Monday, August 28, 2023

In Between

 It's been a quiet time here. I guess we're still processing Tim's news. Tim went to his church on Sunday, and offered his situation up for prayer. After church, a friend immediately approached him. As they compared, they  realized that their situations were very similar although medicine has advanced. The old surgery has been replaced by robotics. 6 or 7 small incisions replace one major incision. His friend's surgery was 25 years ago, or thereabouts. You'd never know it talking to him today, and it was a great encouragement to Tim. 

We worked on the new build today. I've been very matter of fact with Tim. We've got two months, and what we are doing is buttoning things up for winter. He will require a solid month off. He will be on activity restrictions for at least two months following that. We are taking the winter off. 

He spent the day on the tractor with the bucket on the front. He scooped up dirt and dumped it around the foundation where the dirt had settled. I spent the day taping up the zip board

We were waiting for the building inspector. He said he would be there before 3. I was up on the ladder when I heard Tim talking to someone. It was the inspector, and he was there before lunch time. He was quite curious about our time line for this build, and about scheduling the next inspection. Tim explained that we would be on a mandatory slowdown for the winter, and why. 

Immediately, the man said, "Oh no!" followed by, "Listen, my dad had surgery and it took him a while to recuperate. It was a pretty awful few months, but the guy's in his 80s now and doing great!" 

We visited a while in the sun, and when the guy left, he said, "Well, call if you have any questions or even if you need moral support!" 

How nice. People have been so very nice. 

I think of gz's blog, she refers to comments as dropping a pebble in the pool. So many pebbles dropped in our pool lately. Thank you to everyone who has troubled themselves to do this kindness, whether it be electornically or in person. 

Yesterday, we spoke with a 93 year old woman who has run out of her savings after 30 years of retirement. She lives a very frugal life, and things are getting much worse for her. She's decided she cannot afford television anymore, which might sound like a luxury, but this is a woman who has no car. She is pretty much homebound. She never married. She has no children. She lives in her parents house. I doubt she is a reader. Television is probably just about her only entertainment. 

I said, as I always do, "You need to call us! We can drive you places. We can help you out!" We always tell her this. Many people have. Someone tried to set her up with Meals on Wheels. She snorted in disgust. "What am I supposed to do with that? I don't have a microwave." Immediately, I thought of someone who is selling a small microwave. I said, "We can get you a microwave!" She got upset. Her house is not wired to be able to handle a microwave. I didn't bother to tell her that if her kitchen could handle a fridge and a stove, it was surely able to handle a microwave. There's no point. Someone from her church offered to bring a box of food from their food pantry every week. She turned it down. She's diabetic and she can't eat processed food. I said that there were many people who would be glad to help her out. She said, "I don't know anyone on this street. I used to know everyone. But I don't approve of their lifestyles." And she began to point out the various houses where people cohabitate but are not married. 

I was sad for her when I left, but there is not a lot we can do for her. She is upset about her situation, but she doesn't want to accept help. Other than dropping off food on her front porch, healthy things that she won't object to, I can't think of one other thing to help her. Nobody's dropping pebbles in her pool. If they did, she'd probably heave them back. 

Today, my grandaughter had her first day of school. She's excitedly been running to the window to watch the school bus stop on the corner in front of her house since the time she could walk. She was beside herself with the thrill of actually riding that school bus and going to school for the whole day. I smiled thinking of her. I had pictures of her dressed for school and getting on the bus. I couldn't wait to hear how her day had gone.  

There was a grave being prepared in the little cemetery across the road That afternoon, the internment ceremony was held and the cars lined up along the little road. 

Beginnings, ends. Somewhere in between, Tim shut down the tractor out of respect and we worked together in the sun to finish taping that final wall.

37 comments:

  1. Good that thee is some genuine support for Tim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been a real encouragement to Tim to be able to see men who have had the surgery and are just fine. Not giong to lie. Me too.

      Delete
  2. I hope I don't become like that 93 year old woman.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think that old woman wants to live anymore. She's had many pebbles but she's made her water solid mud. Glad you and Tim are getting some encouragement. After you get ready, it sounds like winter is a good time to be limited by the post-surgery instructions. You'll have to think of lots of indoor things Tim will be able to do. Tell the surgeon to make those little stitches tight and get some tips on getting Tim to follow the "no working" instructions! Linda in Kansas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The woman's father died when she was young, and her mother seems to have gone to bed and never got up again. The woman raised her younger siblings, working to support them all. She sent them to college. And now she is 93 and living a lonely life in a neat as a pin house and refusing to associate with most of the world. I thing that you are right.

      If there is a good time for this to happen, I am going to say that you are right. Best that it happened in winter.

      Delete
    2. She had such a hard life..but she is making it even harder now, sadly

      Delete
    3. I know. She is a very angry soul. Her sister is in very bad shape in another house a few blocks away, and to be honest, her poor husband would probably welcome help. He's running himself ragged, trying to care for her, But the sad thing is, although our lady could be of great help, her constant anger would be very difficult to deal with. She loves, but she loves so very fiercely.

      Delete
  4. It is heartening to know that so many people care. In the midst of worldwide gloom and doom there are shafts of light.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People have been remarkably kind, but I think the biggest encouragement to Tim was talking to his friend, Ken, who had dealt with the very same treatments.

      Delete
  5. Zip systems are the greatest thing in my opinion. I used a knockoff version from our local box store on our greenhouse and it sat like that all winter. So many people asked if that was my siding that I tired of explaining what it was and the benefits of it. Come spring when I was able to side it, it was in great shape and I didn't regret the extra money spent on it nor the time saved from not having to go fix the house wrap blown off by the winter winds.

