Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

Welcome to my World---Woman, widow. senior citizen seeking to live out my days with a sense of whimsy as I search for inner peace and friendships. Jeez, that sounds like a profile on a dating app and I have zero interest in them, having lost my soul mate of 42 years. Life was good until it wasn't when my husband had a massive stroke and I spent the next 12 1/2 years as his caregiver. This blog has documented the pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties and finally, moving past it all. And now I’m ready for a new start, in a new location---a continuum care campus in West Michigan, U.S.A. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. Stick around, read a while. I'm sure we'll have things in common. Your comments are welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Life is Perfect, Even When it's Not

Today's post reaches back nearly twenty years to a time when I first started blogging and my husband was still alive. It's always been one of my favorite posts from my caregiver days and I'm hoping you'll enjoy the break from my caterwauling about moving which is the only thing going on in my life right now. With only twenty days left to go before the big move I plan to recycled an older post for the next two Wednesday and (hopefully) real-time posts on the next three Saturdays, then get back into my regular writing routine. In the meantime here's Life is Perfect, Even When it's Not.

At the dentist office today, I took my wheelchair bound, right-side paralyzed husband, Don, to the restroom. It’s a good one with grab bars situated so that he---with my help---can stand up to pee. But first we had to get him out of his coat. Its nylon and is so slippery it would be like holding on to slime, should I have to catch him in a fall. That task accomplished, I got Don’s pants down and held his shirt out of the way while both of us stood side by side waiting for the flow to start. It didn’t. So, I’m humming game show tunes in my head---the kind they play while a contestant is trying to come up with an answer while the clock ticks away. For some reason the wait seemed longer than usual which made me think of our friend who has a ‘shy bladder.’ He can’t pee if someone else is in the room.

“Ron better hope,” I said to Don, “that he never needs help peeing.” Don got the humor in that statement which gave us both the giggles. We were giggling and laughing so hard by the time the pee stream hit the bowl it’s a wonder it found its mark and didn’t cover our shoes instead. The restroom is just a few feet from the receptionist’s desk and heaven knows what she was thought we were doing in there. The look on her face when we came out was priceless. She wanted to ask. Oh boy, did she want to ask but her phoo-phoo manners wouldn’t let her.

As I sat in the waiting room while Don got his teeth cleaned, I picked up an old copy of Real Simple magazine. On the first page I turned to was a Ralph Lauren double-page layout for Polo Black, a men’s fragrance that featured a hot model. And I do mean sexy as in take-off-your-clothes-and-let-me-see-the-rest-of-you sexy! I looked at him, and then around the room trying to figure out if the Thought Police was present. I decided that a dentist’s waiting room was not a good place to have a virtual orgasm, so I quick turned the page. Thanks goodness, the next page was a double-page layout for a Chevy. Cool. Keep those cars selling, we need their pension money. I flipped through a few more pages and came to an ad for Starbucks coffee liqueur which was exactly what I needed after lusting after the Ralph Lauren guy. I’ve never smoked but that guy had me reaching into my purse for a pack of cigarettes and I came out with a stick of gum.

By now I was beginning to think that the Real Simple magazine was nothing but advertisements. Duh, aren’t most of them? And sure enough, the next page was a double-page layout for American Express featuring Ellen DeGeneres. She says in the ad that her life is perfect, even when it’s not. Wow, what a nice thing to be able to say about your life! I think I actually know what she means.

Finally, I came across a few articles in the magazine. ‘What’s the Craziest Thing you ever did for Love?’ was the title of one article, and there were some notable answers like: “take skydiving lesson,” “move into a log cabin built in the 1800,” and “eloped 36 days after meeting someone.” Another article was titled, ‘Portrait of a Family.’ There is humor in this, I thought about reading these two articles back-to-back because my family portrait and the craziest thing I ever did for love could be one and the same. Yup, I’m getting out the oils and easel and painting a portrait of Don and myself. We’ll be standing side by side, leaning over a toilet bowl, expectantly looking down and hoping that neither one of us ends up with pee our shoes. Love doesn’t get much crazier than that, does it?
©

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It always makes me smile. I was just learning how to watch for the daily upbeat things in my life and write about them.

