My wife and I celebrated anniversary number 38 on August 7th. I believe the traditional gift for your 38th anniversary is sleep.
I won't say we're madly, truly, deeply in love. Perhaps we are but we don't show it. We're of the sun sign Cancer, Moon children inside a hard shell. We tend to flinch back from the madly, truly, deeply zone.
We went out to dinner. The lead up to dinner captures my major concern about my wife's health and state of mind[i]. I had a 6 PM work meeting with Singapore scheduled. I told her that in the morning. It's a standard meeting but comes off erratically[ii]. Returning home later, she suggested we go to dinner that night. I reminded her of my meeting.
A short while later, I announced that I’d changed my mind, that I was going to blow off the meeting so we could go to dinner. She laughed when I told her that. Then we talked about where to go. Sauce. Lark’s. Golden Dynasty. CJ’s Bistro. After a while, we agreed Italian sounded good and selected Pasta Piatti. I cleaned up, changed clothes and brushed my teeth. Returning to the office where she was on her computer, I told her I’m going to check the mail. Returning with the mail, I said, “I’m going to go into the living room and read. I’m ready to go. Let me know when you’re ready.”
Forty-five minutes later, she came into the living room and announced she was going downtown and pick up something to eat for herself. I was astounded. “What about our plans?” I asked.
“You have your meeting,” she replied.
Now I was flummoxed. “I told you I was blowing that off. We agreed to go to Pasta Piatti. I changed clothes and told you to let me know when you’re ready to go because I’m ready.”
And she said…, “I didn’t hear any of that.” Then she said, “I thought you changed your mind.”
The exchange would be disturbing prima facie but this was the fourth time this week that we’d had a conversation in which she claimed she didn’t remember any of it or the memory seemed scrambled for her.
It’s a growing pattern. She forgets to turn lights off and unplug items. She plugs in her electric toothbrush charger and forgets to put her toothbrush in it. She forgets to take medicine, she forgets…forgets…forgets.
Thinking of this, that and other things, I listened to her restless slumber last night. She’d been complaining of pain in her spine and hip and was moaning and groaning in her sleep. We’re already doing all we can for her RA but she’s slowly slipping away.
That seems to be the metaphor for my life. Things don’t end with a bang but slip away with a whisper as I watch and think, “I wish….”
Dinner was lovely. Afterward, we went down to the plaza and heard the drummers at the vigil and then caught Three Blind Mice’s fun, exciting performance at The Green Show. Returning home, we gave Scheckter and Lady sub cut fluids and medicines, and fed them and the other cats. My wife took a short hot bath and went to bed to read. When I checked on her and the cats at 10:15, she was deeply asleep, a book on her chest.
[i] We’d talk about doing something for our anniversary but she’s busy this week with other activities and decided we would do something another week.
[ii] As it turned out, the Singapore team didn’t show for the call because they had a holiday.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com