Letting go and allowing my Rogue to handle his weekly pill box and other household chores has been both welcome and difficult for me. After three years of care giving, I can supposedly concentrate on my personal business projects and goals. Rapt attention is much needed these days, as being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 mental state of conviction, doubt, confusion, determination, belief, and ignoring one’s surroundings.
I am easily distracted and, because I work at home, the closets and other January projects staring me in the face have to take a back seat this month; I’ve got sales tax to compute and records and multiple reminders (scrawled in my own hand on last year’s Franklin pages and lots of loose papers stuffed into folders) that must be reviewed before finalizing this year’s business path of priorities. I consider the stack of info in front of me as a yearly validation that man was never meant to put anything in writing!
We have both aged, my Rogue and I, not only in actual years but (I would like to believe) in wisdom as well. Wisdom is the attribute I wish for; for me, it describes the compromising of any initial response – I catch myself biting my tongue – so that I can attempt a more diplomatic reply; for my Rogue, wisdom is centered upon accepting what he can and cannot do. Accepting “the cannots” has been the more difficult, on-going process.
Instead, he has chosen to return to old habits with a fervor and survivor’s attitude that neither stroke nor open heart surgery could stop, nor any amount of medications alleviate. My Rogue has emerged once again as my perennial Peter Pan: the one who insists that anyone can fly, one need only believe!
So, what is your problem?
He asks me this as he gears up for shoveling the drive after a heavy snowstorm. A streak of the maturing adolescent is in full exhibition… his modus operandi has always been direct, determinedly contrarian and just plain abrupt. He has seen my concerned expression and, true to form, insists that there is nothing wrong with his shoveling the drive!
(You’re blowing it again, Wendy; you have to shift gears and believe.) But I can only imagine my hair graying at top speed, and I’m literally willing whatever dark brown strands I still have to stay strong; I have four more weeks before my scheduled highlighting appointment. Dear God, I’m actually having a conversation with my hair when Peter breaks the silence:
Just what is your problem?
Our experience was unnerving enough to place me on overdrive, reluctant to let up on the throttle. I am overtly cautious, my adrenalin recycling itself and my sheer will stepping carefully forward, slowly acknowledging there are fewer pirates lurking in hidden coves. I can be very competent in a crisis; but I am no less human than the next spouse when such a stressful pace takes its toll over the long term. My personal convalescence is far from over; no point in explaining any of these leftover effects to Peter.
My Rogue has come indoors and admits it is chilly and the snow about 5 to 6 inches deep. He’s managed to clear a wheel path but the steadily falling snow is quickly covering his tracks. The city has yet to come down the street this morning.
Additionally, Peter informs me that the surface is icy and it is better that he drive me into work and maneuver the sultry black ice. After all, he reminds me, he knows how to drive on such road conditions and I’m the lesser experienced.
(Bite your tongue, Wendy; remember, his mother taught him well and he is ever the gentleman …)
So, I change the subject to things less serious, and to which I already know the answers:
Did you take your medicine, Honey?
Did you remember to toss the laundry into the dryer?
Do you have your glasses?
Honey, I really think I can drive to work without a problem; I’ll be really careful, you needn’t worry.
I don’t want my truck out there in the freezing weather for four hours!
BOING!!!! (note to Wendy: toss the gentleman angle out; Peter wants his truck back.)
What would you like for dinner, Honey?
Whatever you want to fix, Dear. You know I’ll eat anything you cook!
He eats to live; I, on the other hand, live to eat. Yes, opposites do attract; and Wendy is gonna need a bit of grease tonight…