The Disappearing Goatee (or "Is That You, Baby?")

John Parks-Coleman

The Disappearing Goatee (or "Is That You, Baby?")

John Parks-Coleman
So, the past thirty-six hours have brought a lot of lemons my way so being the person I am, I've done my best to make some lemonade (hoping for a margarita as well).  Let me catch you up on these recent events:




After sharing the post about the garage fire, and, the subsequent post in reference to my Wife's memory auto-deleting blocks of her memory, I decided to begin putting a memory book together for her to reference people, places, and events. As part of my goal to re-connect her memory with the events that Yvonne no longer remembers, we planned a trip to the local Fire Department in order to give her the opportunity to meet the people that saved my Wife, Pup, and garage.

Before I tell you this story, I need to tell you another story:

On 12 December 2014 (last Friday) at 1000hrs, I shaved my goatee off. I didn't do it for any specific reason, aside from trying to ready myself for some job interviews, possibly. The goatee was grown at Yvonne's request, when I retired from the Army, last year. My hair has been growing in order for me to donate it to the Scott & White Cancer Center for use to make a wig for people going through chemotherapy.  At any rate, during a chat on Caregiving.com, I mentioned to Denise that I had shaved the goatee off and, that Yvonne hadn't noticed yet. I spent the entire past week waiting for Yvonne to notice--she didn't until today at 1345hrs. Regretfully, I didn't have my cell phone at hand to snap a picture of the look on her face when she noticed.  It was priceless!

Kiss A Caregiver! Kiss A Caregiver!


The picture to the Left was taken on Kiss-A-Caregiver day. Yvonne put me through torture that day!  She joked with me that her Caregiver is Brad Pitt and she was holding out for the opportunity to kiss him, that day.  I didn't get my kiss until 1045hrs that day. So, literally speaking, I had to wait ten hours and forty-five minutes for a kiss that day. ;-)

Now, I can tell you about the trip to the Fire Department:




So, prior to leaving for the Fire Department, Yvonne did what she loves to do: pick out matching outfits for us to wear.  We dress alike as often as possible (yeah, were THOSE PEOPLE ;-) ). We've always done this, when possible, and it makes Yvonne happy, so guess what I do...I make sure I match her as often as possible.

So, dressed and cleanly shaven, I got Yvonne dressed and, she rode her stair-lift down the stairs with Bonz and I close behind her, watching out for any problems, issues, etc. Prior to putting on our coats, I asked her if we could take some pictures since, I wanted to post about it here. She agreed, and we got set up in order to take the pictures.

Before the FD Before the FD


Before the FD Before the FD


Here are the two pictures we took prior to leaving for the Fire Department. Notice the goatee has disappeared (at this point it was gone for five days). To be clear, the picture of me was taken by Yvonne. After she took it, I asked her if she wanted me to zoom in on the picture so she could verify that it was taken in the way that she wanted it (secretly hoping that she would notice the change...she didn't).  Not wanting to push the issue outside of my own mind, I took her picture, and as you can see, she's just as beautiful as ever. :-)

At HEB before FD At HEB before FD


I know the picture is more than a little blurry; however, Yvonne was zooming right along. She wanted to get some treats for the Fire Fighters; since, we see them all the time in HEB, and they are always assisting her in getting groceries (I'm always hovering just behind her, enforcing her enjoying independence). She selected some food-trays (sub-sandwiches and fruit-tray). We made it to the register, and I removed the items from the basket on her cart...she promptly zoomed off, leaving me to carry everything to the car. So glad we only bought a couple items this time!

Fire Department Fire Department


This is Yvonne and the Fire Department's Station 6 On-Duty Lieutenant. They were just arriving from another call-out, so the visit wasn't as enjoyable as Yvonne and I had hoped for; however, we did get to meet the crew and say thank you. As happy as Yvonne looks in this picture, she was so super-tired at this point; and, she was ready to go home and take a nap.




