The Menus

It’s another Menus night tonight! Our favorite live band! They’re from Cincinnati and they make it up to Toledo about once a month. We try to not miss them. Princess Gail and I actually noticed each other for the first time at one of their shows. It’s a fun thing to do on a Friday night. Date night.

Speaking of that, Princess Gail takes it really seriously when I use the word “date.” When I tell her we are going out on a date, even if it’s just a plain old day, she usually tries to buy something new, like a shirt or something. She gets all dolled up. She wears her evening make up. It becomes something special just because I used the word “date.” She will look forward to it for days. And then I have to measure up, which is a good thing. I’ll go from grungy to “very, very good-looking” (like Zoolander!)

So, anyway, we’ll have a good time tonight, singing, dancing, just a little tame craziness. Fun! You know what, I really look forward to these moments, too.

Here’s a little glimpse, but nothing like they are live:

First Marriage

I was married for 25 years, and then we divorced. I can’t begin to describe how many, many things occurred between the day we married, and the awful day of our separation. Joyful things, difficult things, sad things, terrible things, all of what you’d expect in marriage, and then some. We had 4 children together, who continue to be the pride and joy of our lives. So many experiences, so many “firsts.”

It has been 5 years now since we split. It was very hard at first, because despite the bad stuff, we had experienced a lot of the good. There has been a lot of growth and learning since then, a lot of rebuilding. Many things have been put back in order. I have a different perspective.

Recently I have been reading many blog posts that make me think in one way or another about my first marriage. I think about it warmly today. I am SO grateful for it. It was truly a gift that I appreciate more today than I did back then. I am grateful to have a good relationship with my ex. We speak kindly to each other. We are really good when it comes to anything about the children. And she seems to be doing well, too. She will remarry later this summer. I’ve met the guy several times, and I like him. I’m really glad about all that. Almost all of the hard feelings are behind me. I so prefer feeling glad and grateful.

Feelings

Sometimes my feelings puzzle me.

I found it curiously difficult to find something to be grateful about today, even though I was actively trying. I noticed I was feeling anxious, and I have since sorted that out. Talking with Gail helped. And I was also concerned and preoccupied with several issues regarding my patients. I am also a little worried about my 2 year old nephew in Columbus who developed acute appendicitis today and had emergency surgery. Financial worries like to creep in there at these times, too. My mind seems to be jumping from one anxious or worried thought to another today. There are too many loose ends.

I know my anxiety will melt into some other feeling sooner or later. And I know I will take care of all the stuff that worries me. I’m grateful, I guess, that today I am able to recognize my own anxiety. I have been fairly oblivious about my own feelings for most of my life, and didn’t take care of them in healthy ways. But today I can tell when I’m anxious, or sad, or hurting in some way, or ashamed, or joyful. I am always grateful at the joyful times. But I guess I’m grateful to be able to feel everything, and that I’m better at taking good care of my emotional self.

Connection

An 87 year old patient of mine will be dying soon. She just had a brainstem stroke, with bleeding. She is now unconscious and her breathing pattern is becoming abnormal. She doesn’t have long. Her family is very present, which is a wonderful thing, but is sadly not always the case. They are understandably despondent, as the death of a loved one is always hard, even if she is old and frail.

As a doctor, there are some things that can be anticipated and prevented. But not everything. Not this sort of thing. And there is no cure. If she gets better, it is mostly due to the grace of god: nature and the human spirit. But that is unlikely. The best we can do at this point is to provide for her general comfort with kindness, and to be a comfort to the family as well.

I am grateful to have been invited into these intensely personal moments in people’s lives for the last 25 years. I am grateful for their trust and confidence, honored really. I am a person that longs for connection, and these moments are certainly that. I just might have the best job in the world, hard as it is sometimes.

Finally, Spring!

You can see in this view outside our family room window that Spring is trying, trying real hard, in Toledo, Ohio. Man, I’m grateful because the Winters are getting too damn long around here, especially at my advanced age. Patience is not my strongest virtue, and I detest the months of gloomy weather and dirty, sloppy streets. So Springtime is most welcome!

Princess Gail got out and set up the bird feeder again. It’s cool. We get all sorts of colorful birds, and perhaps this year some humming birds as well. We added the hummingbird feeder you see on the right. We enjoy just watching them at all hours of the day. The cats like it, too, spending hours quietly staring out the window, probably dreaming of the day they could pounce and destroy! The squirrels like the feeder, too. Maybe I’ll write more about that if I start a blog about frustration and intolerance! Some people think squirrels are cute, but we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get rid of the damn things! They can empty the feeder in one quick minute if they manage to get up there.

Gail also bought a new edger tool and has gone all around the house laying down a nice clean line around the flower beds. And you know what that means… whining and moaning about a sore back, and me “having” to give her back rubs! Totally kidding about the “having to” part. It is really a treat to rub her body. I am very grateful for that, too!

Got the bikes ready. Got a new one for Gail’s son, Eric. That deserves a post or two of it’s own later on.

Spring has sprung! or almost!
… about damn time!

Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful time of year, and the little projects around the house!