Unexpectatations meaning ‘Absence of expectation; want of foresight ‘
“Expectation is the root of all heartache”William Shakespeare
This time last year we were getting ready to close the sale on our new house. In just a few days’ time the deal would complete and we could collect our keys and finally be ‘home owners’ again.
Actually it was quite nice for the short time that we weren’t home owners. It was great having so much money in the bank from the sale of our house in the July, just sitting there waiting, making the bank balance look lovely and healthy. For a while, we could feel rich, well, money rich.
We were getting a little nervous because the other half was scheduled for major heart surgery a couple of weeks later. We planned to go away for the week-end. A nice relaxing spa break in a hotel set on the shores of Co. Sligo.
It had been a rollercoaster of a year, him getting sick unexpectedly, provoking the decision to sell up, moving away from our family and friends and heading to the North East, but we took it in our stride. The spa break was just what the doctor ordered. Good quality time together, relaxing, being pampered before he had to face into the enormity of his operation.
We went up on the Saturday and were booked in for two nights then off to the Agents in Leitrim to pick up the keys to our new house on the Monday. We were both so excited.
The excitement was short lived and soon replaced with utter shock and fear. One of my dearest and longest friends, who was like a sister to me, received a devastating terminal diagnosis that her cancer had returned.
The next days occurred in a blur and was further hampered by the fact that she lived so far away in the USA and I could not get over to see her because of Covid and because in a just over a week’s time, my other half needed to go ‘under the knife’.
I would go see her, just as soon as I knew he was over his operation….
We picked up the keys as arranged on the Monday, but there was no excitement, no sense of joy for me as I turned the key in the door, knowing, my dear friend, would probably never get to visit this new home after all. She had been planning to come the following month, but that prospect was looking very grim.
A new sensation also fell over me – what if he doesn’t make it. What if the operation is not a success? What if he is one of the percentage that dies during the procedure.
Very quickly you realise, that no matter what money is or isn’t in the bank, making you look or feel rich, it is of no real consequence at all. The richness in our lives are the people in it, those that we love and cherish.
Ten days later, my husband had made it successfully through his operation and was in intensive care on his road to recovery.
I came back from the hospital to the hotel I was staying in as his operation was in a county, three hours from where we were living. I was feeling relieved and happy that he had gotten through it and happy to know that he should make a good recovery.
That same evening I had my final face time with my dying friend. Somehow, she knew she would go that night and arranged with her family to have me there too, one last time, to say our goodbyes.
There would be no flights to America to see her, to comfort her or give her a hug. There was only a screen between us but thousands of miles apart. This was social media at its finest. It allowed me to be with her, when I physically could not be with her, and I am so grateful for that. So grateful that I could tell her I loved her, thank her for her friendship and wish her a safe and calm passage and that I would miss her.
I cherish that face time and I play it over and over again in my mind, every day since the day she died. I still mourn her, cry for her, grieve her. I talk to her every day. I talk about her, every day. I laugh about some of the things we did or said or got up to and I cherish her and the memories of her.
Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II died. What a very sad day and also a shock, as we had watched only two days prior, to her greeting the new Prime Minister. Isn’t it funny, how we just take things for granted? Sure, we knew one day the Queen would die, but certainly not now, this week, this month or even what’s left of this year.
I certainly hadn’t expected Jackie to die either quite the contrary.
Now, as we edge nearer to her one-year anniversary I can’t help but feel a renewed sadness, not for me, but for the Royal family. I can grieve and mourn in private. Even earlier this year when my dad died, unexpectedly, whilst my daughter and family were visiting with me, I could carry on for them, but step out of the room when I needed to cry.
When I think of Charles now and the rest of the Royal family, who so publicly must carry on with their duty and service, I think how sad it is that they cannot simply step out of the room to have a cry, or curl up in bed for a day, or two or a week, to mourn the loss of their mother, grandmother, great grandmother. They have to plough on.
Though death will come to us all and we must all experience loss, those public figures that often get slated, one way or another for whatever reasons, are still human beings with feelings. I feel so sad for them that they must put on a brave face, and carry on regardless, much as the Queen did when she lost her husband last year. I have nothing but respect for their loss and their hidden suppressed grief, in the name of duty and service, and hope that the people and the world will be kind to them….