January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

My texts with family that day seem to be mostly about post-surgery shirts; what he will be able to wear as far as not being able to reach over his head – so button-down shirts, things he won’t have to raise his arms to get into. Other than that….? My only notes say I posted on Facebook that day. That’s not to say there wasn’t a lot going on in my head… I was starting to worry about bills, I knew most of them were due on the 15th, but Tim and I also had separate bank accounts – did we have enough money to pay them? When was his job going to kick in with that short-term disability? Did I even have any stamps to mail out checks? Because I was going to have to write checks, since he had the passwords for all the online bill-paying things.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way

O sisters, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sisters, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way

O brothers, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
Come on, brothers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

I’m really starting to appreciate the rare slow day where nothing happens. I mean, I want the SURGERY to happen, mind you… but I impatiently understand why it can’t, yet. So today is pretty slow. The doctors came in early to tell us that we were still on track for an MRI on Sunday, and surgery Monday, so let’s hope that’s still the case come Sunday. For the most part he’s been silent at assessments, but at one (and I wish Linda had been in the room for this), he could say his first name, what year it was, that he knew he was in a hospital, and that his favorite cat is Newtle. He’s also still good with the thumbs up, and moving hands and legs. They’re also letting him sit up now, so he’s had the TV on all day and it’s really kind of refreshing after just quiet and beeping. He’s watched the news, a little Univision (maybe he is trying to learn Spanish and I just don’t know it?) and then an all-day Castle marathon on Lifetime. I wish I could port in his Hallmark Christmas movies that are on our DVR at home. 😉

In other news, I am loved, and either something in SE G’ville was on fire, or they were doing a controlled burn out maybe near Payne’s Prairie.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way

O fathers, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O fathers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way

O mothers, let’s go down
Come on down, don’t you wanna go down?
Come on, mothers, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

Linda and I will probably leave a little earlier today than we have been, which of course I still feel alternately guilty as hell for doing, and also that it’s necessary for taking care of myself.

Side note, we did leave early that day, I think. I think that might have been the day I drove her around the Duckpond Area of Gainesville, showing her all the old houses, the Thomas Center, places I used to walk my dogs when we lived over in that area.

Have I mentioned how much I love all y’all?

Edited to add: Part of me still doesn’t really believe this is happening. I mean, I’m a writer, and I couldn’t make this shit up, it’s just too much. If I even thought about putting a character through what I’ve been through in the last month, I’d be like, “nah, good lordt, that’s too mean, dial it back”… and yet, here I am. I kind of feel like that striped goth yarn dyer from a few years ago who faked, I think, an illness and her own death, to get out of working? But I promise, I’m not making all of this up. That would just be entirely too exhausting. As it is, every night I go to bed thinking “I can’t possibly do this again tomorrow” and then I wake up in the morning and do it all again, because “we say that we can not bear our troubles, but when we get to them, we bear them.”

Yes. Yes, those are wrapped Christmas gifts still on my table on January 7th. Tim had his big strokes on Christmas Eve, and we’d been in the ICU straight through since then… I kept meaning to take them to my aunt and uncle’s house to be, like, hey, y’all have Christmas without me, just open these whenever… but ultimately we sort of decided to just… not have Christmas last year. So yeah… I still have a pile of Christmas presents in my living room, and while I’ve already pulled out the ones I got for Tim (that I don’t know what I’m going to do with), now I have to go and pull out the ones I got for Barbara, as well. Please nobody else die before Christmas, OK? That pile is already looks so sad and small.

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the starry crown
Good Lord, show me the way

O sinners, let’s go down
Let’s go down, come on down
O sinners, let’s go down
Down in the river to pray

As I went down in the river to pray
Studying about that good ol’ way
And who shall wear the robe and crown
Good Lord, show me the way

Traditional
Down to the River to Pray

When I got home, there were packages for me. People kept asking me what they could do to help, and honestly… I didn’t know. Because of Covid (remember when people cared about that???), there were restrictions on how many people could visit. We’d already more than maxed out his number of visitors, so it’s not like anyone could come sit in the room with me. Some offered to come sit with me in the waiting room, and while I appreciated that people didn’t want me to be alone, I also didn’t come into the hospital to sit in the waiting room. I came to advocate for Tim, to watch over him, to be there when the nurses weren’t there, to talk to the nurses and doctors and make sure that he’s getting everything he needs. People couldn’t bring me food (people wanted to bring me lots of food); there wasn’t a good place to store leftovers, I have food allergies so that makes it hard for people to make food for me, and honestly I wasn’t eating that much those days anyway. I live far out of town so people who might have offered to come clean, do the dishes, clean the cat boxes, that sort of thing… well, that’s a long way to go and I didn’t want to put people out.

So people sent me things. Things they knew Tim and I would need from their own hospital experiences, things that they saw that made them think of me, little random things from my Amazon wish list, cards… little things that might not seem like much to an outsider (and maybe they even felt like it wasn’t enough) but it made me feel so loved. So taken care of. I tried to remember to thank everyone, for their thoughtfulness and heart, but I always feel like I probably forgot someone. If you’re reading this, and I forgot to thank you for something? It’s just because I had the brain power of a goldfish, y’all, not that I didn’t love you thinking about me!

Anyway. Slow days. This was a rare slow day. Not a great day (I mean, none of them were really GREAT days), but not terribly bad, either.

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