I haven’t written anything for over a week and I feel like I’ve lost the knack of stringing a cohesive sentence together but here goes...
As you may know I’ve been away on a “holiday”, a strange word, one that rarely appears in my vocabulary but something other people seem to master with ease.
I will write about it but I have something more pressing to express today, a ringing in my ears that just won’t stop until I get this down.
I came home on Friday and was looking forward to the joy of sleeping in my own bed but my pleasure was cut short when the house alarm went off at 2am.
I keyed in the number and the noise stopped – only to start again a few seconds later. This pattern continued. My dad came downstairs and punched in the number while I looked for…
…what did I need?
The instruction book? Eventually I found it but all it could tell me was the problem was a BF, you can fill in your own expletives as you wish but actually it stands for battery fault.
Who could I call? Last time this happened who sorted the problem? Andrew. It took lots of fuss and bother, many more rude words but it was 9pm not 2am and he at least had some ideas to try and I was at a loss.
Dad said ring the police, I did, not 999 this didn’t constitute a proper emergency. Their advice was ring an electrician.
Have you ever tried to find an electrician in the yellow pages at 2am when your vision is blurry? None of them advertise they are happy to be woken up.
So I rang a friend instead who’s used to disturbed nights on call, he suggested a local alarm company.
I rang them and got no answer at all.
By this time youngest son was shouting, “Hit it with a hammer!”
Mum was installed by the keypad to tap in the number again and again while dad and I went to look at the battery with a view to disconnecting.
Which wire do you cut? Not just red or blue to consider like in the films but orange and yellow and green all tangled in a box at the back of oldest son’s wardrobe.
Finally we found the bell box at the top of the stairs that was making the racket and dad just touched it and it fell off the wall. The wires detached and the noise subsided to a more manageable whine.
“It should stop in 20 minutes.”
After settling the boys down and shutting doors to minimise the sound we had a cup of tea.
Twenty minutes passed and then thirty. The whine continued. We wedged a cushion up against the key pad where the irritating noise was coming from, held in place with the step ladder – how resourceful you can be in the early hours!
I lay in bed, youngest son beside me, always a comfort for us both when things get tough, listening intently to see if the noise had stopped, it hadn’t. It took a while for me to tune it out again.
I thought I’d never sleep and remembered that first night after Andrew died when I tossed and turned finding no peace whatsoever.
Finally the birds started singing, it was almost 4am. They drowned out the artificial sound, but then I’d have to stop and listen for it just to make sure.
Eventually I fell asleep.
In the morning I punched the number in again, it stopped for good this time. I got someone to come out who changed the battery and now the system should be as good as new.
That constant ringing in my ears is just like grief, always there but sometimes you can tune it out and carry on. You think you are doing fine, the noise has finally abated but then you catch the sound once more and it stays with you a while longer.
It’s like the pain I get in my back. Apparently there’s nothing wrong but every now and then I ache and the only way it goes is by being so involved in something else I forget about it altogether – until the next time I remember and there’s that twinge again.
People think I’m strong and brave but actually I’m so fragile. I try so hard to live normally and enjoy the things I have but there is so much I want to change that’s immoveable, so much I am enduring not enjoying.
Lack of sleep doesn’t help; Andrew always knew when I was too tired to function properly and would advise me to get some rest.
It’s strange, I’ve just come back from a holiday but I now feel as if I need one more than ever. I need a break, a chance to get away and stop the constant ringing in my ears.
Although as I will write, probably tomorrow, even that is fraught with tears, this path is never easy...