Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Only One of a Many Caregiver's Stories

April 28, 2021

It's a Wednesday.

Writing provides a satisfying and gratifying way for me to take a deep explorative dive into the depths of all of me.  I generally start out with a glimmer of an idea and soon find myself curiously wandering in and out of the nooks and crannies that make up my being.  I like looking around, seeing what's there.  I have become familiar with some of the paths I find myself on, but there is always more to discover. 

Lately a path I have been distressfully visiting way too often is dark and cold and colorless with boulders of angry criticism blocking the light.  I don't like it there.  But it's there, and stubbornly refuses to be ignored.

These days I don't often have the luxury of the alone time I need to totally absorb myself in my writing. 

For instance, right now, this very moment, I am distracted with the anticipation that my trance will be interrupted.  Thoughts of the morning tasks that caregiving requires are begging for attention. 

I expect that I soon will  be called upon to help selecting the appropriate clothing for the day.  

I hear my name being called from the bedroom.  "Lynda".  I think to myself, it's a sweet sound, really.  

He comes out of the bedroom, walks over to me, and bends down for a kiss.

And he brings with him the light. 


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

My Memory Blanket

 Today is going to be a beauty of a brisk bright blue, not a cloud in the sky, spring day.   

It's Tuesday, and like every other Tuesday, the low guttural noises of a motor and high pitched squeaks of  brakes coming from a garbage truck woke me.  

We used to live next to an elementary school.  A convoy of school buses would pass by our house early morning and late afternoon.  The not so melodious refrain coming from the buses is nearly the same as our Tuesday garbage truck. 

Sometimes, the Tuesday garbage truck noise tricks my not quite awake brain back into a time warp of long ago.   Before I am fully awake, as I lie in bed,  swirling memories of kid shouts and giggles chase each other around in my head.  

I hear my own voice calling to my children, "Come on now, hurry, hurry, or you will miss the bus." Of course that was the first warning.  The second, third and hopefully not too often, the fourth call would probably not have been as gentle. 

There are no school buses in my neighborhood.  Just us old folks, no kids allowed.  Most times I like the peacefulness and the quiet of the mostly empty streets. 

But this morning, like my worn, but still warm, flannel sheets, the thoughts of little kids and school buses are fuzzy but cozy and I want to linger just a little longer under my memory blanket. 



Saturday, March 6, 2021

My Red Ceramic Mug, The One From Starbucks

 Saturday, March 6, 2021

strong
/strôNG/






1.
having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks.
2.
able to withstand great force or pressure.

In my life, during particularly difficult times,  I've been told by well meaning family, friends and even mere acquaintances to "be strong" or "stay strong" or "you are stronger than you think."

Ironically,  hearing those "supportive" phrases during the hardest of times, usually makes me feel quite the opposite.   

Today is one of those days where I feel quite the opposite.  Today, I will acknowledge that I am tired.  All the way around tired.  Physically, emotionally, intellectually, sleep deprived, just plain tired.  

Why is today a day for this admission?  I mean it's been a year of tough, tiring days, right?

We, billions of people are tired, right? 

The whole world is being told to "hang in there", "be strong". 

Unplanned and without much thought, we, Ross and I, (mostly me, Ross is having a harder time) have fallen into a routine which may be our (my) way of coping.   Probably having a routine has created some kind of normalcy, for me, at least. 

There are designated days for laundry, food shopping and house cleaning. On a daily basis we basically do the same things at the same time each day.   The days have turned into weeks and months and now a year. 

My mornings are my "me" time.  I usually get up an hour or two before Ross.  I come into the kitchen, turn on the light and open the blinds.  I fill my tea pot with water.   While I wait for the water to boil, I cross off the previous day on the calendar, write the new date on the white board and empty the dishwasher. 

Then I usually take my tea into the living room, turn on the news, scroll through my phone and just sit and sip for a few quiet moments.

When I hear Ross start to stir, I know the day is off to its usual start, breakfast, straightening, running whatever errands there are to be done, lunch, straightening, TV, dinner, straightening, maybe a Facetime or phone call, TV, then bed.  Of course, knitting has its place throughout the day. 

Our life is simple, I suppose.  We are comfortable.  I am truly grateful for the ability to have food in the fridge and pantry.  

We have our challenges, though and life isn't fair.  There are the days when I need to step outside, in my stocking feet, onto the hard concrete front porch and feel the shock of icy cold all the way up from my toes to my face. 

weak
/wēk/

1.
lacking the power to perform physically demanding tasks; lacking physical strength and energy.
2.
liable to break or give way under pressure; easily damaged.

Today, I poured the boiling water into my favorite mug.  It's the red ceramic one from Starbucks with the lid to keep my tea nice and hot.  And as per my usual routine, I headed into the living room to settle into my comfy chair.  It's the big oversize leather with the matching foot stool.  

On my way to the chair, I noticed drops of water on the floor.  I also noticed that my hand was wet beneath the mug.  Condensation? 

I took the mug back into the kitchen, set it down on a paper towel while I wiped up the drops on the floor. When I went back into the kitchen to get my tea, the paper towel was wet.  My favorite red ceramic mug, the one from Starbucks was leaking.  

And just like that, my routine, like the red ceramic mug, my favorite one, the one from Starbucks, had been broken. 

Perhaps that's what made today a culmination  of all those particularly difficult times, the hardest of the hard.  

It made today, the kind of day where I long for  a moment, please, to lay down the heavy weight, and give way to the pressure.  

The kind of day where for a moment, please, I need to crawl into myself,  pull the softness all the way up over my whole being, and rest in my cocoon.