Saturday, September 2, 2023

Scenes from a Marriage

Last week: 

 In the quiet car coming home from the doctor appointment that changed everythng, Tim attempted to make a joke about our situation. (Remember that ultimately, what the doctor had explained to us had not registered with Tim. I do believe he went into a kind of shock.) In any case, he made a joke. 

"Tim," I said, "we've been married for over 25 years, and just in case you have not noticed, when I get afraid, I cover it up by being mad. If I'm very afraid, I am very mad. Right this moment, I'm more afraid than I've been in my life, so I'd strongly suggest that you don't try to turn this into a joke. It will not end well." 

This week: 

I spent a couple days building my concrete retaining walls on either side of the basement mandoor. They turned out quite nicely, and I enjoyed the digging, stacking leveling, concrete and rebar work. It was my project, and I worked alone hauling the concrete across the yard. It was good exercise. 

Tim was working on his own project. He had used the tractor to fill in around the house where the dirt had settled or washed away in the rain. He scooped up dirt from the still huge pile of dirt left from when the basement was dug out, and moved it up against the house. I shoveled it in place. In the tight places this was accomplished with a wheelbarrow, and I used the pickaxe to loosen dirt from the pile. It was good hard manual labor and, strangely enough, it made me feel good and strong and able to do anything, which I really do think that I need to feel right now. It's reassuring. 

Anyways, I worked on the second side of my retaining wall yesterday. Tim had gotten 2 tons of gravel and was using the weighted dump truck to tamp the soil around the foundation of the house, and then dumping piles of gravel encircling the house which I would be pushing on top of the dirt when I got done with what I was doing. 

At one point, working away, I noticed that he was backing the truck up on the bank that the walk way was cut through. It's hard to explain, but the dump truck was over my head backing up on an unstable bank that was washing away, which was why I was building the walls. 


Tim stopped the truck and got out. "What?" 

"You're getting awfully close to the edge of that bank. If it crumbles, I'm down here." 

He looked in an unconcerned way. 

"Okay, in a couple months, you're going to need me, so you might want to hold off killing me until after that." 

He laughed and got back in the truck. I noticed that he did go work on another side of the house. 

I continued what I was doing. I guess we're both feeling more confident about things now that the situation figures into our jokes. 


  1. I have a very dark sense of humour too. It is shocking how quickly bad news gets incorporated into the daily fabric of our lives. I'm glad you could joke about it.

  2. We have to be able to laugh. I think that is one of our most uniquely human abilities.

  3. Laughing and joking, when you are able, will ease the stress. I just hate this news.

  4. Yeah, it sounds like a good sign that you're able to make jokes now. You're adapting to the news.

  5. Humor (often dark) has always been one of my coping mechanisms. If you don't laugh, you'll cry... and crying is something I never do.

  6. You have to be able to find the humour.
    Well done both xx

  7. Yes, we joke about my situation, such as that I should not be having a second bottle of beer, it might give me cancer.

  8. Humour is a good natural defence against terrible things happening to us or near us: particularly black humour.

  9. Embrace the humor and laughter! Whatever it takes to get you through this.. hugs to you both🤗XO, Ricki

  10. Nice banter. Long may it continue.

  11. Joke all you like, but please stay safe. The dirt moving sounds dangerous, but okay, you're not on the roof! Linda in Kansas

    1. Tim is a lot less safety conscious than he used to be. He scares me sometimes.

  12. We have to find some way of coping with these situations - humour is as good a way as any. Stay safe.

  13. I might be a bit like Tim and try to deflect with humour.


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