I believe that today (Thursday, July 28, 2022) might serve as a good example of how bad the situation would be for wife Evelyn and daughter Karlyn if anything were to keep me from being able to run our household.
For a significantly long time Evelyn has been dealing with issues related to balance, hallucinations, and, lately, severe weakness in her legs that prevents her from standing for very long at all. In fact, at her most recent physical therapy session the therapist told me that Evelyn’s legs almost gave out on her at least once, meaning she could have fallen.
Karlyn has been battling a cold for the past two days (we know it’s not COVID because she took a home test that gave a negative result), which means that she has spent all but maybe two hours a day for the past two days in bed. She’s blowing her nose and coughing up mucous. At least she’s agreed to take some medicines for it (she’s not big on submitting to medications for anything).
Consequently, the task of keeping things running has fallen squarely on my shoulders.
I was outside by 9:00 this morning to edge the yard before mowing the grass. The forecast called for high temps later in the afternoon with a chance of a thundershower this evening. The high temps came. The rain did not (and we need it now, too)! Anyway, I thought that starting early would afford me the coolest temps of the day, which I believe worked out.
Then, this afternoon, I made a run for groceries. It was a long list, and I didn’t feel all that comfortable doing it solo, but Evelyn was simply too fatigued to go with me. She went to bed. I went to Walmart (and Redner’s, a local franchise grocery store) after picking up our mail on the way out of Fox Pointe. When I got home, Evelyn was able to put some things away that went in the kitchen (so she didn’t have to walk much), where I delivered the groceries. The rest I put away.
Kianna, Evelyn’s hearing assist dog, and Kris, (ostensibly) Karlyn’s cat, get treats at 5:00 every day, which falls on me to do anyway. Evelyn had gotten some meat balls from the freezer (son-in-law Dave had given them to us from his deli) for meat ball sandwiches, but wasn’t up to preparing them, so I heated them and the tomato sauce to put in the rolls. At 6:00 every day, Kianna gets her dinner (Evelyn can do that at times, but not today). Then, at 6:30, I take Kianna for a walk before “Jeopardy!” comes on at 7:00. Once the game shows are over (we also watch “Wheel of Fortune”) I set out to cleaning up the kitchen, which, tonight, involved putting away the food and the clean dishes that were in the dishwasher, hand-washing larger items and utensils with sharp edges (knives, scissors, etc.), then wiping all the flat surfaces with Lysol.
The good news is that all the walking while mowing the grass and grocery shopping resulted in my covering over 5½ miles by taking over 13,000 steps. The bad news (if you can call it that) is that I’m exhausted.
I asked myself what these two women would have done if they had to make it thru the day on their own. Evelyn probably would have contracted a lawn care service for the grass and Walmart’s shopping/delivery service for the groceries. One or both of them would have had to bite the bullet to prepare and clean up from supper, unless my absence was temporary, in which case they probably would have left the clean-up part for me for however long it would have taken me to resume those duties.
I know this sounds like so much venting, and to a large extent, it is. I don’t mean to sound like a complainer, especially when neither of the women-folk is feeling well. But it also does bring a reality into stark focus when I see how much the family depends on me and how much I depend on staying well. I’m eternally grateful that the Lord has blessed me with good health. But I’ve passed the three-quarters-of-a-century mark, so I have no idea how long I’ll be able to keep this up. Naturally, I intentionally do everything I can to stay in as good shape as possible, but even that can go on for only so long, and then what?
So, while I wish Evelyn and Karlyn were able to do more right now, and I confess to feeling put upon (which is probably unfair of me), I’m grateful that I’m the one who can keep things moving until the time when all three of us are back to good health and they can do their part.
End of vent.