Lately, I keep thinking about all the events, thoughts, changes that have filled my life in recent months, so I’m going to start tossing some of them into this blog as I think of them without feeling concerned (I hope) with proper sequencing or rational connections.
My husband John, as I’ve glancingly referred to previously, had been slowly declining in physical and cognitive ability for some years. I recently discovered — as I sorted and packed things to be moved out of my studio to the house — a box of journals covering about eight years. I dipped into a couple of them, and was stunned to find that six years ago I was already grappling with some of the effects of his growing disability. (N.B. — he’d had over a period of years quite a lot of odd moments which eventually turned out to be similar to tiny strokes, causing damage in most areas of his brain.) So the road has been far longer than I, in my usual optimistic way, had noticed, and got increasingly harder for us both.
At last, he could no longer be here at home, and was first hospitalized for several days of tests, then went in late September to a rehab facility, and after some weeks into their long-term care area, where he now resides. And will for the rest of his life.
Sounds grim, I know, but he’s getting good care from good people who like and appreciate him. I go to visit him a couple times a week (a forty-mile round trip), and we talk on the phone almost every day. He’s not particularly happy, but he’s safe — which he wasn’t here at home.
So I have begun a new phase of my life here in our tiny house (815 square feet) surrounded by our splendid (and sadly neglected for several years) ornamental garden. I live alone with my two marvelous Siamese cats (the dogs went to a wonderful new home in mid-January, a great relief to me), and am slowly settling into a new and different routine and work discipline. It seems easy compared with what the last several years were like.