      Delete
  2. I really like the title of this post, although I had to think about it for a few minutes. Most of us take so much for granted. A few years ago, when I had some scary health issues that left us reeling, I remember thinking how wonderful my ordinary days had been. While in the hospital, I longed to make a pot of good coffee, read my favorite blogs, take walks by the pond. Ordinary life becomes precious when there is a chance that it might change or even end.

    Oh gosh, your story about helping Don in the dentist's bathroom had me smiling. Thank God for good memories and crazy love. Life is hard but life is good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't take credit for the title since they were an Ellen quote. But they do apply to a lot of days that are, like you sad, hard but still good in terms of the important things in life.

      Delete
  3. Now that episode in the dentist's bathroom gave me a giggle. It was so funny but there was also so much love there. Keep these coming and don't worry right now for you have enough on your plate.

    ReplyDelete
  4. A very sweet re-post indeed! I came late to your blog, so I've only sampled past posts, but this makes me want to go back and poke around. Twenty days is not long although I'm sure you wish the move was done. At some point we move on mentally and aside from wistful glances around the house, I'm sure you've already done that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. as your longtime reader, know this blog but it still brings smile to my face. I still quote you when hubby & I are in the bathroom together, o go to bathroom one after another."family which pees together stays together"

    I did not understand your writing schedule but it does not matter I will still come & check out on your blog on every Wednesday & Saturday
    good luck with your move, don't sweat the small stuff things will work out in its own way, & if somethings don't them just remind yourself something better is going to come out of this mess-up.

    Asha

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really enjoyed this one. Especially since I came to your blog later, it was fun to read about some of those earlier experiences. Twenty days, huh? That sounds much shorter than 'three weeks,' which it almost is. Pretty soon it will be "next week" or "tomorrow" -- and then it will be done!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think your sense of humor has served you well throughout your life. When something goes wacky in our family, we often say, "Ya gotta laugh!" and it is true. It helps us get through challenging times.
    Glad you are in your final countdown to your move. It is so exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  8. That was a sweet post. I go back and look at some of the things I wrote when Ken was still alive too.

    Good luck with the move.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A lovely post that even gave me a giggle

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think you really meant virtual "organism".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the correction. LOL YOu'd be shocked at how long it took me to get the correct spelling from Alexa. She's such a prude.

      Delete
  11. Great idea to rerun some blogs! Smarty! Keep them coming, please

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh Jean, this is quite perfect. Yes, when it comes to aiding those who need physical help, we find ourselves in all sorts of odd circumstances! I am so grateful you have the humour and personality you do. That had to get you through a multitude of very hard times throughout which I know there were tears. But you came out swinging and survived. Big smiles.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you all for the comments. I can't wait to get this over with. I'm tired of making decisions and tired of packing and worrying that all the boxes will overwhelm me at the other end of this move.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the reruns! GREAT idea. I think you will have FUN at the other end. Cause you can take your time!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This was perfect for me to read today. During a day spent setting up new outdoor equipment, I needed my lawn caddy to carry the main component when I thought I should have been able to carry it. I tripped over over an outdoor rug that had gotten a rucked-up place in it and sprawled across the patio with my hip hitting the patio, my side across across the edge of the patio and my hand catching me on the step. I watched my always-so-strong husband struggle to put connectors together, and I came to a dreaded conclusion. No matter how much physical therapy he takes, how many weights I lift, how many steps I take or how many standing-figure-four yoga poses I do, we're losing our ability to do things that need to be done. We're not going to get it back no matter how industriously we work. My rheumatoid arthritis is asserting itself in a big way, and he's losing strength more quickly than I want to see. We've always dealt with humor with our declines, including 2-1/2 year span when I needed a cane before my first brain surgery sorted that out. Yesterday was hitting hard, though, I think because it was the first time I realized the change in him was permanent. Thanks to this look back on your blog, I will get over this hump, too, with humor. Honestly, you never know who really needs to hear what you have to say, and I needed it in order to reassert my natural bugs-the-hell-out-of-some-people bubbly take on things.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Jean, that is a Beautiful Post and perfectly shows the duality of Caregiving, the Trials and Humor of it, the Unconditional Love and the way it changes Life in the Craziest ways.

    ReplyDelete