I was thinking this morning as I was getting dressed: "I wouldn't wish me on my worst enemy!"
That startling, self deprecating thought, obviously requires a slight explanation:
1) I often do some of my deepest soul-searching when getting dressed in the morning. It has been known to take upward of an hour for me to get to the stage where I'm finally putting on my shoes. Heck, I've even fallen asleep in the process, coming to my senses with my pants still around my knees some 20 minutes later.
2) Because it is my nature, I think a lot about my checkered(?) past in those early morning, mind-wandering episodes -- what I have or have not accomplished in life, what I have been neglecting lately but should catch up on today without fail, relationships I've had -- the sorts of silly things that one's mind conjures up when it is allowed to drift aimlessly and unabated.
It is the later that sent me off on the "worst enemy" tangent this morning. When I think of relationships, it is often members of the opposite sex that immediately come to mind, you know -- in a Willie Nelson-Julio Iglesias "All the Girls I've Loved Before" kind of way. Come on now, we've all had affairs of the heart that linger rather endearingly, if we are lucky!
In all honesty, I have never achieved wealth in a financial sense, living for the most part a hand-to-mouth existence. I can be difficult to live with, subject to mood swings, temperamental and stubborn. Like I say, and on reflection, the handful of young ladies who "came in and out my door" post adolescence, can thank their lucky stars that they did not end up with me to contend with for the rest of their lives. There is a very good chance that I would have been a big disappointment, not cracked up to early expectations of what I should have been
One of the things that I always felt that I had going for me, however, was that I seem to be adept at care giving. As some readers know, I was in the primary care giving role for nine years with my first wife Anne before we lost a battle with the "C" word. In retrospect, I always felt that I could have been at times a more sensitive and "caring" caregiver, not letting my nerves and accompanying stress get the best of me. I readily acknowledge there were occasions when after the fact, I thought my best could have been a little better.
For the past six years, I have have once again been thrust into a care giving situation with second wife Rosanne. "I'm a veteran now," I thought..."I'll do much better this time." And, as before, I've tried my best, but there are lingering doubts and I get mad at myself every time I lose patience because my tolerance has worn to the breaking point. It's a tough gig, no matter how you look at it!
Finally yesterday, the impossibility of carrying on with the status quo finally struck me. Without going into the grim details, Rosanne had reached a point where I could no longer adequately look after her in our home. I had to ask for help and our family doctor took quick action.
Even though we live just five doors from the hospital in Southampton, it took a crew of five firefighters and two ambulance attendants to move Rosanne a mere 200 yards to the emergency department. To make a long story short, however, she is now resting comfortably in a respite ward where she will remain indefinitely, or at least until a plan for her future care can be arrived at.
I had difficulty talking Rosanne into the move which I insisted was in her "best interest". I tried to explain that it was not a permanent sentence, only temporary until better arrangements can be made for her. I spent an hour with her this morning and was over-joyed to detect new resolution in her voice and acceptance in her manner. However, her initial reaction -- "I wouldn't do that to you," still rings in my ears and probably always will. Victimization that I'm all too familiar with.
Any wonder why I wouldn't wish me on my worst enemy?
I may just go to bed tonight with my clothes on. That way I won't have to get dressed in the morning...and think!