    That certain is a life lesson Debbie. We all need a little humility and learn not to heave pebbles from our pools when they leave ripples.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We knew we would not have siding on it before winter struck. Tim was worried about the tyvek house wrap for the very same reason. He loves this stuff. The building inspector never saw it before, and had a lot of questions about it. He thought it was the greatest invention since sliced bread.

      Delete
  6. That's a nice post about different lives and attitudes to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tasker. And thanks for coming back to solve the mystery.

      Delete
  7. I am so glad that Tim has had such wonderful support - people DO care, for all they may seem to be living their own lives around us. I felt sorry for the old lady, but she's not really helping herself is she by turning away offers of help. Such a shame. Hugs to you both,.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think lessons come into our lives as we need them. The elderly lady (we've known her since about 2016 or so) is a cautionary tale to me. That's what anger does to a life.

      Delete
  8. It is a sad story. Surely there must be government financial help for her to live. You are so caring and this seems to happen all over your country, the individual care.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are programs for the elderly here. She will take part in none of them. She will cite transportation as the problem, but when you offer to provide that transportation, she spins it to the fact that these are taxpayer funded programs and start complaining about the government.

      Delete
  9. As an update and comment on keyhole surgery. In 1997 I was in hospital for 3 weeks after conventional invasive surgery and then another 2 weeks after a weekend at home. A couple of years ago a friend and former colleague joined me and others for our Last of the Summer Wine Club monthly lunch. "Oh!" I exclaimed "I thought you had your prostate out last week." "I did" he responded "and 48 hours after getting home (he was in for 1 night) I went for two mile walk." Such are the advances in surgery. I wish Tim a speedy resolution to his new situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, your comment that the past years have been the most wonderful years of your life was so encouraging to Tim. All he could think of was everything that he is going to lose. He's awfully sad about that. Secondly, I can do you one up. After Tim's surgery, he will be on his way home the same day. We were shocked. Privately, I wondered if I should just leave the car running.

      It's not a short trip. He's relieved that he'll be at home. I'm a little fearful, but we have plenty of nurses in the family if I have questions. Tim will not be out and about after a week though. He will have medical equipment that will keep him on a short leash.

      Delete
    2. Maybe you could arrange to stay somewhere near the hospital for the first day or two, just in case?

      I’d be nervous too…

      Delete
  10. Graham's comment is spot on re the treatment nowadays.
    Getting mutual support from others in the same boat is exactly what is needed

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like to believe that most people are decent and kind, given the chance, and helping others is a natural thing. Sure, we see evidence of the opposite, yet I still feel there are more good than bad. It's sad to think of the women refusing help, bitter and alone. I think of the movie "Up," and how his life changed when he let in some people and some love. Living too long without any purpose erodes the soul, and sounds like hers is just that. You all may have to do drive-by food and other help. And maybe her heart can open, even if just a little. The surgery for Tim has so greatly improved over the years, that it's barely a blip for most men! Fear not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe that too. I think there was fear when we first heard 'highly aggressive cancer'. But we are meeting a lot of men who have heard those same words years back and are fine today. We stick to thinking about the 78.7% of men who go through this and are cancer free after 10 years.

      Delete
  12. That was quick. You have it all lined up and how to get there and past it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've got no choice. When your feet are held to the fire, you move.

      Delete
  13. It's good to hear those positive stories about the surgery Tim will have. I'm sure it reassures you both that everything will be all right.
    I'm sure you two can think of lots of jobs to keep him busy but restful during the winter. Best wishes to you both!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it is going to be hard to keep him away from his projects. It will be important to keep his mind active and occupied during those first months.

      Delete
    2. Keeping him well supplied with productive yet not physically demanding activities while he’s laid up will be quite the challenge, won’t it..

      Delete
  14. My heart goes out to that lady. She is probably afraid. But we can never know what goes on in other's hearts and minds.
    It is so excellent that Tim is getting so many positive reports and good feedback on his situation. That will help him and it will help you, too.
    I just wish I could hug you, Debbie. That is really how I communicate best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. We'll have to look out for her. I imagine (hope?) other people are as well. We're following Idalia, and hope that things settle down.

      Delete
  15. This post could be the outline for a whole book, Debby. Kindness, hard decisions, anger, caring, joy, and love all interwoven here. It reminds me of an Anne Tyler novel. I am so glad Tim is hearing positive stories. And smiled about your granddaughters excitement about the bus. Hugs to you all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't thought of it that way. We've received so much support in the past couple weeks, and are very grateful for it. Then there's a woman who needs more support than we ever have, and she will fight tooth and nail NOT to have that support. It's not that she is surrounded by different folks than we are. I guess we have different receptors.

      Little Iris had such a fine day at school. She couldn't wait to go back again!

      Delete
  16. It's so nice to hear about an eager student on the lookout for the yellow bus. Reminds me of my granddaughters, watching for the bus. They're all through college, now.
    Tim will be fine. My word, the procedures have changed, improved, moved on up. Even better than Tyvek and wall taping.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. William returns to school tomorrow. I am sad to report that he is not nearly as excited as his cousin.

      Delete
  17. That's a sad story, about the woman. I think some people are just profoundly discontented and probably not even sure why.

    ReplyDelete

I'm glad you're here!

IKEA and things that go bump in the night

 It is a clear sunny day today.  Houdi continues to mend well, and he is still outraged by the fact that he is being kept inside.  Tim's...