The 07:35 to Leeds

There are some things from my former life that I identify so acutely with my former life that their weight and meaning now is infinite. These things represent my independence and freedom from a time before My Myeloma, and thus they are a symbol for something that I have, in the worst case scenario, lost, best case, miss.

One such symbol, is the 07:35 train to Leeds, calling at Wakefield Westgate from Kings Cross. I know this train. I dread to think how many times I have caught that train, taking my ability to do so for granted. I dread to think about the number of times, I rocked up at Kings Cross Station, tired and make up free, purchased an overpriced breakfast and then raced across the concourse in competition with the other commuters, to the train, spilling my tea, because I did not like my seat reservation. For your information, I like a forward facing window seat in coach H. It doesn’t matter that that carriage doesn’t have power sockets, because I’m travelling in the morning and all my electrical goods are fully charged. On the train, I was a creature of habit. Preferably, I would obtain a seat on the lefthand side of the train, for no other reason than liking it. I would whip out my travel pillow and get comfortable. First though, I would eat my breakfast and have a cup of tea whilst listening to a pop anthem to get me in the mood. Somewhere around Peterborough, I would fall asleep, by which time I would have given up trying to be cool and I would be listening to The Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack. If I happened to still be awake at Peterborough, I would force myself to stay awake until the Tallington level crossing, to remind myself that I was a grown up and no longer the teenager who used to work at Tallington Lakes. I like to romanticise things with meaning; can you tell? At Doncaster, where one is greeted by a series of metal carriages, Work Mum would call me to make sure I was awake. Waking up at Doncaster gave me sufficient time to do my make up before reaching my final destination of Wakefield. I wouldn’t need the announcement at Wakefield, I knew when to stand up and I would know where I would alight, making allowances for carriage differentials. I would then allow nature to happen when I was on firm ground, before making my way to the exit and hailing a cab.

It is a ritual and it was mine, well, until it wasn’t.

I miss everything I connect to that train. I miss being able to get up early, even though I have always been really bad at it. I miss working. I miss feeling like I am doing something.
I miss Hofman’s Butchers in Wakefield, especially their pork pie. I miss a life where my biggest responsibility and worry is making an early morning train.

It does amaze me how I can get gooey eye over a train, but that’s just me I guess.

My point this morning, is that sometimes it is possible for me to breakdown these barriers. It’s also necessary. It is possible, with much planning and thought, for me to confront my pre myeloma symbols, which I have managed to turn into hurdles. It’s also necessary. It is possible for me to show My Myeloma that it does not rule me. That is most definitely necessary.

So, as I type this, I am sticking two firm fingers up at My Myeloma, whilst sitting on the 07:35hrs train to Leeds with my travel pillow and iPod and I am crying.

I am crying because I could do it and for so long, I thought I couldn’t. It wasn’t lost, it was just missing. Just think, for how many other things does this apply?

EJB x

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2 thoughts on “The 07:35 to Leeds

  1. Terri J says:

    This is excellent. I’m glad you caught the train. Things will be found again. My daughter didn’t work full time for 11 months but kept her hand in it working from home & going into the office once a week. She didn’t drive for a year because of peripheral neuropathy from the chemo but that was her New Year goal & just last weekend she drove 2 hours to our house. All the things you talk about are what my daughter went through & I just want you to know things will get better. Yes there is mourning for the way things were but keep trying to find your way back.

  2. DAMMIT, DAMMIT, DAMMIT! and i do get it – that it’s only one of many beloved rites of passage (pun – well, hell it just happened!) that you dream about and wish you could still have to be YOURS. perhaps along with this particular routine, there may be others someday soon that will float your boat quite nicely – things that haven’t even been invented in your reality, that will give even more pleasure and that you can claim for yourself to be the harbingers of a new life, one re-invented just for you, and that you fall in love with. i will be believing for you that it will happen, emma, and that you will write a stunningly written blog about it, that make us all envious and wish we could come along on the ride with you.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

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