February has arrived! Funny how quickly the time seems to have already flown this year. So… what’s new? Well, Esther managed to catch/contract/manifest a bronchitics/pneumonia which she duly managed to give to me, or at least someone gave something to me at exactly the same time. It is fair to say that I was muchus illus, with an entertaining fever and something of an issue with hot and cold sweats. One night required 5 showers and a new set of bed covers….and a mattress turning! Not the forget the entertaining psychosis/hallucinations. I was sick enough to think that, had I been in the Uk, a swift trip to the hospital would have been required. As it was, I spent days in bed, drenching/shivering depending on my mood and generally feeling a little like death. Esther through this, though still suffering greatly herself, looked after me and I have to assume my immune system having dealt with what was thrown at me, must be stronger for the experience.

Speaking of health, good news on the Esther blood pressure. Come back in 5 years said the doc! All is well. Seems we have  well adjusted Esther these days. Considering she just had a major scare concerning her grandfather I can only sit here and be impressed. Well over 60lbs lighter than when we first encountered each other it seems if nothing else, she is now far fitter bodily, though quite what 4 years exposure to Alistair does to a person is anyone’s guess.

Got some bad news over the weekend. Seems I am now a nephew short. Nigel, one of Anne’s kids has died. Quite what the circumstances were I don’t know. Initially I was told it was suicide, but since then it has apparently been confirmed that this was not the case. As to if that means he was murdered, or died naturally, or had an accident, I don’t know. As I have had little or no contact with Anne for years, it would seem a tad superficial to be ringing up and asking such things, especially as I think I only met the lad 3 or 4 times. As it was, I tried to inform Iain and Denise, but neither were responding online, which it turned out was quite lucky as telling them it was suicide and then them hearing it wasn’t, probably wouldn’t have gone down too well. Did manage to let one of Hamish’s kids know though. I was told him and Anne are close, which surprised me.

Tis also the day today that Su heads back to the Uk. She lasted just over 4 years over there which I guess is quite a decent time. I’ve tried to keep my thoughts to myself on this one, something which I’m not exactly noted for, but am sure she doesn’t need my input on the whole thing. One facebook update by her said she was feeling like she didn’t want to leave, but her family needs her. I have issues with that. It’s a ready made guilt trip for any family which read it, when invariably there will come a time in my opinion when it is said they did the wrong thing moving back. Her family in the Uk are big enough to survive quite happily and indeed have been surviving without her there. My thoughts are simple, if you don’t want to go, don’t go. The Uk is the same, in fact probably worse, than what they left behind. Remember the reasons for leaving? They’re still valid. To say family needs her is to me, a preparation to be able to pass on the responsibility for what may be to come. To me, that’s not fair. It’s reasonable to assume it’s not actually meant like that consciously, but the impact is just as real!

And me? Well, I’m much the same as ever. My detachment from many things and ability to be objective without emotional influence has made the Esther’s Granddad scare and Nigel’s death serve as an example to me that my way of viewing the world is a healthy view to have. I have never held a conversation with Esthers Granddad and currently can’t even remember his name. To claim to be upset by events would be superficial. It would feel like I was trying to milk his situation to gain attention. Not really my thing. Same with Nigel. I didn’t know him. I don’t know his mother or any of his family. I would frankly be amazed if any of my direct family have spent more than 7 days in the physical company of Anne in the last 10 years, and absolutely stunned if that included 7 days with Nigel. So while I can feel sorry for Anne, and felt ok to pass on my condolences, I just can’t bring myself to claim to be upset. I feel for Esther because her GD is old, and age catches up with everyone, but to almost force yourself into a fallacious state of empathy, can’t possibly be healthy.

But then I guess I am the guy who never cried at Dads funeral, yet sobbed with Tony when  his mother took her leave. However, I suspect, that was more for his loss, than anything to do with me. Considering I’ve pretty much always though of Tony as more like my brother than any of my blood brothers, I guess that equates to my having more empathy with him, plus I actually knew his mum, and had done for many years.  There is far more of an emotional attachment to Tony than there is to Anne, or indeed someone like Andrew. Which I guess I should think of as a shame, but to be honest I can’t be done with that either. It’s superficial again. As an adult, I simply do not know them. To say it’s a shame is like saying it’s a shame I don’t know the people 3 floors down and 2 across. Family is just biology. Opportunities to establish relationships have been passed up and now as I approach 37 I find myself with as much need for them a fish has for a bicycle. Which in turn leaves me free to observe how, those without such disassociation,  cope in times like these, and allows me to come to the conclusion that, in the grand scheme of things, it turns out that I am the lucky one. And you know what? I can live with that.


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