“You know how to play dominoes, Pete?” Bill asked on Wednesday. That question was all it took to wind my husband up after four weeks of down.
Not only did Peter go on and on about the social aspects of an Englishman “going ’round t’pub” on a Saturday afternoon, leaving “the little woman at ‘ome,” he chattered about the game of dominoes itself. Bill always wanted to learn how to play, he said.
Peter’s sudden change four weeks ago forced me to act. I’d reached the end of my rope, stressed, dithery, muddled, still trying to handle everything myself. Leslie and Carolynn got after me, good daughters that they are. As happened, Bill, who’s been helping Peter for almost six years, suddenly had more available hours per week.
Monday, I’d arranged to use more of Bill’s time and provided a list of ideas and hints to guide him. In spite of Peter’s usually cheery persona, he isn’t always an easy client. And there are a lot more things to be aware of these days. His confusion has amped up.
So Bill was primed about dominoes. He no sooner mentioned the game than I began to look for our set. “It’s really easy,” I said, “but Peter can keep track of which ones haven’t been played. I just play what matches.” He laughed.
The two were out longer than usual Wednesday, while three of my friends came here for a lunchtime meeting. We did have some business, but more importantly, we laughed…a lot! It was a good time.
That evening, Bill texted to ask how Peter had seemed when he came home. “He was great,” I texted back. “You struck a chord mentioning dominoes. More like himself than he’s been since that time…four weeks ago.”
The rest of the week was mixed ups and downs, but that one big, bright UP on Wednesday made such a difference.
Today we played dominoes, Peter and I. No surprise…he won…best of three.
2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist.