empty nest

2 09 2008

Fox News – CNN – the Weather Channel – MSNBC all have enough to report today to keep her glued to her chair…just where she needs to be.  Well actually she’s moved over to his chair – but that is good.  A phone call from one of her oldest friends in California who just had to have her husband taken to an Alzheimers residential facility makes us grateful – even now.  The things we aren’t facing giving us some strange consolation.  Lunch glued to the tube – then a nap for an hour and a half…followed by a “Jon and Kate Plus 8” marathon.Even watching this is something that couldn’t be done just a few weeks ago.  It was too much visual/audio stimulation.

Later in the afternoon a visit to a friend in the hospital that couldn’t come to the funeral.  A quick dinner at Culver’s with no napkins to go, no extra ketchup or mustard packets to put in the fidge at home. Going and doing with one instead of two is quite the change.  

This is life – it keeps rolling.  Everyone that was here for the events of the last few weeks are settled back snug as bugs in a rug in their own beds.  I can’t help but look at the clock and think back to what I would have been doing at this time of the day just a month ago.  Late afternoons were the worst – no matter how easy the day had been.  Multiple times a day she mentions how relieved she is that he’s not suffering any more.

She thinks through possibilities of re-purposing spaces in the house – little projects long forgotten because she picked her battles wisely. The apple cart was so delicate – one dared not upset it.   In random conversations she mentions social outings that she is putting on her calendar. She won’t have to worry about coming home in the dark to find him sitting outside in the rain with a flashlight waiting for her to come home…the storm had frightened him and he was anxious for her to get home.  With each passing day it seems like she gets “lighter”.  These declining years were heavy.  She carried it more than I’ll ever know.  

We talked about one of my dad’s best friends who’s wife came to the wake alone – she can’t take him out any more.  She was glad that is all over for Billy.  She wondered if he was playing softball up there – no shortness of breath, flashing that grin, cracking jokes, knowing everyone’s names and of course able to run the bases after hitting a solid line drive. There will be good days and sad days there will be life in the empty nest.