Thursday, April 16, 2009

Home Alone

Tuesday was a full day. On the way to my two dr. appointments, we stopped at my previous high school to deliver a letter of resignation. I saw my principal, my department chair, and a couple of teachers. It was good to see familiar faces, and to achieve some kind of closure. It also made me wistful....I am going to miss teaching. In fact, I miss it already.

After contributing some blood for lab work, and seeing my surgeon, it was on to the Central Administration building for my school district. We expected to be in and out in five minutes, but were there more than an hour, filling out paperwork, getting advice, and having three different people checking to be sure that I had sent in all the forms I was supposed to complete, and that I had taken care of transferring my insurance.

By the time we stopped for lunch, I was so exhausted I felt like lying down on the tile floor and falling asleep. I was too tired even to eat. So Wick took me home for a nap.

Three hours of sleep, and I was ready to go shopping. After losing so much weight, I now have bought one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants, and three tops. I need new underthings, summer clothes, and some walking shoes, for when I am actually able to go for walks again. We went into three stores, using my walker for balance and for a place for me to sit down when I got too tired. You might think that I would have been excited to be shopping for smaller size clothes, and you would be right--for about five minutes.

After that, I was exhausted again, so Wick took me home for another nap. He was concerned that I might not sleep that night, after sleeping so much that afternoon, plus the late-afternoon nap, but I slept like a rock, and never even knew when he left for work the next morning.

Retirement is not what I expected. We had planned to retire together. I never planned to be home alone all day, while he still had to work. I miss my fellow teachers. I miss the mental stimulation. I do not, however, miss lesson plans, grading compositions, or the pressure of standardized testing.

After three and a half months at my daughter's, with four lively grandchildren to keep me entertained, being home alone all day has been a huge adjustment. I had gotten used to frequent chats with Jeana perched on my walker, and I miss her jokes and sense of humor. I miss her company.

I have never been a huge television watcher. I don't like the constant noise. I can't go outside unless Wick is here, because of the danger of falling on the stairs--my strength and balance are still problematic. I don't know anyone else in the RV park, so I have no visitors. I have been embroidering some kitchen towels with ducks and fish for our cabin kitchen, and it is pleasurable, but not something I can do eight hours a day--it eventually makes my hands ache. If not for Frankie, our Pomeranian, I would be lonely indeed. He keeps me company, entertains me with his funny expressions, and warns me whenever ducks get too close to the window.

I spend a lot of time looking out that window. It's a big one, and I have a good view of the small lake here, which reminds me of our lake at home. I see lots of birds, a few dogs, occasionally someone fishing. This view reminds me that I am not truly alone here.

In fact, I am never alone, since God is a constant presence in my life. How do people manage, who don't have a relationship with Him?

The nurse who does my blood work every two weeks reminds me that in December, I could not move my foot six inches across the mattress, and now I can walk with a cane. I no longer have to be strapped into a wheel chair to keep me from falling out. I can get a meal on the table by suppertime, most days, even if it does take me most of the day to do it. I can dress myself again. I can make myself a sandwich for lunch. I am making progress, however slowly.

I have much to be thankful for.