According to one of my daughters, my most recent post made her laugh and cry. Here, for Carolynn, are four reasons to smile.
One recent Sunday I didn’t feel well, thought I was catching a cold, so I didn’t visit Peter as usual. I felt guilty all day. Monday I was slightly better, but decided to stay away. Finally, Tuesday, I went to see him. We were having tea when one of the nurses stopped to tell me she’d brought her four-year-old granddaughter to work Sunday and Peter had entertained her all day. “He loves little children,” I said. “Bring her back again for a playdate.”
Pfftt, no need for Sunday’s guilt, he was fine without me.
Another day he teased a nurse who was working at the computer in the corridor. “Want my help?” he asked, acting as if he might touch something he shouldn’t.
She laughed. “You stay away from this. You help in other ways.”
“He loves to clean up the kitchen, wipe the tables,” I said, a hint that he wanted more to do.
“Yes he does, and he helps with residents too. Pushes their chairs, cheers them up when they’re down…he’s great.”
That’s my husband. He’s lucky to be a bit better off than many.
Earlier this week, I turned his music on. The throaty sound of Louie “Satchmo” Armstrong filled the room. Peter began to sing along—badly—the way did when he blasted his thirties jazz in the basement right below my office. His carrying on always made me tear my hair and laugh at the same time.
And so it did again.
Just yesterday morning, Nobby and I were ready for our walk when I realized I hadn’t taken the garbage can to the curb and the truck was already next door. I got to the curb seconds before he rumbled to a stop. I waited there to roll the empty back to the house. When he finished dumping the garbage into the truck, he deftly used the lift arm to push the empty can right to where where I stood about ten feet away.
That random act of kindness has nothing to do with caregiving, dementia, my husband, guilt, doubts or tears. But it did make me smile.
Header photo: Peter and I at a garden party several years ago.