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Removing a critical component

My middle daughter (16 years old) wanted to go to the shops on Saturday and asked if I would go with her, oh joy I thought!

We wandered around for a bit going in and out of various shops whilst she looked for the sunglasses she wanted and I really noticed how sorely lacking in certain skills I am. The whole ‘shopping’ thing is totally beyond me, I do man shopping and it takes me a few minutes to get what I want and then I’m in the car and going home again.

It just highlights the things that Claire used to do which we all took for granted. Don’t get me wrong, Claire hated shopping too and we often joked that she could be an honorary man when it came to her style of shopping, but at least when the girls wanted someone to accompany them, she knew how to play the good mother and join in the ‘fun’.

It’s also been a few family members birthday this week, and I missed it. Once again, I’m a typical man.

If things were the other way round and it was me that had died then Claire would be writing the same things I’m sure, from a different perspective. I suppose it’s to be expected that as we get back to normal, what ever normal is, we begin to notice the old ‘normal’ things that are difficult or impossible to do now.

I’m quite resourceful person so can usually cope in most situations, but it’s so difficult when I spent 22 years not exercising a whole load of resources. It sounds sexist but there are whole load of ‘motherly/womanly’ resources which Clare had in abundance and so it was easier to let her look after those side of things in life. And now I can almost see the gaping hole where those resources should be, but I don’t even know what they are let alone how to begin using them.

Sending birthday cards, booking holidays or going to the shops with the girls sound like easy things to do, but I’m struggling to know where to start.

Making the printer work, packing the car to go on holiday and finding the best deal to shop online is what I know how to do and to me those things seem easy, but ask me to get organised enough to buy a birthday card a week in advance, write it and get it to the post box and I’ll struggle. I just haven’t used ‘that resource’ (what ever that resource is) for 20 odd years.

I guess that’s one of the problems of working Together in a marriage, like a well oiled And highly efficient machine, as soon as one of the critical components is removed the whole machine falls apart – Our marriage worked so well because we worked so well together, and it seems ironic that it is that very fact that makes things so tough now.

I know that as time goes on I will recognise what resources are lacking and begin to find out how to use them but in the meantime if I miss your birthday please accept my apologies.