I’ve given up novel-writing this month. I am now a full time caretaker. Rather than feel deprived, though, I feel that it’s a privilege and a pleasure to be able to help. Don feels pretty good, and often wants to do things for himself, but I told him that his job number one is to get well and relieve me of nursing duty.
We laugh sometimes about what this has done to us. We both used to be a lot more concerned about our appearance. Don has lost so much weight that he noted that he resembles the little guy who’s rolled in to Gene Wilder’s medical class on a gurney at the beginning of Young Frankenstein. As for me, well… my plan was to get all blond and coiffed for my new book events in January, but as it turns out, I’m getting grayer and more mussed by the minute. I don’t mind. After all of this, I deserve to be able to have sticky-up hair and not care what anybody thinks.
I may not be novel-writing, but I am still writing. Every evening I send out a progress report to friends and relatives, whether they want to see it or not. Chronicling these events helps me, if not to make sense of them, at least to not feel so alone. When everything is taken care of, and all is well again, I expect to look back on these entries and learn something. What, I don’t know yet. It takes distance to be able to see the patterns of one’s life.