Day 31-Quarantine-Conventions

For three years I registered for the Lions District Convention. Peg was still with me and my philosophy was that if she was well enough I would go. Since the convention is located within twenty miles of home I planned to go for the main day, attend meetings and the dinner. Peg was never getting better, so I never went. I forfeited the registration and dinner fees. This year was different. Peg had passed, and I had no excuse to not go. I registered for all three days, and booked a hotel room at considerable expense. Then, I told myself why not attend all the conventions, go to the State also, I registered. The flyer came for the Lions USA/CANADA Leadership Forum in Louisville, Kentucky. This was another meeting I wanted to attend all three of those years, but they were too far away, and needed several days. I opted out of all of them, until this year.

You know the rest of the story, all of them are cancelled. Today was supposed to be day one of the District Convention. They aren’t even having a virtual meeting to elect officers. I will spend this  weekend the same way I have spent all the previous weekends, hunkered down in my palatial home wondering in which room to spend the day.

Yesterday, the President announced his phased plan to restart the economy. Good luck with that. I don’t think I will be too quick to respond to entering crowded restaurants and venues after the last six weeks of brainwashing to keep a distance. In fact, it’ll be a very long time before I am convinced it is safe enough for me to gamble outside. That is what it will be, a gamble. Each time I come within a foot of another human I will be wondering if the corona jumped the space and landed on me. Maybe I’ll zip myself into one of those big plastic balls and enter society that way. Or I’ll attach my feet to roller blades, and roll through crowds faster that the corona can leap. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll stay at home and not gamble with any of it. The next few years may be my end of life experience. Not such a bad one when I think about it, but nevertheless not such a good one either.

Week Eight of Twelve

 

I don’t believe the meme. We enter with our mother, we leave with family or friends, and it is rotten to be alone.

I took on a super goal after Peg died. I vowed to move out of this big house into a smaller less expensive place after she left me. Right now I am in week eight of a twelve week program to empty the house of all unnecessary stuff; most of it belonged to my beloved Peggy. As long as she lived with me I happily tolerated her belongings, but once she left I no longer feel the connection. The house still looks like a train hit it, but in reality it is much more empty than it has been in a long time. By the end of next week I will have removed all things Peg except her memory which I will cherish for as long as I live. She was a beautiful woman who really took my heart, and I couldn’t do enough for her. We shared an amazing fourteen years together, and I miss her.

Peg had a habit of never throwing anything away. Yesterday, I attacked her desk to clear the drawers. Grief overwhelmed me, but I persisted and succeeded getting through everything in an hour. Toward the end, she was  packaging all the newspaper articles she saved in plastic bags or manilla envelopes. Most likely she did this out of boredom while I stayed engrossed in writing or cartooning. No doubt this finding will be one of my regrets that will haunt me during my lifetime.

Regret is an amazing emotion, and coupled with grief it can destroy a person. The only tool I have to fight it off is a promise not to neglect someone I love like I did Peg.

There are four weeks remaining in my project and I will once again be alone with my thoughts, regrets, and loneliness. I’m not alone yet because I retained Peg’s caretaker as my helper for twelve weeks to clear out the house. She is like a sister to me and a wonderful companion. Just knowing someone is in the house with me is comforting.

Yesterday, I got a call from an agent about an apartment that I  have my eyes on. I’m on a waiting list (currently number thirty) to get into the place. I have never seen what these apartments look like and asked to be shown. When I got the call I got weak in the knees thinking the place became available.  Lucky for me, an apartment became empty and I was able to walk through to see it. Someone else on the list is moving in.

The apartment is very nice, but I had a problem accepting it as a place to call home. Maybe, it is because it is the only building within 500 yards of another. Or maybe because it is occupied by seniors, living in a neighborhood with kids of all ages has some social advantages. Everyday I see people walking past my house with their dogs. In the afternoon I see kids returning from school. In the evenings I often see neighbors exercising their dogs by playing fetch. If I get to feeling alone, I walk up to the library and browse. Social contact is important in one’s life. Living in the senior complex so far away from everyone is definitely a negative.

