Quiet


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The big kids, friends and family have gone home. The hospice nurse and CNA were in earlier. Jesse and Chris are upstairs playing video games and Kevin is sleeping. Dishes are done. What bothers me is the quiet.

I used to yearn for quiet.

When I was single and the kids were older and out with friends and boyfriends I had the house to myself. I’d just walk around to listen to the quiet. I heard things I never heard before while raising a big family in a busy household. I learned folding towels makes a sound. My knees crack. My dog would come even if made the quietest “CH” sound. And, if I wanted to, I could concentrate and walk as silent as a ninja.

But I’ve already appreciated quiet. So now it’s really strange.

I took a long nap with Kevin today. This is why I’m so glad he decided against the hospital bed (and thanks kids, for making this happen).

We had a day-long, summer rain with gentle thunder. Just enough to make you want to crawl under a blanket and read until hypnotic sleep takes over. Even our guests were fighting to keep their eyes open.

I was polite, but anxious for them to leave so I could indulge in mine and Kevin’s favorite pastime: napping. This is the only part of our lives that bears any resemblance to normal. When napping we both pretend things are like they were only a few weeks ago.

Waking up isn’t so much of a shock anymore. But it is a disappointment. I lay around cords and tubes and must be very careful not to touch Kevin’s right leg or arm, which are very sore from immobility. I’m angry at whoever or whatever disturbs us and wakes us from our happy illusion, until I realize it’s back to work serving someone I love. It’s a kind of precious pragmatism.

The kids are coping as well as can be expected.

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