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The time has come to give away my dreams

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    The time has come to give away my dreams

    In the four-plus years since diagnosis I don’t think I’ve cried at all, for myself that is. For other reasons, yes: the recent floods in the Ahr valley in Germany where I used to walk through the vineyards, Terry, Dina.

    Over decades, I’ve built up a modest carpentry workshop and amassed lots of tools. They have given me immense pleasure and satisfaction over the years, but the aim was always to be adequately equipped for retirement, i.e. now, so that I could spend my last years on all those projects I’ve dreamed of.

    Each time you pick up a tool you remember the previous times you’ve held it. The stout mortice chisels, my framing square, my beautiful hand forged Gransfors side axe, its blade stamped with the initials of the Swedish blacksmith who made it, They’ve all helped me work with craftsmen and women to build a replica 13th century crane in Prague, renovate an ancient bakery the grounds of a chateau in France, build a sustainable office in Oxfordshire (photo), as well as many other smaller personal jobs.
    Earth Trust building.jpg
    I haven’t minded not being able to go into the workshop for over a year now, like so many other places.

    But recently, a lawyer friend who is also a passionate carpenter gently suggested that I should begin to clear my workshop and decide what to do with my tools. He offered to make a start and suggested calling in a firm of auctioneers to view what might be saleable. That’s when it hit me!

    Yes, they are just saws and planes and chisels and I knew they held my memories, but suddenly I realised they hold my dreams too.
    And now the time has come when I must give away my dreams.

    It’s too hard…… too many tears….

    Attached Files
    Diagnosed April 2017

    I've had three complete clear outs in my life. The last was when I moved into an unfurnished flat and three years later left a fully furnished flat with three bags. It doesn't get easier. 😉🤗✌️🐧xx
    Bulbar started Jan 2020. Mute and 100% tube fed but mobile and undefeated. Stay Strong 🤗😘🤗😁xx


      Doug Carpenter Thank you for sharing that lovely post and photograph Doug.

      I know how horrible it is to see your future coldly and plainly unrealisable. Those memories are not only physical and will live on in your heart and in your head.

      Hugs, kisses and love,
      Ellie 💖
      ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
      Significant bulbar impairment - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV - Eye gaze user


        Doug Carpenter wonderful memories and a special post you've shared. I hope your cherished tools, although a great loss to you, will come to mean the same to another skilled craftsman....creating and shaping for years to come.

        ​​​​​​​Take care of yourself

        Initial diagnosis 7-4-2021 'suspected MND' confirmed by 2nd opinion 4th June 2021 ALS. Began with R foot limp and lots of falls. NIV overnight. Generally weak. Mostly terrified.​​​​​​


          Hi Doug,it’s so hard when we realise that our future plans have had to change in so many ways.
          Your skills are amazing with woodwork.
          In a much smaller way when I was diagnosed 16 months ago I gave away books , little possessions etc.I cleared my wardrobes out to friends and charity shops.I have gone on to lose more weight so had another clear out of clothes to friends recently .

          We went through family photos and gave some to our family .I feel like I am on a clear out mode getting ready for my next chapter .( Depends on your personal beliefs how you view that) .In a way it’s brought me peace.

          Of course there are days when sadness enters my thoughts and tears at times when I think about our adult son and daughter trying to be strong .I wish they didn’t have to witness my deterioration but it’s just part of life with its ups and downs.
          So Doug ,I wish you well in passing on your tools to other people who might be learning carpentry.You have left a legacy of your skills for others to enjoy and now maybe the tools too.

          Our elderly neighbours gardening tools were passed to myself and my husband and we used them with respect and affection remembering how they tended their garden.Now I can no longer garden but can enjoy watching my garden been tended by my husband and it brings different but great pleasure.
          Its ok to mourn losses and shed tears Doug.We have to endure so many losses due to MND that it makes sense to be sad at times.
          Thanks for sharing your feelings .
          Best wishes


            Doug Carpenter Oh Doug your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. Although its sad,its lovely to remember Terry and Dina and many others.

            I really understand your user name now .. what fantastic skills!