Another negative of living in an apartment is having to give up my wood shop and Intarsia work. I look forward to giving up my garden, but the shop is another thing. I have worked with wood since I was twelve, but then again I worked with plants since I was four. I think it must be a brain thing.

The worst part of living alone after so many years of marriage is losing the soft cushy body to snuggle with. Although I have just endured four years without snuggles while Peg and I slept in separate beds in the same room. I can go on and on listing the advantages and disadvantages of living single, but it won’t do a thing for me to do so. I just have to live through this and get into a single routine like so many of my friends have already done.

I Love Memes

I Resent That

 

Yesterday, John Dean, a lawyer from the Watergate-Nixon era testified before Congress. His mission was to bash Trump and to point us toward impeachment. What really pissed me off was not that Dean was a credible witness which he is not, but that the news people kept telling me that he is eighty years old. So what? The implication was that being eighty makes one unknowledgeable and not credible. I’m over eighty and I believe I can keep up with the best of the younger generation. Not only that, I hang with a group of men in which I am the baby. Any of us would be capable of debating any newscaster in the country. We keep abreast of the news, and we regularly debate current issues all while remaining friends.

Aging definitely comes with problems, many of them are memory related. Those of us who are lucky enough to retain our minds live active cognitive lives. One thing for sure, we aged have to put up with too many memory loss jokes, although I find most of them hilarious. When one experiences age related memory problems as I have, the age jokes don’t seem very funny no matter how true they may be.

I happen to live with a wife who is one of the unfortunate aged who has lost her ability to remember anything. The sadness of her disease is that she is at a point where she has given up chewing and is now forgetting how to swallow. Think about that one. Try eating (baby food) without being able to chew or swallow. Her best meal these days is breakfast. She seems to be most functional after twelve to fifteen hours of sleep. She eats a decent breakfast but then goes downhill from there refusing to eat either lunch or supper. Some men consider me lucky since she has been unable to speak for over three years.  Speech is a valuable function we take for granted. For instance, she cannot tell me how she feels, or what hurts. The only sound she can make is a siren like whine when we (me and her caretaker) move her to change her. I have to read her body language to get an idea of her situation.

My advice to people these days is to pray for a quick death. People who drop dead instantly receive a gift from God. In my wife’s case she is the opposite. Looking back at our history together her first symptoms began to appear seven years ago. She is at a point where the skin on her lower extremities has very poor blood circulation and the result is she gets pressure sores that cannot heal. One doctor told me that her disease is terrible because the brain dies before the rest of the body. I agree with that assessment, but will add to it. When the body does begin to fail it does so in a slow creeping manner. The life force of blood is needed to support major organs so body parts like toes, feet, legs etc. lose.

My philosophy is to give her the best drug-free quality of life possible. At this point the quality is in how comfortably she sleeps. When my beloved sleeps twenty-two hours a day, and is frowning the whole time she is in some kind of discomfort. Right now I am wrestling with a decision to use morphine to ease her discomfort. I get an argument from her caretaker that morphine will make her to sleep more and accelerate her death. The hospice nurses argue that morphine merely relaxes a person so they don’t fight so hard to live with pain. The relaxation allows them to pass comfortably and peacefully. One argument I make with myself is that if she is no longer eating or drinking, and sleeping twenty-two hours a day what difference will it be if I administer morphine and she sleeps twenty-four hours in peace.

PSA-171104-Truisms

Aspire to inspire before you expire.

~~~~~

My wife and I had words, but I didn’t get to use mine.

~~~~~

Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.

~~~~~

Blessed are those who can give without remembering
and take without forgetting.

~~~~~

The irony of life is that, by the time you’re old
enough to know your way around, you’re
not going anywhere.

~~~~~

God made man before woman so as to give him time
to think of an answer for her first question.

~~~~~

I was always taught to respect my elders,
but it keeps getting harder to find one.

~~~~~

Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

~~~~~

The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:
“With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control,
mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing
up the country from one end to another,
and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,
are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the
Pledge of Allegiance?”

~~~~~

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