“Please let me know if there’s anything you need,” people will say. Usually I don’t know what I need or might need, but this morning I figured it out. I need a great big eraser! I don’t need a little wimpy one. I don’t need one of the ones that go on the end of a pencil or one the size that I buy to send to school with my son. I need a really big one.
The family has a wall calendar, plus each member of the family has their own calendar. Somehow I am the keeper of all the calendars. Lately I seem to spend more time taking things off the calendar and moving them than putting appointments on the calendar.
Steve’s mother has been in the hospital for almost seven weeks now, I think. She had surgery and was on a ventilator for 16 days before they installed the tracheotomy. We have cancelled appointments thinking we might need to go the hospital, only to be told not to make the trip. (“Trip” being a 45 minute drive.) We’ve discussed what things we can’t move on the calendar such as Steve’s upcoming annual assessment at the university or our son’s track meets. We’ve reviewed what we can move, which amounts to everything else. His mother’s condition, or so we’re told, changes daily. We’re not really sure if it actually changes, or just the story. For example, we went up there on Saturday. Four of us discussed funeral arrangements and taking her off life support. Last night, which was just the next day, Steve was told she isn’t on life support (she’s still on the same things she was Saturday), they can take her off what she’s on (not life, support, if you recall) any time if this is too much, and oh yeah, she might get out in 16 weeks.
I guess it’s no wonder that poor Steve isn’t feeling well today. I dropped our son off at school at 6:30, hit the grocery store, juggled the laundry and sheets, put away the groceries, had an argument with the cat, and went up stairs to tell Steve I was leaving to meet friends for coffee only to find him laying flat on the mattress (sheets were in the wash) telling me he felt sick and dizzy. All that occurred in less than an hour.
It was at that point, as I was making the tea, toast and the phone call to say I wasn’t coming, that I realized I need a great big eraser! And a bottle of white-out. I write on my calendars in pen!!