We’re a small but close family and everyone is here and/or available for Peter (and me, but Peter is first and foremost). Kristina arrived from San Francisco a few days ago, and has spent a great deal of time being with Peter, talking with him, telling him her plans and listening carefully to his advice and suggestions, which are always spot on.
Jason is here daily, and since he lives 10 minutes away, conversations can be more spaced out, but he too, has been talking so much with Peter. Both understand the very positive influence Peter has had, and will continue to have, on their lives. It’s so important to have these conversations, and to be truly open and forthcoming.
There are of course others: son-in-law, daughter-in-law, siblings (mine and Peter’s), and so on, but the focus right now is on Kristina and Jason.
So, thoughts. This is hard, harder than I could have imagined, should I ever have imagined it. It’s never occurred to me that there is any other option than to give Peter the love and care and relief from outside stresses that he needs right now. In talking with various non-family folks, I’ve found out that it’s quite frequent that spouses or other close family members are unwilling to take on the caretaker role, or perhaps do it reluctantly. I can understand that at one level. But having spent the better part of my life with Peter, and having worked closely with him for more than 30 years, in a way it’s a natural process to move into yet another stage together. I know with absolute certainty that he would do the same for me, should our roles have been reversed.
Peter’s determined to write up his vision for the future in terms of information access, and has started a power point to that effect. We bought him a tablet to make sure he has an easy way to note down ideas and so on. I’m not going to delve into his vision, but suffice to say it’s typical Peter – very far-sighted and visionary on the one hand, but also based in practicality.
The nature of this blog is changing a bit, at least in my head, and the above seems a bit of a random collection, but to me it’s part of a whole, which I hope will become clearer in a while.
So family visits, talks, thoughts, being together, making sense of a life of ideas and carrying them out – these are the sorts of things I’m thinking about as I deal with the day to day aspects of caring for Peter.