Last night I dreamed of taking a job in the social work department of a mining company. I did not reflect upon the juxtaposition of social work and mining at the time, only knew that I was happy to have a job.
A reliable income at last.
And as I write the word ‘reliable’, I wonder did my dream have anything to do with the reliability that has at last been restored to my life with my husband back home and the dramas of the past seven weeks subsiding.
All the tests the doctors took at the last minute were negative, except there are still signs of the infection dangling under its cosy biofilm on his pacemaker lead, though much reduced in size.
Despite all the original threats to remove the pacemaker and thereby jeopardise my husband’s life to save his life, the medical Brains Trust saw fit to leave well enough alone and they sent him home on oral antibiotics, apparently for life.
My husband is accustomed to taking pills for life as long as there is life.
He does not have the dreaded temporal arteritis, our fear for last week, and all other signs have returned to normal and so he is back in the fold and life resumes some semblance of normalcy.
Why then I wonder as my dream progresses do I find myself spending several days unready for work, and in need of a shower, chatting to my colleagues at the mining company and helping them with their children?
Why then in my dream, do I find myself accosted by a senior official who questions my qualifications within the mining sector.
‘You may be a social worker,’ she says. ‘But you have no idea of how to work with mining people.’
The official is right but I also believe I can get by once I become accustomed to the procedures.
I can find a way to help, perhaps with the mothers’ groups and I tell the senior official as much but she hauls me off to the director’s office and there the two decide together I am unfit and should leave the place immediately.
I’d have thought I’d be more upset in the dream and although I dislike my capacity being questioned in this way, I’m relieved to be on my way.
There will be other jobs, I tell myself at the same time hovering in the back of my dream, I know it’s only a dream.
And then to wake on Good Friday morning into the quiet of this particular day of the year, my favourite day of the year in so far as it seems like, almost everything and everyone stops, irrespective of their religious convictions – in this country at least.
It’s not the religious part that matters to me, though no doubt it fuels my memory.
My mother’s belief that every Good Friday at three o’clock in the afternoon, the sun won’t shine.
She forgot there are many places in the world in darkness and other places where the sun must be shining brightly, even on Good Friday.
My mother’s belief in her religion belonged to wherever she found herself, a convenient belief as far as I could see. The way the world always looks better when you’re in a good mood and when you’re not, your world can suddenly seem awful.
The cross on the wall of the hospital where my husband spent the last seven weeks. No rising from the dead but at least a chance to go on living.
My world has improved remarkably with my husband home at last.
I am not so foolish as to believe it will go on forever. Nothing lasts forever. And change is the one great certainty, but for now I can rest on the possibility of some time out from the routine of hospital visits and life on a medical ward.
The world looks different outside the hospital prison, however necessary time inside may be.