David, Coco and David’s brother Paul, 1950
I’m sitting here with a stack of papers..forms, prescriptions, previous schedules for therapy. David returned from Doc’s office and says, “You told me to let you schedule my therapy visits.” And yes, I did, and now he’s asleep in his chair while I phone the Outpatient Rehab facility.
Trips to the hospital to see his orthopedic surgeon for cortisone shots wear him out, although he reports finding a handicap parking spot next to the door. He took his Metformen before he left and ate his breakfast in the hospital cafeteria, which he loves because they serve grits.
David got up with me at 6:00 AM, started the coffee, let the dogs out making enough noise to frighten away the 40-lb raccoon Kathy says shuffles along the perimeter of our fence, and defrosted my car for the drive to the gym. Who could ask for more from a 84-year old husband?
Before I left for the gym, I measured out the bird seed and he filled the feeders after I had gone. Lovely man has learned to love birds.
Karen our usual instructor, was absent this morning, so we had exuberant Ellen. Karen is the kinder, gentler aqua instructor, and Ellen is her opposite. After 40 minutes I paddled out of the pool felling guilty for not staying the full hour. Ellen is off to Argentina and Chile for two months, “to play,” as she puts it, while her husband studies Spanish.
I should not make a broad statement about a whole group of women, but I’ve known a few over the years, who like some field grade military wives, “wear their husband’s rank on their own shoulders.” The first Foreign Service Officer’s relative I met was not a wife, but the daughter of a FSO (really a CIA operative, retired) who, because I voiced displeasure over the war in Vietnam, lectured me on Communism over a game of bridge.
Later, in a retail job, I worked with a woman whose husband had been a FSO in Italy. During evenings when the store was half empty and we had to stay clocked in until 10:00 PM, she often entertained me with tales of FSO shenanigans. Mostly, I learned from her how FSO and their family members engage in all sorts of abuses, such as getting away with traffic violations because the are “diplomats.”
Several women who attend the aqua fitness class are FSO wives. One in particular, the widow of a FSO who served in Libya, annoys me. One day, she and I argued about the Arab Spring, which she thought was wonderful, and I thought would end badly.
David’s brother Paul was a foreign service officer who served in Central and South America (Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala), and though he was a jerk, his wife was a jewel. Coco was a nurse, and carried on with her nursing wherever she went and whether she was paid or not. When they retired back home in NC, she continued to work with the Red Cross until she died, flying at her own expense to various areas around the country to assist with one disaster or another. We always knew when a flood, tornado or some other catastrophe occurred, Coco would be there. David loved her dearly and says “She was the best thing Paul had going for him.”
Karen will be back on Monday, so I can unruffle my feathers.