The past couple of days have been pretty rough in the Central Texas area. There was another body found hanging in a tree, by the creek, adjacent to the Killeen Central Park. If you have ever watched Keath Beauchamp's "At The End of a Rope" documentary (it should be airing on Discovery ID this weekend), you'll know what I'm talking about. The body has been shipped off to Dallas for autopsy. Why am I telling you this? I'm telling you because Yvonne and I received death threats just after we moved here, to Killeen, and we went through quite an ordeal. The same day that we went to HEB to buy the food-trays (in the background of the picture above) while we were loading into the car, a friendly HEB employee escorted Yvonne toward our car in order to bring the borrowed store electric scooter back to the storefront. As the employee was backing the cart away from our vehicle, I heard someone yell, "Keep that cart away from my truck, you F****** N*****!!".

I turned, in shock, and anger to see an older white woman scowling and pointing at us with a finger of scorn. Trying to keep my calm, and prevent myself from doing something that I shouldn't do, I calmly loaded Yvonne into the car. Walking around the car, to the driver's side, I approached the "lady" and explained to her, "your racial views and racial slurs are not welcome nor accepted. If you have a problem with a person from another race, I suggest you get in your truck, drive home, and never leave your house or turn your television on again; since, we are a long way away from the era that your behavior today was considered acceptable." I copied down her license plate number and filed a complaint with the manager at HEB, who, in turn called the police to file charges of verbal assault toward the store clerk and my Wife.

The following day, things got a little worse:

Every morning, like a lot of people across the world, I turn on the morning news to check the weather and catch up on the news of the day. The Weatherman that accompanies me, while I drink my coffee every morning, was leaving the news station (just down the street from where I live) and, he was shot multiple times. The shooter is still on the loose, the Weatherman, Patrick Crawford, is in Scott & White Hospital in critical condition. If that weren't bad enough:

I opened my front door, this morning, and found a hangman's noose hanging from our front door!!!  Immediately, I called the police. They came, took the report, collected the noose, and brought it to their CSU for processing. This is the second time this has happened during the five years we have lived here and, as a result, our local PD is increasing patrols on our street. I've upgraded the alarm system, and put extra dead-bolts on the doors, today. Our neighbors have agreed to adjust the camera angles on their homes exterior to coincide with mine so that there are no more blind-spots. Whoever is doing this, he or she will be caught. We, as Caregivers, Husbands, Wives, Children, and as a society in general have enough to worry about -- why, in the light of the progress our nation has made, do we still have people living in 1950? OK, enough of that for now, let's get back to something a little less scary:




In light of Yvonne finally noticing that my goatee was missing (I jokingly offered to put together a search party for her), she told me that she preferred my clean shaven face, even though she had asked me to grow it in the first place. So, when my buddy came over to give me a break so I could go handle some other business (related to the above entry), I also took the opportunity to go and get my hair cut. I've been growing it out in order to give to the cancer wing, as I previously mentioned, and below are the before and after pictures:

Before Haircut Before Haircut


After Haircut After Haircut


So, I went from kinda long and shaggy, right back to the "high-n-tight" of my original appearance (remember the trip down memory lane?).

When I got home and presented myself to Yvonne, I got all the kisses I was supposed to have gotten on Kiss-A-Caregiver Day! So, in light of some events that would try to shed a darkness over our lives, I've done my best to keep that beautiful smile on Yvonne's face, and have been working harder to keep one on my own as well.

Tomorrow, I'll be bringing Yvonne to get her hair styled at Inspired Designs, and then we're off to get her Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and possibly a Galaxy Tab. The people at our local AT&T have set up a special appointment for us so that the store isn't crowded there-by increasing the level of anxiety that could be experienced by either myself or Yvonne. With any luck, things will go smoothly and if they don't all parties associated are ready to re-schedule if Yvonne isn't feeling well, tomorrow. Let's hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.

Time to make that margarita!

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3 Comments

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LilMagill

Your posts are always such a pleasure to read, but I am also just horrified by the harassment you've gotten. The noose goes beyond harassment to threat. It is hard to believe that people can be so unkind, so awful!

Denise

Hi--I just love all the photos you include--they are just great. Thank you so much for making us a part of your lives.\r\n\r\nAnd, I'm just as disturbed as our dear friend, <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/hussy/' rel=\"nofollow\">@hussy</a>. It's just sickening that this is happening to you. I hope 2015 brings us all the love we need to overpower those who somehow lost theirs.

Hussy

I was very disturbed to read about the noose and the woman in the parking lot. It Is simply inconceivable to me that we share this planet with people capable of such despicable behavior.