“My goal is to live until our son turns 18.” “13 months from now? Is there something you’re not telling me?” “Well, I didn’t expect to be on disability at 55, and I think it’s important for a child to have their parents until they are 18, don’t you?” I was quite a sight with my mouth open like a fish’s and tears spilling out of my eyes. “Frankly, I’m speechless. My goal is to live to be 100 and healthy.”
This is just part of the conversation my husband and I were having last night as we did the dinner dishes. It’s a good thing I wasn’t holding anything breakable or I would have been cleaning it up!
College was a big topic of conversation yesterday in our house. Our son’s first choice college is a local private university that would be a wonderful fit for his personality. It’s also expensive. I’ve discussed this with our son, and he knows that if the university does not come through scholarships, grants, or magic to reduce the tuition, he won’t be going there. Steve and I have discussed this and the cost and agreed that we’ll work to swing this if our son is accepted because we feel it would be a good fit. Sunday Steve decided that we can not afford this college and acted as though this was something we had never discussed.
This vacillating has been happening for a couple of months now and I’m really not enjoying it! After the cat peed in Robert’s closet a few times, Steve decided to take out the carpet in the closet and install wood. I thought this was a great idea. If the cat peed, it would be easy to clean up, and since any trace of pee would be gone with a new floor, the cat probably wouldn’t use the closet as a litter box again. Steve purchased the wood for the closet and then decided it wouldn’t look good (it’s in a closet for crying out loud!!) and put the “cleaned” carpet back into the closet. Something similar happened again with the bathroom. Steve constructed a new wall so we could remove the door into the small shower/toilet room. After the basic construction, Steve asked me if I wanted him to remove it, and told me he would be putting a new door on the shower/toilet room. WHAT??
Sunday I reminded Steve we’d discussed this and had already reached an agreement. Steve said it would be as if our son was receiving his inheritance for college, but he didn’t care because he wouldn’t be here. I thought he meant that when he was dead at 80+ years of age and there would be no inheritance left. That wasn’t what he meant at all. Because he was diagnosed with MCI and has slowed down in the last four years, he envisions a MUCH shorter life expectancy. I don’t. I imagine many years of caregiving, but not fewer years of Steve.
This conversation went on for quite a while, and while it did include more of my tears, it also included lots of hysterical laughter. Somewhere in the conversation, I asked Steve when he had planned to let me know this because if he was dying that soon, I should start looking for a new husband. (Give me a brake here, there was nothing logical about the conversation!) Since I’d said I wouldn’t get married again (which I have said), Steve didn’t think I needed to know yet. But since I brought it up, Steve advised me to become a Cougar and marry a much younger man!!!!!!! This really was a rather crazy conversation. We even discussed how much younger the man should be and considered possibilities! (None!)
Steve said he’s always felt that living until our son is 18 was important, but it wasn’t anything he felt he needed to worry about until almost four years ago. Don’t take offense here, guys, but MEN!!!
A couple of weeks ago Steve went to his therapist and was SHOCKED when she told him he wouldn’t ever be going back to work full-time. Our son and I knew this but I guess Steve didn’t. I’ve tried to soften the blow, because it is still quite a blow to Steve, by telling him that if a person had been off work for any reason for an extended time, they would probably have to ease back into working full-time. His response was, “I don’t buy that, and I don’t buy that I’m never going back to work full-time.” Okie dokie!
As our saga continues, watch out world! I’m on the prowl!