Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Perspective

Last night, I was sitting at my computer trying to come up with research material for a paper I am writing. no. I did not wait until the last minute. It is not due until Thursday. It was not going very well. Since the repairs on my computer, the darn thing has begun to block all pop-ups, even the ones from the college library's databases. I was getting pretty fed up, because I still had a column to write. Deadline: Wednesday. I am not a proscrastinator. ~ sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what I'm going to write about.


So I was getting a little wound up, like I do when I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it.


The phone rang, and it was an elderly couple I know and have not heard from in a long time. He is in his nineties and a rough old charactor, a Pearl Harbor veteran, chock full of interesting stories. She is a petite and dainty lady. When I first met them, I wondered how they fit together. Him, so rough, her...well...lets just say that when you look ladylike up in the dictionary, you see a picture of her. But they do get along, beautifully, and I love the two of them.


Marion explained in her sweet voice that she'd just had major surgery, and Larry had just had a bout with his heart, and that they were both back home, but that they needed dog food, and would I mind... and I said, no, of course not. I'd be delighted...and out the door I went. I needed a break from the stinking writing stuff anyway.

So I went to the store, and I bought a 35 pound bag of dog food, and 14 cans of dog food, and a box of the special biscuits, and another bag of beef basted treats, and I ran it up to them, and even as I was emptying the bag into the bin they store their dog food in, Larry was bellowing, "Come on in here!" even as I bellowed back, "You just hold your horses there, buster!" And we sat around the kitchen and visited back and forth. Larry said, "Man. It's hell getting old. I think the war was easier than this," and I said, "Well, least ways, nobody is shooting at you, " and he said, wistfully, "at least I had a chance to fight back against an enemy I could see." They both look rough. Marion looks as if she's lost a lot of weight off a frame so tiny that I couldn't see how she found the weight to lose to begin with, Larry's tattooed arms covered with black and blue.

It is hard, I imagine, trying to hold your own against something that will, in the end, anyway, win. Kind of put my own frustrations into perspective.

I pulled in our driveway, and there was a pigeon. We don't have pigeons in the woods. We have mourning doves. No pigeons though. He was brown and white, and picked listlessly at the stones in the driveway. I talked with him a moment, and then he flew to the roof of our house to study me. I gave him some food and went back to work. I typed my column out, and made up my mind to just get up and go to the campus library to do my research. At midnight, I lay in bed and watched the lightning flash all around me, and the thunder rumble from one side of the horizon to the other, and I thought about what it means to be married for years upon years, and to be old, and to be looking squarely at death. And then I fell soundly asleep.

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Both of my parents died young and for years I kinda figured I would, too. I've seen most of my aunts (not so much my uncles) grow old, though. Not always a pretty sight those last few years. There are no easy answers.

BUSH BABE said...

Oh - makes me wanna come over there and cook up a huge feed for them. They need an in-home carer. No family???
:-)
BB

Jayne said...

You are a good person, Debby, I hope that couple get some help xxx

quid said...

You're a good woman, Deb.