One grey, grumpy morning, in my 49th year, I woke up exhausted and frustrated from moving my husband’s lifeless legs and arms all night. It felt like a nocturnal wrestling match.
I was approaching 50, and I thought to myself, “I cannot fix my husband’s situation, but I can grow through it, but how?” Thus, I began this journey…
A CRIPPLES DRUDGE FROLICKS TO FIFTY AND BEYOND!
HI! How are you doing? Why don’t we take a few minutes and figure out if this blog is worth your precious time? Do you like to have fun? If you had to think about it, you just answered no. Be-Bye. Secondly, are you looking to suck the marrow out of life and live it to it’s fullest? Would you agree with the life philosophy “Old is when you give up… until then… you are spectacular.”?
If you are still with me, I have been looking forward to talking to you. I have a lot I want to share, but first … what’s the story with this Blog you ask? A guy (so … handsome!), a lady in some kind of Lucille Ball dress in a wagon, 50 balloons?
Well, this Blog is about life … mostly mine, but should you choose to come along for the journey you will be my friend in a process. Setting goals by thinking outside of the box. It’s a lot about being a caregiver, news alert … that’s all of us (even if you’re just caring for your cat, Gertrude).
This blog is also about love, children, fears, faith, growth, getting older … oh dear … I’m already rambling! So … it’s a blog about finding yourself, and others, and a lot of other silly stuff, because (spoiler alert), I’m a wee bit silly and weird. Want to do this with me? YES? Okay … here we go!
Get comfy, get a cocktail, tea, whatever you fancy, and let’s start at the beginning of this idea. So I’m turning 50 this year. Big deal right? So are millions of men and women. Well, it is a big deal for each and every one of us! It appears to be a fork in the road of many women’s lives.
Sue Monk wrote in Traveling with Pomegranates, “Is there an odyssey the female soul longs to make at the approach of fifty that has been blurred and lost within a culture awesomely alienated from the soul?” Well, my answer is YES! I would also say men as well as women. Sue, I want a ticket for the trip.
I’m fully aware, probably nobody will read this except my children, who will do so with great enthusiasm, and provide thoughtful and engaging feedback. Why would my busy 20 something kids do this? Kyle remember the time you peed in a diet coke can in the car and I accidentally drank it?
Amanda aside from the million times I set your hair in rollers for “prom hair” at 10 at night when I was pooped, do you remember when you made me earrings with plastic bowling pins, and I wore them all night to a fancy client dinner?
Katie, do you remember those shockingly early mornings I took you to school and all the times I picked you up from friends and pretended not to notice you were hung over? Dennis, of course, needs no coercion, he has to stay on my good side if he wants to get out bed in the morning.
Before we get going I probably need to explain what a “cripples drudge” is. Webster’s definition of Cripple: a. offensive. A term used to refer to a person partially or totally unable to use one or more limbs. Drudge: a person who does menial, distasteful or hard work.
In the epic Masterpiece Classic series, Downton Abbey, the acerbic Dowager Countess (played to perfection by Maggie Smith) in reference to her granddaughter marrying a man with a bum arm (oh my God how did he carry on) “Is this to be Edith’s life an old cripples drudge?” Upon hearing this my daughter and I laughed hysterically. My husband is 13 years my senior and classified a quadriplegic. Indeed I am an old cripples drudge!
As a full-time caregiver I don’t receive a paycheck or anything tangible to acknowledge what I do with my life, AHHHHHH, now I have a title I wear with great pride and honor, Cripples Drudge.
I like it because it makes it sound like I’m a saint who works tirelessly. Its true caregiving is hard, … like, really hard sometimes. It can be exhausting, and every day my heart breaks a little more as I watch the agonizingly slow ravages of Multiple Sclerosis on my husband’s body.
None the less, I’m not sure about a lot in life, but I am 100% positive it is what I am called to do right now. Being in the palm of God’s purpose for your life is the most fulfilling way to live!
Also, my life is nothing close to drudgery, some days Dennis is doing great, and we can be found at the local bar drinking wine at noon. Other days we are napping in the afternoon or my favorite hanging out in my hot tub drinking wine and watching Masterpiece Theater, loudly commenting to myself on the plot twists.
So there you have it I’m a cripples drudge, officially hitting middle age in search of more, more love, more insight, more connection, more compassion and more from herself!
While I was mulling over how I would embark on my journey, I overheard a friend of Amanda’s, Sheryar, asking her what her three pillars in life were. He was an orientation leader at UGA, and he was referring to the three pillars of wisdom, justice, and moderation. It quickly came to me my three pillars in life are growth, compassion, and connection.
I write to understand myself, so really this blog is as much for me as anyone. Hopefully, readers (my children), will get something out of this, even if it’s just a good laugh at me! You won’t be the first or the last.
Based on these values I decided upon tasks I thought would help me grow from these roots. So my friend Bombay Sapphire and I came up with a list of ten things I would like to accomplish before 50 and you readers (aka emotionally blackmailed children) will keep me accountable! So hold on to your Spanx here we go!
start a blogYou go girl already done number 1! Even though it took me forever and quite a few of my eyebrow hairs. If you want to read more about this task go to menu then posts write love lettersto the people closest to me in my life, hopefully in time for Valentines day, despite this being a crazy good season of The Bachelor. This one is done although the letters are coming out in waves. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ANYBODY EMBARKING ON THIS JOURNEY OF WRITING LOVE LETTERS. Prepare for and have a piano recital that has real human people come to it. This event will have a two drink minimum as in I’m not playing until everyone in attendance myself included has two drinks. Not wine or beer, but hard liquor drinks. Trust me, this is for the good of everyone involved
- Make a friend with someone forty years older, I have a few leads on this or maybe there is there is some sort of tinder type site for people in their 90’s, or I will just go to the nursing home down the street with pudding and wander the halls.
Make a friend with someone 40 years younger, I think church may be the place to find some teenager, with maybe not the best social skills or acne, or a giant heart who would be willing to be a friend with a middle aged woman! Dance with my husband Dennis standing. This is going to take some creativity, perhaps a harness from the ceiling or a bunch of guys holding him up? hmmmm … .
- Learn to make Crème Brulee, Kyle and Amanda love this stuff and they are the greatest loves of my life. Plus this is a badass dessert to make. I read the recipe it involves bruising vanilla beans, cooking the brulee until it is done but still and I quote ” trembling” and a blow torch! I know what you are thinking, Damn that girl has stones!
- Spend a day in a wheelchair. We own an extra one, and I really want to get some teeny tiny glimpse of what Dennis goes through every day. Obviously I will have to get out to help Dennis a bit, but a field trip is planned.
Publish mine and Dennis’ love story. I think posting it on a blog no one but my kids and husband are reading qualifies! I would humbly request that Sam Elliott play the mature Dennis, Josh Lucas the young Dennis, and Ryan Gosling plays my Son Kyle. For myself, obviously Meryl Streep has the dramatic acting chops to tackle this intense theatrical journey, but she is 19 years older than me so … a lengthy talent search will be essential. The actress must be around 50, from Canada, ridiculously klutzy due to size ten feet, a big reader, craft enthusiast, a weird obsession with Nuns, and a massive fan of puppies and babies. Do something special with Katie– To Be Announced. Yeah, the step-mother step-daughter relationship hasn’t gotten a lot of great press in the past. Katie and I are gonna try and show the world how it’s done! How exciting a cliff hanger!
I will post as I accomplish each task. Hit on the menu and then posts, I have already done #1 and #2. So Kyle, Amanda, Katie, and Dennis press the follow Frolicking at Fifty button. I love you guys!