Jan 13, 2013

Lady Cora of the woods

It’s connected to Alida, and that’s kind of magical. I will tell you the story.

About Ida and Peter, two persons crucial to my life right now. I am doing better. I am doing slightly better, Ida and Peter are a big part of that, and I am becoming Lady Cora.

Four weeks in to my bedridden late fall, 33 different persons from the city home care had come and gone in my house. My relief was exchanged for exhaustion. Most everyday Matilda wrote me on Facebook: “Maria, call Peter!”

Matilda is Alida’s granddaughter. Alida is my beloved 95-year old neighbor. And Peter is Matilda’s boyfriend.

Peter is a very interesting young man. At 25 he started a home care service business. Yes. While other 25-year-olds are in computers, reality TV or traveling the world, Peter’s mission is to make a safe and warm life for elderly and people like me, finding themselves in vulnerable situations.

Peter’s business idea for his company Civil Care http://www.umea.se/umeakommun/omsorgochhjalp/hjalpihemmet/hemtjanst/civilcare.4.4166f9b6137178df873b934.html, is to provide a safe environment only meeting 1-2 persons, depending on how much help you need. His catchwords are respect, dignity, gentleness, kindness and making people feel safe.

When I first met Peter, as Matilda’s boyfriend, I instinctively liked him. And I was proven right. Matilda’s repeated Faecbooks notes, now with many exclamation marks, finally made me call Peter. By then he had already taken action and asked Ida if she wanted to take care of me. And she would. And she did.

Ida’s first day was Friday before Christmas. Finishing up my shower in the morning (I got to shower!) I was very close to fainting. Back in my bed again I could feel a months severe tension dissolve. The release made my blood pressure drop. All that day I was like unconscious from fatigue, but wonderfully relaxed and relieved. I felt like coming out of a really bad relationship, and it’s almost scary how we can get used to conditions eating us away, thinking; this works. Combined with knowing that, in this case, I should be grateful too.

Then came Christmas and all the kids, so it’s not until this week Ida and I have started our everyday life. And it’s wonderful. She makes me nice food and she cleans up my house. She changes my bed and washes up my wool sweaters. Together we set the beautiful dinner table for the Lobster Club, and she takes me to my treatments and appointments so that I won’t have to call half the county to get where I need to go. And she brings her little Maltese dog Leo who wants to make friends with my sweet brushy cat Sorella. And when Ida needs to be off, Peter comes here.

I sleep all night now. I feel calm. I feel safe. I have started to take short strolls supported on my old down hill poles while Ida is preparing my meals in my kitchen. And I was even attending the spring up start rehearsal with my choir this Wednesday, Peter taking me home late in the evening! This is my everyday life now and it’s a good life.

When Peter and I first talked I told him when I am at my worst a home care girl or lady won’t do. When I need to be lifted or carried, there is only Trouble 1 who can do it - as Trouble 2 is in Paris. Peter looked at me and firmly said: “then you call me. Any time. 24-7.” I nearly started to cry.

Two angels have landed at my doorstep. The winter path up to my house has never in 32 years been as wide and even to walk on. The salads served to my dinners never as nice to look at and tasty to eat. I feel like Lady Cora in Downton Abbey lying on my couch here at my wooden mansion on my big property, having caring hands attending to all my needs. Only not that well dressed unfortunately!

At New Years Eve Peter had to drive me the 80 meters to Alida’s house for our celebration. On a good day now I can walk that stretch myself! My dearest Alida, you have given me so much during your long life. And now, through your granddaughter, you are giving me a chance to heal and become stronger. So that you and I might walk all the way to the creek when spring finally comes. My gratitude is immeasurable. And isn't it a bit magic?

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