A personal reflection
My daughter Catherine was learning to drive a little while before she passed away. I think it wasn’t always very wise, considering her mental health and the amount of prescribed medication she was taking, but at least she got behind the wheel of the car and gave it a go.
I never learnt to drive. For many years my sight was too poor. Once that was fixed, I never got the courage. Then one day about 3 years ago, I got my provisional license and had a lesson. It was a disaster. Really bad. I couldn’t manage the clutch and gear stick, I was alarmed at trying to drive past the line of parked cars on this supposedly quiet narrow road, and I just didn’t manage it. In case you think I’m exaggerating, the instructor didn’t even keep me for the full hour!
So I abandoned ship, or rather abandoned the car idea. But in the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about giving it another shot. Maybe it’s not too late to learn, especially if I make it a bit easier on myself and try with an automatic car.
And that’s my Christmas treat, trying something new, in the form of a driving lesson tomorrow afternoon. I’ve been trying to get prepared courtesy of YouTube videos and I hope this will be a better experience than the last time. I hope it goes well, because otherwise tomorrow is shaping up to be a difficult day, as after that, I have another trip to the hospital to see the consultant. It’s a routine check-up but not my favourite activity. I particularly hate hospital visits that could have unknown outcomes right before Christmas, as that’s when I got the diagnosis the first time I had cancer almost 20 years ago. Hopefully this time though it will be just a friendly chat about the progress I’m making, because as far as the last tests showed, I am still cancer clear.
Thinking about driving has been useful, because it’s keeping me quite occupied. Another thing I tried: I pulled out Catherine’s favourite cookbook – actually one I gave her for Christmas about 16 years ago – and did a bit of baking out of it. I haven’t baked in many years, so that’s another new/renewed activity I’m enjoying for its own sake, and also because it gives me a feeling of closeness to Catherine.
Every time I see a dove on a Christmas card or elsewhere, I think of Pax, because Pax means peace and doves represent peace too. Pictures of doves are plentiful at this time of year, and I have learned that they’ve been used as symbols of peace for many thousands of years, like this webpage explains
It’s good to try new activities, and for me, it’s a bonus if the activities also give me a connection with my children in one way or the other . That’s what it means to have “continuing bonds“. Our loved ones are gone, and our relationship with them is changed, but it is still a relationship.
I hope you will find some joy in these days, even if it is only glimmers of joy through a veil of tears. I wish that you will be able to take care of yourself and find what brings your comfort. And I hope that the gift of peace that is the heart of Christmas – whether you believe in Jesus of not – will be yours.