Sunday, February 28, 2016

#SOL16: Afternoon Interlude

What's on your Fridge? (2.2016)

We're seated at my dining room table, when the woman from the care agency asks, "When was your husband's last bowel movement?"

A little more than 6 months ago such a question would have been unfathomable. Now it is nothing more than ordinary. This is what my life is like these days. Countless people from different agencies stream in and out of my home with fistfuls of paper that must be complete. They often inquire if I have a copy machine as the paperwork needs to be duplicated. They are caring, efficient, and very, truly sad for me.

I've grown too tired to laugh and oddly too numb to say much of anything. I mean what more is there to say after you have been told to display the DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) notice on the refrigerator.

"Where should it be?"
"You should have it openly displayed, like on your refrigerator. For the paramedics."

What paramedics? I think.

After the visitors are gone, I think about Rob and how he would have laughed at these invasions.  He always had a fondness for things that are irreverent.  Surely shit and resuscitation would fit that bill.


I am sitting in the black recliner as I write this. I have pulled it alongside Rob's hospital bed. If I extend the chair, it's almost as if I were lying with him in bed. Almost, but not quite.  I laid that way yesterday for hours.

Mostly Rob spends the day elsewhere. He sleeps a lot and when he is awake he is almost certainly experiencing a reality that is not shared. In his world there are lots of buttons to be pushed, levers to trip, flying to be done, guns to be requested, water from Philadelphia to be drunk. Sometimes he's a British Lord.  Most times though he is lost and scared and wanting to move on, especially at night.

It's strange, I think, to not be able to anticipate that man you have been married to for so many years.


  1. I have to smile, also with a fondness for the things irreverent. As I think of you and Rob so many times each day the phrase "being there" keeps going through my mind. You are there with Rob, and so many of us from afar are being there with you. Often when I feel helpless to do something, I remind myself that simply being there is doing something. You have many caring friends who are with you. I am with you. Although you do not know her, my sister, Kathy, is with you; she shares with me her tears. Lie back in the recliner, Mary Ann and be there, with Rob knowing that we are being there with you. And thanks again for allowing us.