How was it sung? Oh yes, “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, and saw it through without exemption. I planned each chartered course, each careful step along the byway, but more, much more than this …. I did it my way!”
It has been a long, long time since those first days under ‘lockdown’ laws and we have come to know almost every inch of our home and garden so intimately. I know where the perennial weeds are growing – or about to – I know which plants are struggling with light or damp, cold wind or incorrect soil. As I sit in a favourite vantage point in the garden, I begin to contemplate all we have. And then again, some of what we do not have. It has been a difficult time over those long months, and even today, we face uncertainty and apprehension at reengaging with the world. Our son’s health is not good. His wellbeing has been declining for some time now. Seizures increasing and causing him so many daily problems, from the seizures and also the consequences of them. We have nowhere to turn in these days of declining health and social services. Regrets, yes, I have a few. Certainly not in the support and care for our son, that is without question. I do however, regret the years, before his diagnosis, when we did not understand, and therefore did not put in place plans and strategies to help at an early age. To learn then, about what we did not yet know, Should we have known? Should I have known? Could I have made the challenges he faces today, less painful for him had I only understood more back then?
I then regret not following a passion I had in gardening. Today, I envy those designers and plants-people who understand not only the names, propagation methods and growing environments. How to match colours and companion planting, layers and destinations. I followed a path that was necessary at the time as we needed income and employment stability supporting a child with additional needs. As I look at our garden today, I see random planting, amongst those growing well, there are also those that are not. Had I learned more about our sons health conditions, I may have planted and set up paths so differently, I would have been able to avoid digging up large parts today to accommodate sensory issues we now understand he suffers with.
In truth, my biggest regret is that I worry I should have done so much more, and as I look to our son, once again contorted in pain, full of fear and anxiety, worried about the very day he wakes up into, I do not know what else I can do to support him beyond that which I already do. I regret not being able to make it right.
In the coming years. I pray to God they will be years. I wonder what lies ahead and what I should be doing now, today, to prevent further regrets for some, as yet unknown situation we maybe facing.
I know only too well that we can only do the best we can in the time we have, and with the situation we find ourselves in. But, is it enough? The birds sing their songs as I continue to sit at this vantage point I enjoy. The sun has come out today and the breeze blowing has a warmth to it that suggests spring and summer have pushed back the winters chill. That said, each morning has frost covering the lawn yet.
In between cradling our son through his nightmare seizures. His body shaking uncontrollably, calming his anxiety and worry, I am grateful that we do have a garden to sit in. No matter how poor the design is, it does and has, offered opportunity to calm his fears and ease his pain, enveloped and embraced by natures warmth, and her caring arms.
I do not know what the future will hold for us, yes I do regret not knowing. I need to make sure I provide as secure and safe an environment as I can. The pandemic lockdown has affected my confidence, as I know it has many others. In time, I hope that confidence will return, it has to, much depends upon my doing the right thing and being able to plan ahead and provide that protection and confidence to our son.
As I sit, just looking, listening and sensing all that is around, I consider the meetings which are coming up in the next few weeks which may dictate a range of changes we need to make to where and how we live to ensure we best meet our son’s declining health.