The eve of the eve

So, here’s the deal.

Today I can walk fairly well.  From Tuesday through yesterday, I looked like a squashed crab.  Hunched over, spasming, in pain, I hobbled through my last two days in Chicago and my return overnight at my brother’s house in St.  Louis.  My son, his girlfriend, my nephews, my brother, and my sister-in-law deserve Good Samaritan awards for treating me with gentleness and respect.

I understand how the temporarily worsened impairment arose.  My trek all over downtown Chicago with Patrick and Hope inflammed my Tarlov cysts which hug the degenerated discs.  Film at eleven, oohhh, ahhh, ahhh.  I’m not complaining, I’m just explaining.   I’m one of those medical miracles.  My body has acquired a long list of nagging ailments.  But I could and often do construct an equally long list of diseases and conditions which I’ve been spared — cancer, MS, MD, HIV, COPD, and a whole alphabet of other insidious and hideous diseases and conditions far worse than the ones which I face.

I know it’s not a competition, but I’m grateful that I can manage the symptoms of my dozen or so illnesses and deformities.  What’s a 3/4 inch difference in leg lengths among friends?  And viruses?  Gosh, I only have 5, and currently they all sleep, placated by a daily double dose of Gawd-awful expensive drugs covered by my equally expensive but phenomenal self-provided health insurance.  So?  I’ve got a good attitude.  Sue me!

But make no mistake.  As positive as I seem to you, late at night and early in the morning, bitterness can claim me.  I shake my fist heavenward.  My head falls between my hands.  Tears stream down my cheeks.  Why does life have to be so damned difficult, I cry.  Outloud, through choked sobs.  Why do I have to handle all this alone?

Then the sun rises.  I drag myself out of bed.  I stumble down the stairs and shoo the dog out into the yard.  I start the kettle and turn on the radio.  As the water boils for coffee, I dab my eyes and swallow the lump in my throat.  Lists of life’s tender, sweet moments start forming in my mind.  Around me crowd the faces of my son, my shared daughter, my fairy granddaughter.  My nieces and nephews.  My great niece. My siblings. My friends.  Their radiant smiles light the room.

I pour my coffee and sit down with something resembling resignation.  I close my eyes.  The energy begins to rise within me, flowing through me, chasing the sorrow and the anger.  I find the resolve to face another day.

It’s the thirtieth day of the thirty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining.  On the eve of the eve of the first day of the fourth year of this wild, crazy journey to joy, life continues.


Hope, Patrick, and myself

Hope, Patrick, and myself

2 thoughts on “The eve of the eve

  1. Ruth

    As positive as I seem to you, late at night and early in the morning, bitterness can claim me. I shake my fist heavenward. My head falls between my hands. Tears stream down my cheeks. Why does life have to be so damned difficult, I cry. Outloud, through choked sobs. Why do I have to handle all this alone?

    So beautifully written. I thought you were writing about me. I have been longing for some support, some protection, for some love. Not sure quite how to represent it but a solution to this longing is going on my vision board.

    Thank you for showing me I am not alone in my longing and for writing about it in a way it could be me. Why does life have to be so difficult? Why do I have to handle this alone?

    1. ccorleyjd365 Post author

      Ruth, you are never alone! I am here. I might seem too busy but I’m here. And you can always call.

      Now, that said: I get that it’s not the same. My friends lament that “Oh, you should have called me!” when they hear that I’ve struggled with something. I stand silent or murmur thanks. But if they are partnered, they do not really understand that a divorced woman cannot just call a married or partnered friend. We understand you have your own life. The only person whom I really feel comfortable calling is another single woman. They will come and help, and not begrudge my request nor have to juggle the partner’s needs or their children’s schedules.

      Also, you and I were born and raised in the era when women were defined by their husband and their marriage prospects. We still have that lingering belief that we are not worth much because no man wanted to stay with us.

      And it IS difficult to handle illness and home-ownership alone. Especially if you are not physically strong or wealthy — which describes me. So you are not the only one, friend Ruth. And you are worth just as much as any married woman — believe me, I understand all of your self-doubt and loneliness. We all feel it. It’s the particular plight of those whose upbringing taught them that marriage would cure everything and validate your womanhood. A hard lesson to unlearn.

      I love you my friend Ruth!!!!


Leave a Reply to ccorleyjd365 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *