When I leave my home with the car and turn the corner this is the first obstacle that I meet, the local train. It is impossible to avoid the train as it travels back and forth every 20 minutes. If you want to cross the rails you meet the main road. It might be that the train is approaching and you are stuck on the rails because there is too much traffic to drive further. Now and again there is a collision between a car and train, so this obstacle is to be approached carefully.
There will always be obstacles in life, sometimes more and sometimes less. When you live in a country that speaks a different language and has a different way of life, then obstacle is just a fact of life. “Oh, she’s english you know” was often used as an excuse for my was of putting my foot in it. You do not just sit down at a restaurant or take an empty seat in a train, you ask first “is this place occupied” although you do not see anyone that wants it. It is custom and another obstacle to be overcome. Always greet someone older than you if you are on a walk and do not expect them to greet you first if you are younger: a matter of respect, no just custom, a way of Swiss life.
On the other hand I am now learning of the obstacles I am encounting in England. Since 5 years my father has been living in his own appartment in a care home, looked after by wonderful people, but with a certain amount of independence. He also had to overcome his obstacles when he moved there. He no longer lived in his house and could no longer go out. He had someone to help him, but he realised he could no longer live on his own. Things went wonderfully, and last year he celebrated his 100th birthday. I was in London at the time of course, and celebrated with him.
This year things have gone rapidly downhill and today he was moved to an intensive care home from the hospital where he has been the past month. One day the body is more a problem than an asset perhaps. I have overcome so many obstacles in the past month and there are still some to manage, but I have learnt to take one step at a time. Due to my own health problems I cannot jump back and forth to London at the moment and to speak quite frankly, there would be no point. My father sleeps most of the time, does realise what is happening, but it is not the man I knew as a dad. He needs help. I have a truly dear friend that visits my father daily and keeps me in the picture. Another obstacle to overcome, to spare expenses with the long distance telephone calls. We have discovered the Facebook messenger, for us a wonderful solution.
I have cancelled the tenancy of my fathers appartment in his care home from a another country, I live in Switzerland. This was combined with e-mails and phone calls to the responsible government department. They were very helpful and this has now been completed. My friend took care of his personal possessions, otherwise we left all his furniture as it will no longer be needed. His new home has everything he needs. I have cancelled his telephone connection and tomorrow I will organise his eletricity supply. There are so many obstacles to overcome, but gradually I am seeing an end to the tunnel.
I have my own family in the country where I live and they also need me. I have a health problem at the moment which has not arrived at the best moment. A further obstacle I will have to overcome and proably learn to live with eventually.
At the moment my way is paved with obstacles. I am a race horse that jumps over the next obstruction, only to meet another one on the way. What can you say, that’s life, you never know when the next train is approaching, so better take your time and look before going over the crossing.