Some personal thoughts related to the situation I currently find myself in.
I hate it.
Wife Evelyn was admitted to The Center at Eden Hill, a rehab center, on Nov. 10th after being discharged from the hospital following a fall she suffered on Halloween, nearly a month ago. As of this writing, she’s still there, receiving physical and occupational therapy and making slow, but significant, progress. One therapist told me that the difference in Evelyn from the time she was admitted to now is “like night and day.” Very encouraging.
While I celebrate her progress and am encouraged by it, there’s a reality that I also find myself dealing with, and it has to do with the huge empty space in our home at the moment, the one I’ve had to face every day since Oct. 31. It brings into stark focus what many of our friends are going thru after having lost their spouses, three of them since the beginning of this year. Sure, Karlyn is still here, but if she’s not working or spending time with her boyfriend’s mother, she’s zonked in bed. Her cat, Kris, and Evelyn’s dog, Kianna, provide some companionship, but they can’t talk to me, so it’s pretty much like I’m occupying this house on my own.
I hate it.
I don’t want to invite something painful into my life by acknowledging it, but I have to admit to many moments of being downright scared. All the “what if’s” start flooding into my head, the most frightening being, “What if Evelyn doesn’t come home?” I simply can’t imagine life without my life partner. Really. Virtually every part of these past 53 years has been associated with being married to Evelyn. It would be like losing my anchor, my cheerleader, my main purpose for being here myself.
So then I set those harrowing thoughts aside and devote myself to whatever I can do to help her bounce back from the injuries she sustained in this last fall she took (her third this year). I’ve already made a pact with myself: when Ev comes home, I’m going to be more assertive in seeing to it that she remains active, because one of her main issues has to do with her weak legs (she can’t seem to straighten them enough to stabilize her when she’s standing. She looks like she has “Dagwood Bumstead” legs, which then knocks her center of gravity off which then tends to make her want to fall backwards – so far, back onto the bed or into her wheelchair, but that might not always be the case). I’ve become a firm believer is “movement is medicine,” and the more I can keep her moving (without going overboard, of course), the stronger I believe she’ll become. But we have to get her strong enough to come home first.
In the meantime, I’m keeping house the best I can and keeping up with commitments like bill paying (always Evelyn’s responsibility) and routine duties such as laundry, trash, dishes, etc. that I’ve always done anyway, but seem to be more laborious lately. Oh, sure, it’s quite doable. But it’s not the same without somebody here to balance things out.
For now, we’re putting a lot of stake in her recuperation. After all, she only fell and sustained a serious injury to her back, which is reparable. She didn’t break a hip (or anything else, for that matter) or sustain a similar injury that tends to be life-threatening to us oldsters, so there’s every reason to believe that, once she has reached her therapy goals, she’ll be back home with us. Not knowing what God’s plan is for the days to come is nerve-wracking, too. I just try to listen and follow. God’s been faithful so far. No reason to doubt now.