I offer to walk around the garden with her before I go off for the afternoon with the children. I barely make it half way round before I feel unable to continue. I have utterly run out of patience. When she speaks she stops walking. When she does walk she walks extremely slowly. The weather is dull and cold. We are miserable. She wants to hold on to me and I want to leave. She needs me. She has no one else. I know this and it crushes me. Guilt and impatience battle within me. Impatience wins. I do manage to get all the way around with her, coaxing her on. She stops by the flower bed and suggests that she cuts back the dead flowers. ‘No,’ I say, and brutally add, ‘because you can’t. You are not able to do that.’ I walk further and just before I turn the corner I look back and am cruel, ‘Just like you can’t make a meal.’ I shrug and disappear from her forlorn view. What a shit I am.
This evening I apologised, as she went to bed. I said, ‘You have no idea how difficult this is for me.'