Calen’s question this week asks what can I do to simplify my life.
This should be an easy piece for me to have a go at, and yet, I find myself dilly dallying about here, picking up my phone to every ping sound, eyeballing my cat as he eyeballs me, and half listening to news playing quietly in the background about someone shooting up YouTube headquarters. (Nope, not today. Maybe not even tomorrow.)
What should have been a simple task is turning out to be not very.
See what I did there?
Honestly, I made the decision this weekend to simplify things for myself by not putting on a huge Easter Sunday dinner like I usually do. It has been snowing again this past week and I have been hibernating like a bear, and not wanting to go outside at all.
The thought of dragging groceries out of my car and through 4 feet of snow piles to my house was dancing through my mind and then I received a call on Saturday that sealed the deal.
A dear friend of mine was at the other end of the phone, and she started the call with “He’s gone, Shan. Ten minutes ago.”
Her husband of 48 years had taken his final breath in and that was that. He had been in hospice for about 2 weeks, when they couldn’t handle his agitation at home any longer, and her adult sons made the call for transferring him. She didn’t put up a fight, and I love that they took that decision right out of her hands and heart for her. There won’t be as much guilt later on.
I asked her if she was OK and if the boys were with her and she replied that they were going to her son’s house to tell the grandchildren and that she would be home later in the early evening. She asked if I could meet her there and I agreed that was a good plan.
Flashback with me quickly to Thanksgiving weekend of 2006 when my Mom died. I hadn’t even considered it was Thanksgiving weekend after losing my Mom. I was keeping myself moving, moving, moving….gathering her belongings from the nursing home she was only at 4 days, calling movers for prices on moving her things from her home to mine in the next 2 weeks, throwing money at my sons to “run grab pizza or something to eat”.
A knock at my door on Thanksgiving morning to my friend and her husband. Both of them carrying huge boxes. Boxes full of fully cooked food. Enough to feed a small army. Thanksgiving Dinner…times 10. Turkey, Ham, sides, salads, baked pies, home made rolls, even the gravy and paper plates and cutlery. I was so shocked at their generosity and caring that I broke down. I remember her husband hugging me tightly and telling me it was just what you do when someone loses someone…not a big deal…farm folks, you know.
I returned the favour on Saturday, minus the food mountain, as she was suffering enough losing her hubby, and didn’t need my cooking to add to her troubles. I arrived with huge hugs, an ivy in an antique birdcage, and wine. For some strange reason, she finds me hilarious and giggles like a school girl when I talk like a sailor on shore leave, so I commenced that as soon as I got my coat off and brushed the tears out of my eyes.
She made a fire and I poured some wine and we sat there together. Sometimes quietly, sometimes laughing so hard, we were coughing and sputtering. I listened while she told me stories about meeting him way back when she was a naive prairie farm girl, and I cried with her when she recounted for me his last moments.
She needed to talk and I was her captive audience. Stories about her boys when they were young and family camping trips. How her hubby drove her nutty with his ideas for inventions. The fact that she likely had 400 pounds of metal stored in and around her garage that would need a trip to the dump. Metal that she had been bitching about for years, but that he thought could be used for a project. She just knew he was going to die and leave her to sort out that bloody scrap metal!
We started a list of things she would need to get to this week.
I showed her how to send map directions with her new cell phone for people who wanted to attend the celebration of life this coming weekend .
Theirs wasn’t a perfect marriage but they held on for all those years. He wasn’t an easy man to live with, and we all knew that, but he had such a charm about him, and she loved him so much that sometimes when she looked at him, she transformed right back into that 16 year old girl again.
The wine helped her to wind down and I ended up staying the night with her. She fell asleep in her husbands big chair, and I covered her up with a blanket and slept on the couch.
Her sister was arriving in the morning, so I knew she would be in good hands then. And her boys will also be there when she needs them in the coming days.
Back to simplifying my life, you ask? How did all that relate to the question, you ask?
Well, because I decided being with my friend was more important than hosting my sons, stepdaughter, and assorted plus 1s, they took pity on me and decided to take me out for dinner on Sunday evening instead.
No groceries to buy, no cooking, no cleaning up, and didn’t cost me a dime!
I mentioned in another post that I have made the conscious decision to live for the moments from now on. I can still have those moments of connection with those I love and care about, without making everything into a big production that leaves me exhausted and bitchy after it’s all over.
That is how a simple girl simplifies things.