The Beauty and The Beast

Pumpkin Express by BJ McCloskey

Pumpkin Express by BJ McCloskey

This afternoon Ken and I went outside to enjoy the colorful landscape at our favorite park. The golden, red, and orange leaves spread across the hills and entertained us for about two hours. As we meandered through the country roads, I wondered how many people just drive by the trees and never give the beauty surrounding them a thought. The drivers who had the unfortunate luck to get behind me sure wasn’t looking at the leaves. As soon as he could he zoomed past me with middle finger raised defiantly in the air. Ask me if I cared.

We invited my “big sister” Joyce to come along with us. She doesn’t drive any longer because a nasty stroke a few years ago took away some of her vision in one eye. We’ve enjoyed this outing for the past few years, so now it’s become a tradition. We ooooo and ahhhh over nature’s handiwork and usually treat ourselves to a cup of coffee afterward.

The outing was a success until we arrived back at Joyce’s house. Ken had to use the bathroom, but because he wasn’t having the best of days, he didn’t make it inside the house. Consequently, we had to take a rain check on the coffee and come home.

I know these incidents aren’t his fault, but they often are a source of disappointment for me. I hate that I feel this way, but it seems I get lost in the scheme of things. I am the other variable in this caretaking equation and more often than in the past I feel like I don’t exist; I’m in the background and lost.

The only reason I’m bringing up this subject is because I know other caretakers feel this way too — only I would guess they don’t express how they feel. They swallow the disappointments (and there are many) and one day they admit they can’t assume the role any more. No matter how much one person loves another there are limits.

This afternoon I found one of my limits. So I’ve turned to writing for my outlet. Nobody can fix this situation and give me my REAL husband back. Disease doesn’t work that way. It just keeps rolling along until it runs you over. Unlike the rude drivers I encountered today, this vehicle doesn’t care who’s in the way.

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