It is hard to write The Great American Novel . . . fifteen-minutes-at-a-time.
I provide 24/7 care-taking for a disabled seventy-five-year-old woman who has been my best friend, lover, wife, and the most influential woman in my life for thirty years. It is the only paying job I have had for the last four years. Medicade nets me two-hundred-and-forty-five dollars a week to care for my wife, and that will soon be cut to about two-hundred. We live and love in our vintage thirty-foot Holiday Rambler travel trailer that my cousin bought us a year ago after we lost our home.
My life-style is close to that of a single mom with a disabled child at home. Every hour of every day has a list of things that need attention, and I know that I will not get to them all. What is important?
On Sundays I practice a role-playing routine. I pretend that I am a noteworthy writer, that writing is my forte’, my profession, my Calling, if you will. I put on my New York City writer’s hat, dress like an author going to meet his agent, and act like I would imagine someone would act who has something to contribute to the world, even a legacy to leave.
I still get my sweetheart her meds on time, food on time, exercise, reading, resting, getting to the bathroom on time. But I do not sweat the small stuff on Sunday. No rent, utilities, leaking faucet, laundry, dirty floors, or creditors. I have to work at blocking these things out of my mind while washing the dishes.
While my partner sleeps, I write, or think about writing, meditate, pray, and attempt to discern what is most important to get down. Then I do it. I never know how long I will have to finish before I have to move on to my critical responsibilities. Will I get to complete my thoughts?
So this is what I have done this Author Sunday. . . . Excuse me, she has pulled off her oxygen hose.
Okay, I’m back, but she will need to get to the bathroom soon, so let me say this before the day takes off in another direction.
The long-term effects on aging victims of childhood torture and terrorism are profound, even mind-boggling. Being beaten, choked, shocked, kicked, burned, sexually-impaled, over years, . . leaves damaged spines, brain trauma, organ-tissue damage, deformed joints, hearing and sight impairment, and then there are the nightmares, flashbacks, and the relentless, soul-challenging physical pain.
And all this suffering, all of it, is for the sins of others.
That has to make it one of the most tragic scenarios Life can deal a human being, don’t you think?
I have to go now and put my arms around the love of my life and slow-dance with her to the commode. She laughs when I whisper in her ear the way I did when we were newly weds.
So here is my finale’.
Make a difference where you can.
Love the one you’re with.
And remember, . . .
is the best revenge.