Despite my original misgivings about the house, I really enjoyed living in it. It wasn’t ideal, it was the wrong way around for the sun but it was a house and the rent was cheaper than my flat and it did have a bit more room.
The neighbours were nice and friendly and it was a short walk to the shops at Merivale through the school. By this time, someone had lent me a bicycle. It was an really old bike with foot brakes and no gears. Once Suzanne had gone to CDU, I was able to go anywhere. Tauranga had a really good cycle lane to town and I would make regular trip mostly to buy material to make clothes.
I also played tennis, really badly but I enjoyed getting out in my whites and attempting to hit the ball. Sport has never been my thing, I have always been too uncoordinated, perhaps an early sign of my disability but I still enjoyed trying new things.
It also meant I could visit Shirley Anne for French lessons and knew I would always be home on time for Suzanne..
The house wasn’t accessible. There were four large steps into the front door. The back door had a porch and the door was at an angle so there was no way of getting a wheelchair in there. Suzanne by this time had gone from her oversized push chair to a manual child’s wheelchair. She was strapped upright in and it can’t have been very comfortable but there was very little options back then.
My OT came to the rescue. She organised an assessment of the house and we very quickly got a ramp. They also said they would modify the bathroom. Some how the paper work for that got lost and it took over two years.
Marty and I talked a lot about the future. He said all he wanted was a colour TV, about six weeks wages back then, a garage and boat. He got the TV and a couple of houses over the years including our present one have had garages but unfortunately he never got his boat.
He would bring his girls around to visit. By this time, Jenni didn’t cry every time she saw me but she still wasn’t happy.
Shortly after we moved in, my depression reared it’s ugly head again. Most of it was due to stress I suspect. Some stress started when my brother and Ivan had tried to ring Mum in Christchurch and got no reply. They were really worried and threatened to ring the police, They even contacted Dad who was equally worried. Problem is, I knew where she was, she had gone to Australia with a new boyfriend and had sworn me to secrecy. She didn’t want Ivan to know. I was torn as to what I should do. Marty as always the sensible one, told me to tell them, I comprised and told Dad and he sorted it all out.
I also missed my period, I was sure I was pregnant. I was terrified at what Marty would say. We had talked about having kids but not yet. Tearfully I told him, expecting some kind of explosion and he just said, well earlier than we expected but it doesn’t matter.
I hugged him and cried.. After a couple of days later I knew I wasn’t pregnant much to my relief. But I couldn’t stop crying and ended up at the doctor. He gave me Valium but like always after a couple of weeks I threw them away. I hated how they made my brain fussy.
All and all life was good, but I just couldn’t get rid of the blues.
© Barbara Hart 2014