            Its awful to let go of our hopes and dreams for the future. It seems frivolous now but I accepted my diagnosis and having to give up work. I then cried buckets when I gave away all my shoes and jeans. .. it seemed symbolic somehow.

            I try to make new dreams and plans to keep positive but now they are one day at a time.

            Love and hugs to you Doug 😘🤗xxx


              @Deb...I can relate to you giving away jeans and shoes.Clothes now have to for me be easy to pull up and down !Also shoes have to accommodate feet swelling and no heels even though I can’t walk I need to be able to transfer while I can.
              I still like to feel nice in clothes though.

              Like you I don’t plan too far ahead.Our family are talking about Xmas plans but understand I don’t want to commit to anything at present.No rush.

              So hard for Doug who is obviously a creative carpenter to not use his skills how he imagined he would.

              Best wishes
              Mary x


                Originally posted by Mary C View Post
                Our family are talking about Xmas plans but understand I don’t want to commit to anything at present.
                Mary, take a leap of faith and make Xmas plans - you'll have something definite on which to focus and can relax knowing where you'll be, and when, less stressful... xx

                ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                Significant bulbar impairment - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV - Eye gaze user


                  Doug Carpenter you write with great passion. Maybe that is your new hobby. I totally understand. This weekend I've had a huge breakdown due to my voice going. I've a fab group of pub friends and we had a group chat page. I left the group today because the pain I feel of reading how they are all meeting up etc & I'm not a part of that.
                  I knew I would withdraw from life but its not made it an easier saying goodbye x
                  Diagnosed May 2021 bulbar onset als.


                    Oh shelly21 I am so sorry you're at this very difficult stage.

                    I will say though, don't shut the door on them fully, you might find you will want to engage with some of them again in the future, when you're ready, or you might not.

                    I dropped out of several groups and some dropped me when I lost my ability to speak but, after a while, I contacted a small number of people and, to my surprise, several more contacted me, and we get together from time to time.

                    Hugs to you 🤗🤗😘
                    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                    Significant bulbar impairment - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV - Eye gaze user


                      Heartbreaking for you and wise words from Ellie who knows too well how it is to be without the ability to talk.However Ellie gives so much support to us forum members on here and shares how she has coped or adapted to her many changes even maintaining humour .

                      My voice is weakening a lot too , so my time is coming when I won’t be able to talk.I only hope after wanting to withdraw I will be able somehow to enjoy being with close friends and family.Of course it will never be the same as a good chat but at least there are communication aids and apps we can use.
                      Thinking of you and your family and praying as you try to cope with this huge loss.
                      Best wishes
                      Mary x


                        Doug, what an emotional post . Feels so sad to read and of closing doors and letting dreams go from other members also. Its quite heartbreaking. I agree with what Ellie wisely wrote... dont let those doors close completely because you might have days when you are able to meet and be in groups again. And Doug holding onto some of your most memorable tools and keepsakes might bring some comfort and moments when you can look at them and feel so proud of your achievements and projects you have done. You are all in my thoughts. I just wanted to say what a privilege it is to see how brave members are.
                        Diagnosed June 2022. Confirmed MND. Limb onset. Symptoms started November 2020.


                          Oh how this resonates with me! My husband learned many practical skills from his grandfather, who was a carpenter. All his life he has been immensely practical and we have a workshop full of tools etc. One of the hardest things for him to deal with is being unable to deal with anything that goes wrong! Or explain to me what I need to do! And now I have no idea what to do with all the tools, screws etc. Similarly we have a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes that he will never again wear. It breaks my heart.


                          • However, the good memories remain.


                              Oh Doug

                              I wish I could give you a big hug.

                              When we left Portugal I couldn't tell Stephen we had left for good. He thought we had plans to go out for the day.

                              Its heart breaking when he asks where his tools are. Hes really upset they have been left behind. They are a collection he built up over his working life.

                              What about renewing his driving licence? Why cant he drive our car and what about the one we left in the garage. He watches the ferry leaving and wants to go back to portgal. He shouts at people from the balcony, friends he left behind he thinks he sees them here.

                              We left everything behind.
                              when i can think of something profound i will update this.