There are times when life as a carer can feel a bit like a seemingly endless journey littered with numerous: “Are we nearly there yet?” moments.
And then there are times when everything slots into place and life couldn’t be more simple or enjoyable.
Last week Rachel and I reached the end of a long and winding road at the end of what had been a long and tiring day and this is what we found:
Alright, so it was actually raining when we arrived and this view was captured the next morning but I’m seeking a bit of artistic licence here.
The view is from the bungalow we rented in Mallaig, a harbour town on the north west coast of Scotland and a few miles along the coast from where this happened on June 20:
Rachel’s eldest brother Richard married his long-time (long-suffering?) girlfriend Julie on an idyllic beach as the sun shone down and most of the guests ended up paddling in the sea with a glass of champagne in their hand.
Life doesn’t get more simple and enjoyable than that.
It was a long journey to get to that point (I’m not talking about the 10 years Richard and Julie had been together before he popped the question). As soon as the date and venue was set we went into planning mode.
Or, rather, Rachel went into planning mode and began working out the best way we could travel so far north and make sure she was energised enough to enjoy the wedding. All the planning paid off. We had a full day’s travelling in order to get to Mallaig, but then Rachel had a full day’s recovery time before the Monday wedding.
We based ourselves in a comfortable bungalow for a week. We tried to remain flexible while at the same time carefully planning as much as possible to ensure the impact on Rachel was minimised.
I remained Rachel’s carer for the week, we may have been on holiday but switching off from caring was never likely to happen. And yet I did relax, I did unwind, I felt the benefit of being away from the usual routines as much as Rachel did and we had a week that will live long in both our memories.
There’s an awful lot of planning that goes into a wedding, as we know from our own wedding day almost five years ago. These days, as guests at such functions, Rachel and I still tend to do an awful lot of planning of our own.
But it is undoubtedly worth it, especially for those little moments that mean so much – like paddling in the sea or stretching out on the sand together in the warm sunshine.
As a carer I’m not sure I’ll ever get a satisfactory answer to the question: “Are we nearly there yet?” The long and winding road stretches out a long way in the distance.
But thankfully there are more than enough fantastic moments along way that means finding an answer to that question is irrelevant.
Moments like this are priceless: