Following my long overdue blog post of last week, Gerard and I have been touched and overwhelmed by the messages of support, kindness and encouragement that have been sent by so many guests, friends, past team members and judging from the volume of messages, it would seem, simply anyone who has ever met Gerard. We are both genuinely shocked by the number of messages and the kindness of so many- thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Personally I have always tried to be as positive as possible- obviously I have moments of doubt, distress and negativity from time to time, but overall I try to emulate Pollyanna, (a film I watched when very young and which struck a chord in me, so much so, that I try to have as many “Pollyanna” moments as possible when life is tougher than one hoped for) and I try to look on the bright side, see good before bad, calm before turmoil and be positive about whatever challenges lie ahead. I am a firm believer in fate and “que sera, sera”.
During this time of challenge, of which there are many, as Gerard is struggling to eat and more importantly drink and has lost over a stone in weight, (no bad thing!) and now has a beard, so he is almost unrecognisable; but this time has also afforded Gerard and I the chance for reflection. The time spent away from the hotel and Gerard’s hectic travelling schedule has offered up opportunities that we would not have had time to seek previously- a time to take stock, to look at what we do and how we do it and to work towards finding a better balance between work and home, health and happiness and to realise what is important and what is simply too time consuming and superficial…
Whilst I would most certainly have never wanted Gerard or my mum to be diagnosed with such a cruel disease, and there are certainly difficult and troubling times ahead, in one tiny way, Gerard being ill has afforded us a number of opportunities to try to make some positive changes which we would otherwise have overlooked, been too time pressured to bother to even think about and we would continue to be running around, too busy to notice so many important things.
This time has so far given us much to worry over, to contemplate and to absorb- medical terminology, frightening prognosis, a rollercoaster of emotions; we have gone through them all in recent weeks, but there has also been the chance to start to mend fences with people we once held dear, but for varied reasons we had grown apart from, to understand each other better, to reconnect, to tackle projects that had never seemed possible because there was never a spare minute in Gerard’s hectic schedule- in short Gerard’s illness has thus far given us much to worry over, much stress and angst, but also offered us a very precious commodity, time and space to think, to re-evaluate and re-calibrate.
At present each day brings another challenge… the effects of the treatment are varied, none of them pleasant, Gerard has had to be admitted to hospital for emergency treatment and it is wearing and tiring for him, but if the chemo does some good and ensures that better health is the ultimate outcome, then it will be worth the discomfort, unpleasant side effects and bone shaking tiredness.
For sure, Gerard is being very brave, strong and has retained his sense of humour… I am learning patience, getting used to having him at home (he’s normally away more than he’s home) and my cooking skills are being utilised at last!
Thank you all again for your kindness and support- it is hugely appreciated by us both. Whilst Gerard is not at the hotel at present I and all the team look forward to welcoming you all back again very soon to take advantage of our fantastic pre Christmas offers!
Until next time