When I am away

I won’t be away very long in October, only about 4 days, but David wants me to hire someone to come in while I am gone.  I think this must be the first time he has ever asked for help.  Perhaps he is beginning to realize it is okay to ask.

I asked him to be specific, when should the person be here and what does he expect them to do? He had a more difficult time with that question.  I can see this will take some negotiation. 

I don’t know if he really needs help, or whether he just doesn’t want me to go anywhere.  Too bad, I purchased my ticket in May so as to get a good rate, and that’s that.  I took out travel insurance on the trip, so I could probably get a refund if he truly was ill. Right now, I think he is just scared to be alone.

David doesn’t want to travel.  He doesn’t want to go anywhere, but I want to visit my son and his family.  He thought it was a good idea that I travel alone, so I am.  He can’t back out now.

All this brings up the question of how much thought should we give to being on our own in later life?  Sometimes we are on our own for days or weeks when the other party is hospitalized.  I have had my share of that and so has he.  Lately, he has had more hospital time, while my procedures have been outpatient. 

I liked living on my own after my last child left for college back in the early 80s.  It didn’t last long. I married David around the time John went off to college. Thus, I have never lived alone.  I lived with parents and siblings, husband, parents again, husband and children, children only, husband and children, children only, husband.  Maybe I would like living on my own, I think from time to time.  However, in the dead of night, a frightening sensation of being “all alone,” sometimes leaves me cold.

David says he is going to die alone, and I suppose each of us does in the end. Maybe, never been there or done that.  My favorite line on this topic came from Bob Hope.  I’ve written it before but it bears repeating.  When Bob was dying his family and friends crowded around his bed. He looked up and the last thing he said was, “At last, playing to a full house.” 

David a few years back with Johnny.  He won’t be alone.   


10 thoughts on “When I am away

  1. I lived on my own for a while in my 20’s. I don’t think that I cherished the silence enough!!
    It’s good David has asked for help. Men are funny that way, aren’t they?


  2. BTW with this new-looking blog you have, WordPress finally allowed me to list one of my gmail addresses accurately, but had to set up an account with them, though I have no plans to start another blog there presently — if ever. Not sure what other effects this may have for me ’cause they’re saying I’m now commenting using my WordPress account. Expect that will now apply to all other WP accounts I comment on, but haven’t previously had a problem with. Hope I don’t have problems on them now. .;-)


    • For some reason, my Facebook connection was terminated. I tried to reconnect it, but ran into problems. The only thing I can deduce is that Google bought everything including WordPress and wants to control all the links. Very puzzling. Sorry if it caused you a problem.


  3. You’ve touched on a significant issue I’ve come to know after almost 43 years of together living. Prior to that I did enjoy living on my own for a few years — occasionally wished I wasn’t alone. Then, when I wasn’t alone, I sometimes longed for the silence of being the only one in the house. After my husband died I did experience some contrasting feelings about being alone — partially because I realized much later some once thought long banished insecurities came to the forefront, but that’s another whole topic. Then there was the realization that no matter where I was, at home or away, that backup net of someone close by to call to was not there (no family in state.) Cell phones came into being right about then, and my son insisted I have one on his plan which I did but he was half a continent away — my daughter even further — best friend an hour away, others elsewhere or dead — even new ones inconsiderately dying, so what is one to do??? Six years now and I’m used to it.

    Good to listen to David if he recognizes the need of someone to be with him and accepts it. One of my family members rejected anyone coming in and physically he was more debilitated than what your David appears to be if he’s still driving, climbing stairs. The wife froze meals that were marked for him, but eventually he couldn’t manage those and spilled them — still obstinately rejecting other assist. Frankly, I think when that happened in his case that a bit of cognitive impairment was present though he was very high level functioning in many ways — had some short term memory issues, too. His wife refused to be manipulated into staying home whatever his issues, and people did go by to check on him anyway.

    Another family member received Meals On Wheels for weekday lunches — said there was always too much and often had enough for dinner, too. Fortunately, the food preparation was excellent, came from the kitchen of a very high-end retirement community whose food preparation had to meet the high expectations of residents who were never hesitant about making their likes and dislikes known. A plus was social interaction with some of those residents who also delivered the meals — she developed favorite delivery people as did the resident develop favorite clients — sometimes delivering last so they could spend more time.


  4. It would be wise to have someone (granddaughters?) telephone him at least once a day or perhaps visit him every day while you are gone. What if he falls again and can’t get up?


    • Tyring to decide what to do. I may ask Cathy, the neighbor up the street to check on him, and Eddie too. Cathy keeps animals when owners are away, so I may ask her to help him with the parrots.

      Two older granddaughters are gone and Joy leaves for college next week. Rita works two jobs and its a 2-hour drive for her, so she can’t come up either. My daughter is coming up tomorrow, but her school takes in soon and she won’t be able to make that trip.


  5. Husband Walter initiated similar concerns yesterday about how would I adapt if I were alone. He was especially concerned about how I could safely prepare healthy meals. So we are both thinking. But I also have to start doing more experimentation in that area. The changes we and our spouses are experiencing can be frightening. It helps me to read how you, David and others are dealing with the changes age brings.


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