And I Smiled

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

From the moment I woke up this morning I have been the best darn actress I could; until late this afternoon. I must have woke up on the wrong side of bed. I was pretty busy yesterday and I don’t know if age, or the over-time of caring for Al did it, but I was darn tired, but I smiled.

From the moment I made that first cup of coffee and had that one sip, Al was ringing he was ready to get up. Inside my head I was yelling, no not yet. My coffee cup isn’t empty yet, but I smiled.

Then the phone rang earlier than usual. It was the shower gal letting me know when she was coming. Looking at the clock and hearing Al, I knew it was now or never. Time to force those eyes open, get the muscles in gear, and go get him up.

He is half laying in bed. How this illness helps him do it, I don’t know, but his head was frozen in mid-air. If I tried to do that, I would have a headache for sure. Rhino, the cat hissed at me because he didn’t like it I was hovering over Al. I took a moment to sweet-talk him and then got Al up and I smiled.

I got his breakfast and then tried to take a few moments to drink my lukewarm coffee when I discovered someone had tried to look into my credit. This pissed me off. I had let others ruin my credit in the past and it took me many years to fix it and be on top again. No one was doing this to me, not on a Monday morning for sure.

The shower gal came; I smiled.  I eventually got Al on the bus and then I got some disappointing news. Nothing bad or serious but sad. That made my day just a little rougher. I was definitely on a roll of the biggest pity party in town.

Then I would mentally kick myself, reminding me I wasn’t the sick one, Al was. I would stand strong again. I bounced back and forth like a rubber ball until it was time to meet Al’s Hospice nurse late this afternoon. We saw each other at the main door and I smiled.

We talked about the gloom that lingered in Al’s room all weekend and then when she visited Al some of my mood must have rubbed off at breakfast because he also wasn’t in a good mood.

After the meeting the nurse wanted to talk to the Day Program coordinator about some new medication orders. I was sitting in the threesome listening to the conversation when I turned and looked out the tiny window in her office. There was a bush, with its bare branches starting to show, from fall being here. On top was a sparrow sitting there all by himself. He looked lonely.

I saw myself in him. I was lonely. How can I be lonely when I had a good day yesterday with family? Don’t ask me, because I don’t know. I stay so busy with Al I would think I wouldn’t have time to think about the word, but I did.

Suddenly right in the middle of the meeting the tears began to fall and soon I was weeping. Embarrassed that I was making a fool out of myself right there in my brother’s Day Program and yet not able to stop the tears.

I needed a release I think. Of course I felt more humiliated as the two of them came and patted my shoulder and said words of comfort. I dried my eyes and we said our goodbyes. I got in the car and lit  up one of my cigarettes knowing I should quit but not strong enough to do it yet.

I took off out of the parking lot and headed for the gas station. I needed milk and I knew I couldn’t leave the house tomorrow because Al will be home all day. I was thinking about how close it was to Al being brought home on the bus and I didn’t have supper prep work done.

I was about a mile from home and the car turned into a drive-thru. When I got home I had supper on the table and Al came about 15 minutes later. He was quiet and so was I. We ate, I changed him and he wanted in his recliner. I sat here at the computer with my after dinner drink; coffee, checked emails and then laid down while Al napped.

Here it is time to go to bed and now I am awake but I think once my head lays down I will have no trouble going to sleep. After all, tomorrow morning I will hear the sounds of Al wanting to get up first thing. I just hope I have time to drink that first cup of coffee first and I will smile.

31 thoughts on “And I Smiled

  1. Terry you are never alone, we are with you remember. Even not next door but here in mind and spirit with cyber hugs. You do need to release sometines too so tears are good somtimes and then you move on. You are always strong for Al , as you say you keep smiling….. it is ok to cry too! Have my hankie, blow your nose and have a great big tight cuddle with me…. feels good.. doesn’t it?
    And now we smile together again, you have your coffee, I have my tea!
    Love you!


    • the release of stress through tears helped, but did I have to do it in the meeting? LOL, I do feel better this morning from a good cry!!!! I enjoy a good cup of tea also. What is your favorite tea and how do you mix it?


      • My favourite is really black tea with milk, but I also drink, fruit teas and green tea and open teas, not always teabags.
        Nice to have a good cuppa together!


  2. When I read what you are going through my first thought is to run over to you and give you a hug and smile, it is a little smile showing compassion and of understanding your pain. Sometimes there are no words to bring comfort – just someone’s presence. Through Jesus I am with you – we are sisters in Christ and although I cannot be with you to give you a hug, I hug you in my prayers to our Lord of comfort, strength and compassion. Lean on Him and on all of us who care.


  3. You may not like this but what you need right now is day just for you, when Al is safe and you don’t need to think about food or shopping or dishes or anything. Without time for you, you are no good to Al.


  4. Sometimes you just need to let it out, the sparrow was there to help you let go. My heart goes out to you, and when the time comes I need a caregiver, I can only hope for one like you.


  5. Hi Terry… heart is with you! I don’t know if I would have the strength to face what you face every day…that’s why I seek God before I even have a cup of coffee! God bless you and I pray he would give you strength and courage!


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  7. Terry thank you for posting this. You and Al are going through hard times, and I wish all the best for you both. You have a facility with words, a gift, and you have used it well to express what so many of us have felt, in caring for our loved ones. The precious words you have penned in describing this are a great help to me.


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