It is birthday season chez Roobeedoo. Today is FL's birthday - he is 73 today!
Tomorrow it is my daughter's birthday - she will be 12.
Our cross-generational family confuses people. FL's doctors think I am his daughter. My daughter's teachers think FL is her grandad.
It is almost a year since FL was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, and we haven't forgotten that the GP gave him a 2-year prognosis. Of course, we could argue statistics and say that some people last ten years, others just a few weeks, and he might be one of the lucky ones to beat the odds and stay well for years and years. But we are holding on to the "2 years" as our touchstone - anything more is a bonus!
It has been a crazy year - like some elaborate and cruel team-building exercise! And I think we are stronger as a "family". The kids still see their father, and enjoy their trips to London to visit him. But they have come to appreciate FL, and dare I say to care about him too. Their tolerance of "the older generation" has certainly improved in the four years we have lived together. I won't pretend they enjoy repeating themselves 5 times with ever-increasing volume and clarity - who does? But they do now volunteer to fetch the newspaper / cup of tea / glasses when FL heaves a great sigh and starts to lever himself out of his chair to retrieve the item he had forgotten. They recognise that he is frustrated by his illness and that actually, it is not his fault. They have friends, social lives, activities and interests: they are becoming their own people.
As for me, I am content. FL says he doesn't believe me, but I am happy with him. OK, we won't get the farm operational again, and he probably won't live to see the house completely renovated. But we will have many lovely meals together, and many evenings cuddled up on the sofa, me with my knitting and he with a crossword. And that is appropriate for the people we are today - we can't turn back the clocks to when we were first together, full of youthful energy (!) - when we thought we could change the world. The time is NOW. That's good enough for me. Happy birthday FL!