Archive for June, 2007

Duty

They look at me over the hospital bed with their bright young eyes, breathless with the details of their sparkling new adult lives.  The five of them have matured into quieter methods of pleading for their way, but they may as well be throwing themselves on the floor in the same kicking, screaming fits they threw as toddlers…they want something I don’t want to give them.  Pap is in the hospital once again, an infection in his leg this time.  As a diabetic, he has to be on top of his health, he has to take care of himself and he doesn’t.  Its been determined by my children that Pap can’t take care of himself, so someone must take care of him…and they believe it should be me. 

While I hesitate to say happy, I can say I’m content in my new single life most of the time.  When I finish writing this and whip back the comforter on my bed, it will smell like cherry blossoms, a scent Pap called “too girly” for sheets.  All four pillows are mine.  My clothes have plenty of breathing room in the closet.  I listen to what I want, watch what I want and have the time to plod toward my dream.  I didn’t go into nursing for a reason.  The children know better than to call me selfish, but they get those tight  lipped little frowns that tell me they’re thinking it. 

I wish I could be one of those women who’s husband and children were their be all, end all.  But I’m not.  They are my treasures, and I was a devoted and proactive wife and mother, always believing  that the kids would grow up someday and I’d have a chance to chase my dream.  THIS IS MY TIME.  this is my time. 

Eight more days of things exactly the way I like them.  Then they will release Pap from the hospital and he’ll move in here.  Not because we’re madly in love, but because of duty.  I’ll fake happy, and treat him well and that will be good enough to Pap.   Somebody has to take care of him.  

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June 6, 2007 at 8:30 am 26 comments

Move It Fatso

When my first husband left me in the early eighties he took everything but our two kids and  their cribs.  I lost so much weight, so fast, my friends swore they could see it dropping off as they watched.  We called it the divorce diet.  I never had to fuss much to keep my weight within manageable boundaries.  Then I turned 40.  It got a little tougher, but with diligence, I didn’t have to buy new jeans for any reason except my old ones had worn out.  Then I left Pap and the cosmos turned on me.

Somehow I’ve managed to gain 60 pounds.  I’m sure they didn’t all pile on since I left Pap, but enough of ’em made the migration that I now own a closet full of clothes that don’t fit.  This is unacceptable.  It looks gross and I have no money to buy new clothes. I had no choice but to turn my life over to the Princess of Pain.  For such a tiny girl, she has a wickedly wide mean streak. 

We started out with a pedometer, something to measure how many steps I take a day.  It hasn’t come without complications.  The first one fell off my belt and landed in the toilet during one of the 3,000 trips I make a day from exchanging water for diet pepsi.  I put the next one in my pocket so it wouldn’t fall off and apparently they don’t work if placed in a pocket.  We’ve finally found a place on my body to put the pedometer and it was an eye opener.  Old people in wheel chairs move more than I do.  10,000 steps a day to maintain your weight, 12,000 steps to lose anything.  My best day was 1,568.  Her first official act was to add a walking regimen to my daily routine. 

We started at the trail built for walking at the hospital.  A measured mile, easy slopes, tree covered walkway – several benches and a gazebo to stop and rest on.  Then she got serious.  She took me to the cemetary. 

 Its just up the road from our apartment.  A beautiful place directly across the street from the country club.   Miles and miles of nicely paved roads all of which seem to be slanting up.  I’m sure my heart stopped beating at least three times on that walk.  I was okay with that, at least if I croak on one of those walks she can just kick me into a plot and finish her workout. 

4 pounds down.  56 to go. 

June 4, 2007 at 4:00 pm 18 comments

Spontaneous Combustion

John Irving is one of my favorite writers…The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meenie, A Son of the Circus…anyway, in one of his books he has this family with a genetic tendency to spontaneously combust.  I suspect that Mr. Irving may have been living a life quite similar to mine lately when he created this quirky family.  He chickened out though, his family blew to bits based on no provocation whatsoever.  I think people should spontaneously combust if they tangle their lives up to the point its inhumanely possible to ever finish their “to do” lists. 

You should be able to tell when a person is about to have their head explode all over the sidewalk.  Maybe they start to turn a particularly vibrant shade of red or steam starts to roll off them in ever growing billows.  It would come in so handy: “No, I’m sorry, I can’t help out with that project, I’m on the verge of spontaneous combustion.” 

It’s been crazy around this joint lately, more jobs than hours in the day.  But there is light at the end of the tunnel (just on the other side of that writers block covering the exit) and I can’t wait to get around and see what everybody’s been up to.

June 1, 2007 at 4:13 pm 10 comments

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