What I Learn From Marty


Waco, Texas,
March 30
I am the chief caregiver for Marty, my wife of 30+ years. In our previous lives Marty was an Educational Psychologist, I was a call center manager. Marty has had two strokes since 2005 which have caused critical physical and cognitive deficits. We are both in our mid-50's and have two adult children. I would never confuse myself with a professional writer, I do this to document our journey and as an act of self discovery. This is what I have learned over the last years, this is our life.


APRIL 17, 2014 6:10PM

Pushing a Rock....Every Day

Sisyphus, because of his hubris and pliable relationship with the truth was cursed to push a boulder up a hill, for the rest of his life.  He would get to the top and the damn thing would roll back down and there he found himself, perpetually pushing a rock.

Some… Read full post »

APRIL 4, 2014 8:46PM

Nine Years to Normal?

I almost missed it.  Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe that’s a sign of acceptance.  It’s what happens when you move on; it’s what happens when you take down a calendar (http://martytalks.blogspot.com/2010/07/calendar.html).

It’s been nine years, it was nine ye… Read full post »

MARCH 21, 2014 6:12PM

A Failure to Act

I have many fears, many sources of anxiety.  One of my biggest is not will I miss something; it is I will blow something off that’s important.  I don’t worry about missing clues, I worry about ignoring them.

When Marty and I started we settled into rather comfortable roles.&nbsRead full post »

MARCH 10, 2014 8:49PM

Did Me a Solid

I read a speech some time ago, a commencement speech gone viral by author George Saunders.  In the speech he talks about one of his greatest regrets, not being kind enough (Saunders Speech Text).

That is an extremely poor and inadequate summary of what he said but his speech touched… Read full post »

MARCH 8, 2014 9:18PM

A Smile

On any given day it is the best thing I see.  It is guaranteed make my day better, instantly.  It lights up my world and it does the same for the people around her.  When Marty smiles,I mean really smiles it is the best thing in my day.

smile2 … Read full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2014 8:09PM

Riding Along....

Marty has used a wheel chair for eight years.  Seeing “our” wheelchair for the first time was a surreal experience.  It sort of punctuated the strokes; the chair clarified the sea change in our lives.  I can remember looking at it and thinking how in the hell could this pie… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 4, 2014 10:07PM

Blew That Popsicle Stand

On day five of our Providence Hospital occupation our collective decided to accept the offer of Great and Wise and take ourselves home.  It was time.  After five days of IV antibiotics, fluids, breathing treatments, meds, and blood, we blew that Popsicle stand for the friendly confines of o… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2014 12:26PM

She Got Sick.....Fast

She went from okay to really not okay in a matter of a few minutes.  The peaceful evening then went to eventful.  The suddenness was troublesome and that part will stay with me for a while.

Marty does this thing that’s really hard to describe.  She yawns, then stretches, then… Read full post »

JANUARY 29, 2014 8:18PM


Last week I found myself in Utah with my son, his wife and my four year old grandson.  We went skiing with all of the glitterati at the Sundance Film Festival (I saw no on I recognized).  It was my grandson’s maiden ski voyage and it was a hoot watching him… Read full post »

DECEMBER 25, 2013 2:40PM

Come All Ye Faithful and Unfaithful Too

Here we are living life on the edge this Christmas of 2013.  That’s just the way Marty and I roll, taking chances, risking the comfort of hearth and home to find the ever elusive peace and good will.

Yea, that’s right, we did it, we did it in the face… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2013 8:21PM

Finite Energy

It’s about the choices, it’s about priorities it’s about how you want to spend energy.

One of the things you discover about stroke recovery is that energy, both physical and mental is a finite resource.  It takes a lot of Marty’s energy to get up, to sit up, to focus,… Read full post »

OCTOBER 31, 2013 4:02PM

A New Journey

The journey to acceptance of difference starts with simple presence, it starts with familiarity, it starts with understanding.  Marty and I started that process with young people who matter to us.

I taught Sunday school for several years.  From the time our son Matt was in high school unti… Read full post »

OCTOBER 18, 2013 2:54PM

More than You Think

The perspective changed when she sat in the wheelchair.  It changed the way people saw her, the way people knew her.  For some, even those that had known Marty forever, they couldn’t see past the chair, they couldn’t accept Marty in her brokenness.  

I hope we change some… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 6:38PM

"Cheese" Won't Cut It

We had our photographs taken last Saturday.  We got all dolled up and made up and went down to our church to get our photo made for the church directory.

I have to say the preparation for the big event took a lot, I mean a lot longer than the actual

Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 5:03PM

The Pain of Awareness

She has many of the needs of a child, yet she is not a child at all.

The strokes that scarred her brain stole her independence and her ability to care for herself.  They robbed her of the ability to do the simplest things.

I know she doesn’t feel… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 1:00PM

A Real Rock Star

I’m not sure why I am always a bit surprised when people go out of their way to help us, but, from time to time people extend themselves and make you feel special.

Getting in our dentist’s office is no easy trick.  You have to go in one door, make… Read full post »

AUGUST 23, 2013 12:56PM

It's Marty's Birthday

Today is Marty’s 59th birthday. 

Today we are nine years post diagnosis of her multiple sclerosis.  Today we are eight years past her ruptured aneurysm.  Today we are seven years past her last stroke.

In those years Marty has been in the hospital literally dozens of times, end… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2013 8:20PM

God Envy

I have God envy.

No I’m not envious of God though the whole omnipotent omnipresent thing does have its appeal, especially during football season.  Red Raider and Cowboy fans would be happy happy. 

I am envious of how some people are able to live and accept the trials… Read full post »

AUGUST 3, 2013 8:07PM

CareGivers Upheaval

It was our first Christmas with our first born, Matthew.  We were in Dalhart Texas some 600 miles from our fairly new home in Paris Texas.  Matt was only 3 months old and Marty took the call from our new nanny in Paris.  The news was bad, catastrophic, as any new… Read full post »

JULY 26, 2013 9:55PM

Shaking the Core

I’m a big talker.  I’m full of wonderful counsel and advice for other people and I can wax on eloquently about the things I have learned over the last few years and how I have successfully incorporated those brilliant discoveries into my own life. 

Over the last few years… Read full post »

JULY 22, 2013 9:54PM

We Left

We're home.

Thursday was coming and going and I had already assumed we would stay at least one more night when Great and Wise popped in to talk.  The rash was better, the blood pressure was better, Marty was better and he thought we were out of danger and could… Read full post »

JULY 15, 2013 6:08PM

Making a Call

I never really know who to call or if to call anyone.  I know to let our children know, I know to let my parents know, but beyond that, I’m never sure who to call and say we are in the hospital again.

Part of my reluctance is that I… Read full post »

JULY 2, 2013 6:43PM


The world just keeps spinning, even when you can’t spin with it. 

As I stepped out of the emergency room to breathe in some hot night air I saw a couple of cars drive by. I thought, “I wonder if they know how lucky they are, I

Read full post »
JUNE 18, 2013 9:37PM

She Plays

When you think about the science of playing the piano, your brain translating black marks on paper so the left part of your brain can tell the muscles of the right hand to move the fingers and push black and white keys in a rhythm to make music, it’s amazing. Read full post »

JUNE 12, 2013 6:22PM

Bone Crunching

There are times it is bone crushingly sad; occasionally the sadness of what has happened permeates every part of me.  It runs so deep and is so real it is almost a physical pain.  It never lasts long and it almost always happens late at night, at times when I feel… Read full post »