Friday, March 10, 2017


Yesterday was one of those days when I woke in darkness at 5:15 AM and screeched through the day at top speed until I rested my head on the pillow at about 11:20 PM.   My husband and I were the progressive couple (sort of) he did just about anything around the house from changing the cat box to getting down on his hands and knees and scrubbing the floor.  He did groceries, changed diapers, went to the dentist with the kids and taught them how to drive. I didn't have to bother with outside work like snow and trash removal nor did I have to risk splinters in my hand hauling split logs for the wood stove.   For a few months now, sadly I have negotiated life without him.  The details  of caring for a house and children are all mine now. My days are full. So it is no surprise that at 11:20 PM, I was finally able to tend to my needs. I noticed my ear had been throbbing.

Normally, I change my earrings regularly, however I have worn the same pair in since Christmas day.   My 19 year old son, who is in the Army gifted me a diamond necklace and earrings to match.  Aside from homemade cards and a fistful of flowers I received, this was the very first present he bought me with his own money. It is difficult to fully express how deeply this touched me. Diamond earrings.  I had never had a pair.  I just didn't want to lose them so particular attention was devoted to screwing the backs securely on the posts. Obsessively, I check to make sure I have both and that there is no risk of losing them.

My right ear throbbed.  The earring was on too tight. Quiet and in bed, the pain intensified.  I reached my left hand over to the back of my right lobe.  I twisted the back, but I was not sure which direction would release it.  It pained so. I turned one way, then got nervous and turned the other way. This uncertainty went on for about 15 minutes.

Ordinarily, my husband who has combed through tangles in my hair, dropped everything to scratch my back and massaged my feet without complaining would certainly have attempted to grasp and untwist a tiny earring back on my behalf.  Instead, I needed to find help.

"Eddaejia?" I yelled to my daughter.  Waited for a reply, but all there was was silence.  After all, it was the middle of the night; she was asleep.  It was clear I needed help and soon.  By morning she would be racing around, make-up and hair with no time to help me.  I would look elsewhere.

 I work among angels.  People who truly care for each other. Really.  My friend attempted to release my throbbing ear from the vice, but stopped.  Waving her hands she squealed, "I don't want to hurt you."

"You can't hurt me anymore than I'm already hurt," I  replied.

Right on cue, a colleague with young children steps through the door.  My friend asks her to help.  She bends down to look at my ear. "OOOH,: she says long and drawn out, a tone that carries bad news.

"What? That doesn't sound good." I look up at her, trying to read her face.

"'Just swollen," she replies. Undeterred she grabs the earring back and begins to twist. "Righty tighty, lefty loosey."  Within minutes both earrings are removed and I feel some relief.

For days, I ignored my pain until it was constant.  With no one available to help me at home, I relied on those I work with. How very lucky I am to work in such a kind and supportive place.  It is just another reminder of how I am surrounded empathetic, compassionate people.  I bet they would even give me a good back scratch, if I asked.  How lucky am I?


Judy said...

So sorry for your loss. I don't know how I would handle things without my hubby around, because he like your hubby, is the do all, be all and caretaker of me. But, I know if that situation should arise, my family and friends would be around to help me. Whatever would we do without those special people in our lives? Hugs

Stacey Shubitz said...

The loss is so palpable in your writing, Barbara. I'm glad you're working your way through this word-by-word, slice-by-slice, and day-by-day.

travelinma said...

This is not the easiest journey. Our children, extended family, friends and community at large have embraced us all in the aftermath. I am so so grateful. Each year, my participation in "The SOL" infuses new breath into my blog. This year takes on extra significance, as I have been unable to write much. But during the month of March I write, and I write. I am so so grateful for the community of writers who support me from year to year.Thank you all.

Beverley Baird said...

I was so moved by your slice Barbara. Thank you for stopping by mine. I feel a connection with you. This March SOL is a blessing for us both this year I think. May we both write up a storm. I will keep you in my prayers.

Linda B said...

I came back to read what I missed yesterday, Barbara. I'm glad you found a friend to help with that earring! It could have been even more serious! These are some of the things I miss that you wrote about, help in those small things, like back scratching. I did some of the outside work too, and now live in an HOA managed space, so don't have to do snow removal, but I have in the past, and enjoyed it. I'm glad you are figuring out what works for you, and perhaps what doesn't? Change takes time, so be sure to be patient with yourself, too. And, those diamond earrings are a wonderful gift, I agree!

sunshyntangerine said...

This reminds me of the piece you sent me last night. There can be so many benefits and joys from our professional community. I am so grateful they are there to support you and even provide wonderful inspiration for your writing.