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Friday, August 28, 2009


angel of night

A few minutes ago a shower came through with some wind gusts in it that set the wind chimes to singing their song as random as the dance of the flames in a fire, patterns that never recur. It's like a 24 hour day with Jr where no period of time is like any other, no event like any other. Again, today I was telling someone who knows Jr about the shape he's in, noting that when I leave the house for an hour to grocery store, this and that, I know not to enter the house with any expectation. Whatever is found will not be whatever expected. I make a mental note to myself turning the door knob, no expectation.
Driving a little bit ago, I noticed how happy I feel on the inside today. A few encounters today with people that live out of sight of the house. Needed to make a trip to the PO and the gas station. Saw Hillbilly Wes and he reminded me of Hillbilly Show and we need to think up some jokes. He is a good character to have in the PO. Always good-natured and full of laughs. At the BROC meeting in the Pines last Wednesday, Ernest Joines told of opening his PO box and there was Wes's hand. Ernest told the experience from his side of the wall and West told it from his. Then both of them told it again, more experientially the second time, the whole table area of about 20 people laughing.
Jr not in so much pain today. The pain in his knee still there, but not so bad. Nurse told me it takes a few days for the medication in the first patch that releases a little at a time over three days to get up to the dosage needed for the pain. Today his knee is in far less pain. His back hurts far less. He showed me how he can sit straight up in bed with no effort, when before, it was a major effort. He's feeling a little livelier. It seems to have lifted his spirit. He's up from the bed quite a lot during the day. He's a bit more alert when he's talking with someone. He seems to feel a bit livelier. He's also sleeping more than before. He complains most of not sleeping, just lies there on the bed between asleep and awake, focused on his pain that never goes away and pills don't help. Now that the pain is receding, he appears to be coming back to life. It's looking like the pain has kept him weakened and vague from the ongoing effort of bearing it.
A neighbor who has known Jr all his life came by to put a telephone jack in his bedroom so he can have the telephone by the bed, the landline phone that he's used to that is on when he picks it up and off when he puts it back. He knows how to do that. A keyboard of tiny numbers that light up and tiny buttons to push that are too small for his unpracticed fingertips he can't understand. A friend of Jr's he grew up with dropped in Sunday evening and during their conversation Jr talked about wanting a phone jack in the bedroom. Every time he's talked about it with me, I tell him how it can be done, that I can do it with a measured number of feet of wire and a staple gun, and a jack from Radio Shack. No.
He thinks me staying there is plenty to ask of me, certainly not to work or expend any effort. I tell him I like doing various things that need done. It is not a problem. That's what I'm there for. I can't convince him it is not a problem or an issue or anything. He does not like to be a trouble to anybody. Now he's a trouble to everybody, in his mind. I explained to him what his neighbor said when Jr offered to pay him. He said Jr had already paid him all the nights he listened to Jr make music at Jr's house when they jammed Wednesday nights. I told him, You've spent your life doing for other people. You're known for it. It's coming back now.
It embarrasses him he needs such help. Of course it does. I'm sensitive to that and give him his privacy when there is hardly any. We had to take the door to the bedroom out of the frame so he could get the wheelchair through the doorway. Now when he has to sit on the pottie pail I know he doesn't want to be seen. I make it a point to stay out of sight of the doorway. When I have to pass it I look straight ahead to give him the comfort of not being seen in his awkwardness.
Everything I do or say is aware of how humiliating it is for him to be in such a condition, losing his mind, body in pain, helpless to take care of himself in most basic ways when he's lived his life self-sufficient all the way along. It's not denial. Jr Maxwell is a humble man already. In my estimation, he doesn't need any humiliation. He's already there. I do what I can to keep the sharp rocks out of his path. My respect for who Jr Maxwell is continually is present. I believe that has a lot to do with why I feel quite often in a happy mood, because my respect for Jr is such I cannot let this helpless time in his life defeat him.
I can't let him look at the same spot on the ceiling over his bed in the nursing home day and night waiting to die. His name isn't Winston Churchill, but he's an important man. I see that I am able to assist Jr in this time. It feels good in the heart to see him feeling at least a little bit better, even a bit more clear in his mind. When neighbors and friends come by to visit, it always heartens me to see his enjoyment. I thank God frequently for this opportunity to assist someone I respect so deeply in a tough time.

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