Saturday, November 19, 2011

No longer

No Longer
Thomas Allen

Not in any particular order, the following is a list of some little things that I did for Deborah, that she did for me, and that we did with each other that made our lives together more enjoyable. This list also includes other thoughts.

‒ When Deb was in the hospital, I wonder how I would take care of her and get my pruning done. Taking care of her would have had priority over pruning. If it got done at all, the pruning would have gotten done whenever I could have gotten to it. (Until her last day in the hospice house, I always thought that Deb was going to come home. The last day I began to realize that hospice and the atheists were going to win.) I no longer have to neglect my pruning to take care of her.

‒ When Deb was in the hospital, I wondered how I would get her to the front door during the winter. After the first winter snow or heavy rain, the yard turns into a mushy sponge and can remain that way for more than a week. She was using the front door instead of the back door because she had fewer steps to walk up. (The last time that she was home, she could walk up and down the front steps by herself.) I will no longer have to be concerned about that problem.

‒ Nearly every Sunday morning since our blueberry bushes began producing prolifically (about 20 years ago), Deb would make blueberry pancakes. She started making blueberry pancakes to use up blueberries. No longer will I eat her blueberry pancakes.

‒ On weekends, days that I did not work, and every day after I retired, she would fix breakfast while I attended the animals. The only exception was when she was not at home. I would often find breakfast waiting for me or nearly ready when I returned. Never again will I eat a breakfast that she has fixed me.

‒ After we returned from our trip to the mountains in April, I began thanking about us taking a trip to the east in October — probably to Edenton. Never again will I have to think about taking a trip with her anywhere.

‒ Obviously, I expected her to come home because I continued to give her pocket money until the end. Never again will I have to give her any pocket money.

‒ I was going to buy Deb another curio for her bird collection. The two that she had had become crowded. For some years when I bought her a bird, I would tell the clerk that wanted a small bird because my wife’s collection had out grown her curios. Usually, I gave her a bird for our wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day, her birthday, and Christmas. Now I no longer have the joy of buying her presents.

‒ I used to rejoice along with her when her ACEOs sold — especially when one got into a bidding war and sold for more than $2. She would rejoice along with me whenever someone ordered some of my books or booklets. Such rejoicing is forever gone and will no longer occur.

‒ We used to enjoy hugging each other. No longer shall we hug each other.

‒ Most nights Rug the cat would lie on Deb’s lap as she watched television. No longer does Rug have her lap on which to lie.

‒ Around the time that Deb became ill, she made a comment about dying. I told her that she would break my heart. What I did not realize was how severely she would break it. No longer can I live without a broken heart for her.

‒ Deb wanted to start painting large pictures again. I began cleaning up the trailer so that she would have room to work on her paintings. That is one project that I will no longer have to finish.

‒ Every time Deb received her annual statement from social security, she worried about not receiving any social security because she did not have enough quarters to qualify. Each time I would have to remind her that she could draw off mine. Now she no longer has to worry about that, and I no longer have to remind her that she did not have to worry.

‒ Deb liked a good deal of stroking and reassurance. I am not good at that. However, I did let her know that I wanted to show her off and that I wanted to be with her as much as possible. I was proud of being with her and being seen with her. After I retired (and on days off when I was working), I asked her to go with me everywhere that I went. The exception was the dump and barbershop; she did not care about going to these places. No longer am I able to go places with her and show her off.

‒ Whenever someone or something really irritated me or one of my projects frustrated me, I often yelled. If Deb were near me, as she often was, she would usually ask me why I was yelling at her and said that she had not done anything. I had to remind her that I was not yelling at her. She just happened to be around when I was yelling. No longer will I have to remind her.

‒ I do not recall Deb and me having any real arguments during the last 10 or 15 years. Over time we learned what was important and what was not. We learned that harmony was much better than discord. We also came to view issues from the other’s perspective. Deb learned quicker than I did. At first, whenever I disagreed with her, she would often resist. Later, she would usually let me vent without resistance. She had learned that most of the time she was going to get what she wanted. By not resisting, she got it quicker. I eventually learned that lesson too. Over time my arguments with her faded away. I came to realize that what made her happy, made me happy. Now all of this is a nonissue. No longer will I have the joy of giving into her. (She was never a demanding woman, so letting her have her way was a joy and not a hardship.)

‒ Deb and I never really tried to change each other. We accept each other the way we were. However, we gradually moved toward what we thought the other wanted. No longer will this movement continue.

‒ I always encouraged Deb in her art because I knew how important art was to her. I went to every show that she had after we married. When her art did not sell, I think that I was more disappointed than she was. Whenever I made a critical remark at one of her shows, at first she thought I was criticizing her work. I had to remind her that I was not criticizing her work. I was criticizing the viewers for not seeing the value of her work and buying. Eventually, she understood that I was not criticizing her. No longer will I go to a show with her or encourage her in her art.

‒ Deb liked to cook with onions and garlic. In September when she was home, I planted two beds (about 100 square feet) of garlic for her — one bed was a French garlic. She will no longer use the garlic or onions that I grow for her, and I will no longer need to grow garlic and onions for her.

‒ No longer will Deb and I go to the post office together. We went to the post office to mail her ACEOs and my books. No longer will we shop for groceries or Christmas gifts together. No longer will we go to the hardware store together to pickup a part to fix something around the house.

‒ After I retired, many mornings Deb would stand on one side of the stove cooking my eggs. I would stand on the other side cooking my grits. No longer will we stand together at the stove cooking my breakfast.

Copyright © 2011 by Thomas Coley Allen.

More articles on Deb.

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