This week, as an old saying goes, ‘the whole world and its brother’ fell on me.
It started out okay, but my first distress was getting rid of Geoff’s chair. It was old, shabby, over the years it had been slept in some nights… when Geoff was having difficulty breathing.
(It was replaced by two smaller chairs.) I had been worrying about the announcement that one chair made to anyone who came to the house. “I am living alone.”
A neighbour was burgled last week, and that made me feel more vulnerable. We share a garden wall; I heard nothing. Perhaps I was out… it happened during the day.
This area used to be safe. I had gone for walks in the morning, a little before dawn, to enjoy seeing God’s handiwork painting the sky. (One of those sunrises is the background picture on my Hold the Faith website and is tiled as the background to this blog.)
Periodically an electronic police notice will be placed at the local shopping centre, ‘lock up, this is a high burglary area’. (And, a neighbour told me, that recently there was a ‘drug bust’ in our street. )
So it was not without much thinking that the chair went out, to wait for a bulk rubbish pickup. It was when evening came that I started to fret. Geoff had loved that lounge suite. The couch had already gone, to make room for his hospital chair. He approved that, though I think he was sad. He knew I kept the chair, but he never saw it, because he didn’t make it home from the hospice. (They expected him to be able to come home for a while, but he deteriorated more quickly than they had anticipated.)
So while I was fretting over putting out the chair, several major calamities happened. Mostly financial, but reversible, because they were bank and other people’s mistakes, but the biggest bug-bear, that had my daughter take over to try and make sense of… was the on-going hassle over my rent. Geoff and I each had half the rent taken out of our pensions. That was fine, until he died. Within days I had fulfilled my obligation to inform the housing authority, put in a new form and income statement, and believed it was as it should be.
Then I received a phone call from the manager of my rental. She told me the account was in arrears and she was still trying to work out what I should be paying. She needed a new income statement. I could not understand why the arrears, because the rent was taken from my pension before I received it. When she sent me a copy of the rent page it was apparent what was wrong, and I wrote a detailed letter explaining that the arrears were the attempts to take rent from Geoff’s pension and he was no longer receiving one.
Well, I don’t want all of this to be about my rent, which was a background, and on-going issue while new stuff started falling all around me.
What it really has made me aware of is how difficult it is to stay standing when there is no one to talk about it with. (Yes, my daughter took over, and I much appreciated it, but she is in a high-level occupation, and has a family. I had no one to sit down and talk about it with.)
These are the things a person living alone faces, as well as…no one to say ‘good morning’ to, or hear it back. And of course, no ‘goodnights’, ‘how are you’ etc.
It is very quiet inside four walls. (Sometimes that is good, but when things all start going wrong, it is harder to work though.)
So I have to ask myself, what am I doing to say ‘hello’ to someone else living alone?
PS – I believe the rental problem has finally been worked out, and the other ‘mistakes’ are being wiped. 🙂