A funny thing happens when you have an illness like lupus. It keeps life, well, interesting. It is interesting for the person who has the illness, it it is equally interesting for anyone else in your life. Beloved always wanted to be a doctor, of a type. He got a PhD and had a lovely life doing what he wanted, traveling as he wished.
Then he met me. Suddenly his life became, well, complicated. Travelling when he wanted was out of the question because sometimes lupus doesn’t let you just travel. So, if he wanted me to join him, it would become a bit more of a scheduling and wait and see deal.
He also ended up learning a lot of stuff from a medical standpoint. He jokes that he has become an unofficial doctor with all he’s learned medically. Heck, he has come to accessorize the house around an IV pole and such. He’s learned that some of my medication must be kept cool. He’s gotten ideal at reorganizing the refrigerator, dealing with needles and such.
He’s adapted to the me who can do things one moment and the next be left unable to do half of what I could before. He’s adjusted to the whole ‘the sun is trying to kill me’ approach I have to sunlight. He’s had to adjust to the girl he knew suddenly not looking like the girl he knew. He’s adapted to my ups and downs with doing things, for pain, and all the rest.
So if he wanted interesting, he got that in spades with me!
The four-footed one was doing her best impression of a hurricane as she raced around the house. The dividing wall, between the kitchen and the sitting area, seemed to be the calm eye of the storm.
She was doing her best to spread debris, or rather her toys, throughout the house as she raced in an oval of the sitting room, to the kitchen, partway down the hall and back to the sitting room. With each pass, she grabbed a toy from her toybox in the sitting room and ran fast while flipping a toy into the kitchen or hallway as she zoomed around.
She’s didn’t care if she had made a mess or not, and it’s not like she was going to pick it up anyway. Why would she clean up when Beloved was chasing her around the house? While she rested, he could collect the toys and put them back where they belonged.
You better believe that when it comes to fun, the four-footed one seems to find the majority of it without having to do any of the clean up afterward. On a good day, she’d probably get a treat too.
If you listen to Beloved, he never gets a treat, but the truth is, chasing her around the house and snuggling with her is his treat. You didn’t hear me say that though!
I confess I take Beloved for granted. I don’t mean to do this. However, he makes it so darn easy to do.
He cooks without complaint. He runs all manner of errands without so much as a sigh or an eye roll. He happily behaves like my pack mule when we go into the markets. He goes along with the majority of my whims.
He is also just there, ready to go along with the flow while picking up on the things that I miss. He fits neatly into the jagged places and holes that are my life.
I tell him I love him. I show him how much I appreciate him. But the fact is, when I plan to do things, I take for granted that he will come along and partake in things the way I envisioned them.
How do you tell someone how grateful you are that they accept you completely as you are? How do you tell someone that they are the reason why you’ve been able to grow as a person? What do you do to make the playing field even?
I used to be so sure of me, a little hesitant about my next steps, but confident in myself. Life has a way of building a bit of insecurity into our lives, keeping us humble I guess.
Today, while I was deciding what to do for a new project, I realized that the girl who used to be so fierce in her confidence has somehow grown into a woman who pauses.
This woman pauses because she doesn’t want to make a mistake. History has taught her that mistakes take time and energy. Mistakes can cause trust issues, or at least put a smear on credibility.
The girl who used to just go for it in the name of learning and adventure would shake her head at the woman she has become. For the grown woman hems and haws, she debates and assesses only to reassess once more.
The woman is cautious, careful, and a bit uncertain. She knows now that there is so much that she doesn’t know about, that there are experts to contact or consider. She knows that the first answer isn’t always the correct answer.
The girl is somewhere lost inside, lost to the lessons of mistakes and needs to have more information. I hope she comes out again because I sure could use some of that boldness these days.
The first year the four-footed one came to live with us, we bought and wrapped her Christmas presents. (Yes, we are that kind of people who buy their dog presents to unwrap, sweaters to wear, and booties to kick off. No, we never thought we would become that type of people.)
She was a puppy, so her idea of Christmas presents was to eat the wrapping paper. Or at least try to, except we prevented too much from being consumed.
These days we use bags for her presents, although I suspect she has outgrown the whole eating everything in sight stage. Still, one can never be too safe! Each year she dives headfirst into the bag and pulls out her presents, whining for the ones that must be squeaked and carried around. She barks for those that are of the food variety.
This year was no exception! There was whining over the stuffed baby she got, barking for the treat, and energy for the puzzle game she needs to figure out to get her treats.
I don’t know when, or how, but, somewhere along the lines, Beloved became that older person we all cringe around. The ones that yell at kids who dare to walk anywhere near the lawn.
I’m not sure exactly when this change happened, probably about the time he discovered that while he used to have a distaste for yardwork, he now finds something satisfying in a nicely cut lawn.
Whatever happened, whoever took his younger self, I will pay you a great deal to return him. I’m not sure I can handle living with a man who has suddenly acquired binoculars to ensure the neighborhood dogs do not leave him presents on his precious lawn.
Today I caught him identifying a chair as “his favorite” chair. He came in, after watering the lawn, and announced he was going to “sit in (my) favorite chair” and he wanted a few minutes to “rest”. Thankfully he did not nap while in his favorite chair, but honestly how far away can those times be?
Was he abducted by aliens and after a short experiment returned to me a good twenty years older than he should have been? Should I just roll with these changes, maybe discover my favorite chair and prepare for the early-bird specials when we go out? Maybe, when I wake up tomorrow he will be back to himself, or a younger version still!
Did you ever dance on your father’s feet when you were little? Did you ever place your small feet upon his, holding on tightly while he walked across the floor with you?
My daddy used to let me do that all the time when I was little. Think toddler age. It was loads of fun and I probably could have spent hours on his feet, but he worked and had other things to do too.
Did you ever help your mother make cookies? Maybe you stole a taste of the raw batter before the cookies went in the over? I used to sit on the counter next to her while she made cookies, I got to help by dumping something in the bowl.
When I got bigger, I was allowed to stir the dough, which managed to go everywhere!
My father would have been tired after spending all day at work, and yet he found time and space to play with me. My mother hated making cookies, and yet she made them with me. To this day I hang onto these memories and feel my parents near me even though they aren’t.
What about you? What do you do to feel loved ones no longer near you? What memories do you pull up and instantly you can feel the love and the warmth of that person?