Cruel Trick of the Mind

Cruel Trick of the Mind 

There are aspects of my disability I find difficult to cope with, now being restricted to a chair and needing near total care, I feel I am sinking into quicksand; sucking me into this condition where only my mind will be left. But the cruelty is this factor, I can remember what I once was, what I once could do, when I was once a real Father…………….

I remember vividly what I once was

The walking through wooded valley

Along ancient walls dividing nations

Walls stood strong for millennia

The first footprints in morning meadow dew

Seeing carpets of purple blue bluebells

Beneath the woodland spring canopy

Stunned by the beauty of spring

As if this was the first spring ever seen

Shimmering rusty heather in the summer heat

On sides of hills so far away

Our destination to be reached together

The playing in water, dirt and daisies

The necklaces of flowers presented as jewels

Picnics in castle ruins

Beneath still giving orchards

The laughter and the silence of hide and seek

Uncomfortable sand and pebbled beaches

The smell of sea air, intoxicating, calling

The total thrill of Sunday rock-pool hunting

Creatures under rocks or maybe seaweed

The scream combined with thrills as crabs are found

Calls for Dad to pick them up

Depositing in colourful plastic buckets

The intense examination of the creature captures

As if scientists finding unknown new life

The scrapes and toe stubs

The tears so quickly forgotten

Holding hands to face waves defiantly

The shouts and tightening hands

As bodies small and large are engulfed

And spin cycled gush off our feet

Land, laughing, coughing from swallowed salt

Not that it mattered as repeated time and time again

Sitting in a towel together shivering

As sun begins to sink below the mysterious horizon

Remembering the valleys we saw

The hills climbed, scrambled up and explored

The breath-taking vistas that were seen

The knee deep in mud as we followed rivers

The losing of Pingu wellies in gripping mud

The crying, the making up

The tired legs so I carried upon my shoulders

The cutting wind, the pouring rain, the sun

That terrible wet mist soaked through any number of layers

Cold hands warmed by hot chocolate from a flask

Cold noses that took hours to warm

The sandwiches and sometimes Kendal Mint Cake

The treat if finding an English Heritage shop

Where you knew I would by the sweets

The days out just being free of technology

And so much more of delightful memories

But all that was in my mind, in my memories is no more, I sit in a chair, contained in a house, safe from all that I once lived for, sometimes consumed with pain or numbing medication, perhaps that’s best as I sometimes remember the hills never explored, the Wainwright paths not followed by these feet, these feet that won’t walk through spring meadows ever again. My spirit as broken as my body, as broken as my mind, compounded by the cruelty of these memories, these ‘what-were’, but therein lies the paradox. 

These memories torture me of what we use to do and racking my spirit until broken in two, but I would not be without these memories, I could not live without these images of what we once did, as these are also memories of us, not of me, of my family, my only anchor that keeps me going. These very memories that makes me hate what my body has become, makes me resentful of what I cannot do, now also warms my soul with images of family that I live for. So torture away and bring those memories into my darkness, they remind me I was a Father once and a Husband before disease claimed my nerves and my mind. 


Jonathan Wade

Smiling Cat Ventures and Innovations Group



Smiling Cat Ventures Ltd (

Innovative Minds At Work Ltd (

Moments in Time Ltd (

Innovative Business Consultancy Ltd (

Systems of Equality Ltd

Passport to Care Ltd (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)

Spiritual Inclusion (Social Enterprise – Not For Profit)

Disability In Business Centre (in development)

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