May 14

New Widows, a golfer, and a bride

 

Amidst all the news of the daily tripe of who’s taking away your healthcare, and who’s committing fraud, and whose words are treasonous … amidst footsteps I cannot follow and other breadcrumbs I’m inspired to pick up. Amidst news that one dear friend just lost her husband early this morning and another dear friend is losing her beloved dog within the week. Both are terrible losses, and I make no judgment over which woman might suffer more.

They’ll both suffer.

And then, amidst new earrings that make my ears itch, and finding the first mid-spring scorpion in the house (who needed to be swiftly put out of its misery), and a houseful of beloved family and guests, and their pets … I’m nevertheless watchful over my dear, sweet Dan.

He’s been extra tired lately. I’m watching him.

He’s still going to the golf course, because that’s what he does. He’s a golfer. No, let me rephrase. He. IS. A. Golfer. That’s who Dan is. He’s recently said that if he can’t play golf, he won’t know what to do. My ears itch … did I mention that?

Then again, I’m gloriously happy. My Dan IS. Still. A. Golfer. I have family here for another week and all that means. A granddaughter is having a wedding. We’re all happy and smiling.

And I’ll do my best to not follow breadcrumbs. For a week.

 

Jan 26

I’m Still Here

I asked a question tonight about God who I’m not at all sure about these days. I’m still here. My Dan is still here. But we’re experiencing some struggles and wondering about it all. So, I screwed up a question about God and whether it was worth thinking of that notion. A lovely friend answered that she’d been to a poetry event and found God in the art. I answered: “Thank you. God is indeed in the people’s poetry. Indeed in the art. In our words. The strokes we make on paper. We wouldn’t write down our words if the Universe didn’t listen. Thank you for the reminder of that. Thank you for reminding me of our skin and what we all think of the nonsense of what that all means in the eyes of who might have created all our lovely tones and hues. Thank you especially for reminding me that there are different and fierce and determined ways to find our ways.”

I still don’t know if there’s some sort of God who looks over us, or if we’re just a terrible parasite eating up this beautiful earth.

The good thing is … we’re still here today and poetry still enthralls, and now I’m looking for materials to make a pussy hat so I can march around the inside of our house on behalf of My Dan and all his things.

Dec 31

Fresh New Year

So what exactly did we learn this last year?
Did we find the exact moment when the underground crocus bulbs came alive?
Or did we learn how to efficiently organize our husband’s medicine for the week?
Did we offer ourselves up like a shining martyr?
Or did we fall as any human might?

2015 was a long year, filled with perfect dreams.
And grave disappointments.
Followed once more by sweet triumphs.

I worked hard to keep my hubby alive.
I gave up my art, my writing, my lifeline.
What else would someone do for someone so loved as My Dan?
And he lives. He thrives. He has a pacemaker now.
He sings and thrums through the house.

He’s like a bumblebee, lazing along with a deep base voice.

But where is my pacemaker?
My maker of pace?
Where are my words, my crayons, my pages of writing?
That’s what 2016 is for … to find again those vital things of art.
To discover again the person I once was.

Dan is well.
I will be too.
My duties as caregiver escalate now along a different path.
We’ll talk about that other path another time. Just know
we’ll survive.
We will survive.

Sep 23

The Fragiles

salt shaker

My husband, My Dan, my hero, my always-there-man,

Recently identified himself as fragile.

Fragile!

I dislike that truthful word.

Fragile things nap hours a day in their chair,

A dog at their feet, a robe across their laps.

They breathe in shallow gulps,

Their hands hugging their chest,

Their heart and kidneys in a fight

To the death.

Fragile things seem more aware of the wind,

Less concerned with the news of the day.

They miss salt on their food.

They accept when their right eye

Can no longer see anything but shadow.

Thank god for the left eye, they say.

Fragile things want nothing more than to golf again,

Their ball sailing through a pale blue sky they

No longer see.

Fragile things just want a shake of salt.

Apr 26

Another Summer

Phoenix had a little bit of rain today … some clouds.

We’re told it’s our last weekend of cooler weather (mid-upper 70s) before the heat comes on us like a freight train.

May is always when our first 100s hit.

By July, we’re 115+.

The scorpions are out — I’m always barefoot in the house (stupid me).

The rattlers warm their bones along the hiking trails.

Everyone stays indoors until next November.

My Dan removes his sweater and tans his arms.

I’ve learned which plants have spines.

Jan 30

And Now We’re Old

I’ve lost my singing voice. I was once a singer. In college I was chosen to sing with the California Honor Choir (only a few were chosen), and I sang at Disneyland with my group, and I sang at other places. I held the solo mike. I was a singer.

Now my voice is gone, and so now I listen to other singers.

For example, now I listen to My Dan who sings to the dogs. Instead of worrying about how poor his voice is, he simply sings his two-note songs, with vigor, with a heart bigger than the moon.

He sings to the dogs.

I love My Dan.

He sings to my silence.

Sep 26

It Goes With the Territory

My Dan sleeps.

He naps during the day.

Gentle, tender naps.

He dreams the wild dreams by night.

He has something called (briefly) RBD.

The long name is Rem Behavior Disorder.

It means that his body moves with his dreams.

He flies from the bed.

He has wings.

And fists to fight his dream-foes.

We’ve done what we can to protect us both.

Many RBD people develop Parkinson’s

Or Lewy-Body Dementia.

My Dan has so many things.

Including now another round of

Skin Cancer.

Apr 29

The Bottom of the Cup

golf
My Dan. a cylinder of efficiency;
One day, a golfing wizard,
The next, struggling to pull his putt
From the bottom of the cup.

Yesterday, we met with a nurse from the
Arizona Palliative Home Care folks.
She was beautiful. Smiling. Informative.
She gave us a packet.

My Dan is eligible for hospice.
He’s not ready.
He still in argument with life
And death…and low sodium … and cheese.

So, we chose Palliative Care.
We’ll keep him free from
Pain and missed putts.

I’ll gather myself as I can.

And I’ll cook with Parmesan cheese.