Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Moving on?

   We have been expecting this moment. Up until recently, nothing could have moved us from this community and this church congregation. But a few years ago, we recognised that we would have to move if one of us lost a driver’s licence, or if the health of either of us became critical, or if the progress of my prostate cancer became hastened.
   For a year now, we have watched my PSA readings go up by as much as 70% each three months. If that very high rate of increase continues, we could be looking at PSA 100 in a year and a half. Of course, the PSA is not necessarily a measure of the cancer’s growth, but it’s an indication that my body thinks there is something that needs dealing with.
   So, while I am fit and not in the least affected by the cancer—it’s the therapies that make life a bit unpleasant at this stage, not the disease!—we think that we have to prepare to move on. That means eventually finding a place where Bev will be comfortable to be on her own, probably a retirement village somewhere near family.
   And it also means tackling a lifetime’s collection of bits and pieces and tidying a sample of them into a simple record. Here’s a receipt for afternoon tea at Bridge Lodge in 1956 – but not all my receipts! And there are some photos, slides, videos and things that may be of interest to family at some time.
   In the process I found a couple of hundred 35mm slides of Dad’s. He gave them to me, all neatly wrapped in little marked bundles, when he was downsizing twenty years ago. Now I have the capability to scan them to a computer disk so descendents he never met will be able to see a little of his life. Not outstanding photography, but clear and bright images from another day. I am so glad to have these and hope that the little of my life that I am passing on will be of as much interest to those who may see it in years to come.
   Nothing is forever, not even memories shifted from fragile film and tape to disk. But, at the same time, the preservation of a little of any life is a worthwhile exercise. I am finding it creative and enjoyable, and every box of rubbish that goes for recycling leaves behind some small contribution to the life of our family.

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