer is.

I’m seriously fucked, as far as speech is concerned. I don’t feel up to being with people at all. I feel compelled to call and let them hear my speech before I can agree to meet. I’m at a point where I really can’t talk. It’s too difficult and too exhausting. I feel I’ll need to have my iPad with me all the time so I can communicate in writing. My speech has never been this bad since the onset of my condition. The one positive is that I’m going to ace the disability assessment.

Living with this level of disability is scary. It makes me feel small. At least here, in our little village, the service staff of the market know me and understand. That is a wonderful thing for me; I feel very safe in their store. Living back in Vancouver would kill me.

I think the inability to speak much at all right now, is why my work with the clinic is so exciting to me. It’s my words on paper, marketing knowledge and creativity that they value. They know the most important part of me, and don’t need my voice. I am likely to use a voice generator for the board meeting, to make my presentation, and I’m going to add a bit about my speech and how I plan to interact with them individually and collectively.

What I mostly feel when I wake up in the morning is pride. I have been struck proud by this work I’m doing. And, as far as speech is concerned, I’m adapting. I can carry on if, as I do with the clinic, have a communication strategy. I think it’s a fucking miracle that when my speech is at its worst, I’m feeling better about myself than I have in well over a decade.

I was an only child. I think a lot of us read a lot during Winter when we can’t play outside with our mates. I drew words, I was so into script. I studied calligraphy. I was, for a while, a typesetter. My father was a journalist who did a lot of his writing at home. I’d read it all. One day I asked him if he knew what a comma was. At a very young age, I became an editor for a journalist in Vancouver’s largest daily. He relied on me.

That’s what helped me find my way in an array of choices, learning to monetize my way with words. I loved technical writing immediately. It’s non-fiction and does not require flourish. Now, it’s not for money. It’s for dignity at a rough time. Writing is saving my sanity.

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