It’s three months today since John’s last stroke.  He’s not up yet so by the end of the day that milestone may have been superceded by another; the diagnosis of a possible vascular weakness that has not yet been located or identified is just a bit like a ticking timebomb.

When I started writing Sheweevil life was very different, not easier but less dominated by limitations.  We still hoped to go and live somewhere far flung and be a bit self sufficient but those dreams included us both contributing “each according to our ability” with those abilities being fairly evenly matched and nicely complimentary. 

Now, daily life: a trip to the shops, a day out at the beach, a meal, all have to be planned in meticulous detail.  It seems difficult even to remember life before strokes.  I could weep for the man I have lost who is, in so many ways, still here and in subtle and strange ways, absent.  It is not what I expected. 

When you promise to love someone in sickness and in health if you think about it at all you might, perhaps imagine a tragic ending, an early death or a horrible disease.  What you do not expect, what I did not expect, was a series of incremental and kaleidoscopic changes that lead me from Picasso’s Femme aux Bras Croisés to his Portrait of Dora.

We can only minimise risk and mitigate damage.  It feels a lot like holding your breath with your fingers, toes and legs crossed whilst trying not to fall over and all this while trying to conduct a normal family life – today it feels like a big ask.



  1. Ally

    You are one of my role-models, you know, the the battle of life. You keep on keeping on with such grace. I know it’s all one can do at the end of the day as the choice is to simply stop. But you haven’t done that. Much love to you all.

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