The quiet time
It was a busy day. Cooked fresh peas and canned peach jam, salsa, and bread and butter pickles. That went along with house cleaning, laundry, dishes (as you can imagine from the canning), and trying to make the man rest more comfortable. This is a near impossible task, but it was finally accomplished late in the afternoon with he and I having a marathon of old TV shows – The Rifleman and Dr. Quinn.
His decline in health is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I want to do everything for him, but on the other it troubles him for me to do that because it only amplifies his helplessness. And let me tell you, helplessness is not a word he has needed until now.
When he first fell in March, I really believed he would get over it, but I am now beginning to wonder. At 87 it would not be unthinkable to be seeing the beginning of the end. He and I have had lots of conversations about this very thing because of our 30 year age difference, but talking and experiencing is (as you all know) two different things. Always before he has said that he was thinking only about living, not dying. He hasn’t said that in a while, and I am afraid to ask.
It is this time of night that I am finally assured of the peaceful completion of a day. I have never been so uncertain before. But now, in the cool of the summer night, he lies here beside me, snoring softly, and I feel the comfort of his presence, the strength of his character, the surety of his love, and the steadfastness of his care. I don’t think age can take these things away.