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.


JANUARY 28, 2015 8:33PM

Some Chatting, Mostly Listening

I was in our home office when I got a phone call from Marty’s care giver for the day.  It was unusual because she was with Marty in Marty’s room, just down the hall.  Naturally, my anxiety meter went to red.  I mean really, why would LaShonda call me when she… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2015 8:04PM


I’m a slow writer.  It takes a few days for me to get an idea to get to the page and a few more days to edit and change and then finally, with some trepidation post.  There are many reasons to think I should take a few more days in the… Read full post »

The lake at Christmas with family is a good place to be. 

We planned to spend an idyllic few days together enjoying the company of our children and grandchildren, enjoying the quiet of the lake, enjoying the holiday season.

 Alas and alack, idyllic is not really our… Read full post »

DECEMBER 23, 2014 6:41PM

Love Because

So she knows.  So you all know.   I don’t think I have some sort of heroic love for Marty in spite of the infirmities.  I’m really not that altruistic or giving.  The strokes have changed us, the strokes have altered our approach to life, the strokes do not define… Read full post »

DECEMBER 19, 2014 8:54PM

Love In Spite of Life

I see her watching me as I decide on gifts and sort them and package them for Christmas.  I see her brain haltingly process what she sees, I see in her someone who wants to break out and tell me I’m doing it all wrong and to just step back as… Read full post »

DECEMBER 5, 2014 5:38PM

How Do You Feel About That?

“How do you feel about that?”  It was a big question for Marty; it was an important question for her, it was a question she taught me ask.

First you ask, “How do you feel about that?”, then you work on learning to listen to the response, then you… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 17, 2014 7:53PM

So Many Doors Closed

I won’t say parts of Marty actually died when she had her first stroke, I can’t say that, it cuts too close.  I can say mental and emotional doors were closed forever on April 2 2005.  Even more doors were closed and nailed shut on January 3 2006 when she had… Read full post »

OCTOBER 25, 2014 12:20PM

Choosing Your Family

My uncle in Houston recently passed away and his funeral was being planned on the same day as a planned trip to Dallas to watch the red headed David Beckham, my five year grandson, Noah, play futbol.  

I called my son Matt to check on start times and talk… Read full post »

OCTOBER 3, 2014 1:21PM

Three Massively Brilliant Thoughts

It’s always a little dangerous to look back, but when I do, when I go back to the days after we first came home from Marty’s second stroke I am aghast at how stupid I was.  I knew nothing about caring for the needs of someone like Marty. 

The… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2014 12:59PM

Thanks for the Hook-Up

My head has not been there in a while.  The past months, really the past couple of years have been too good to dwell on what was, what happened and what might have happened.  Encounters make me think back.

I went to a wedding and saw the minister that sat… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 13, 2014 4:39PM

An "A" from Dr. Lung Lady

Life marches on…with you or without you…..life continues.  Our journey, while often a bit circuitous and bumpy, is at a good place.

We went to see Marty’s lung doc and she gave Marty an “A”.  Marty swears to this minute she got an A+.  She was always a… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 6, 2014 1:16PM

Pushing to Happy

A comment on one of my blog posts and a couple of links on my facebook page nailed me this week.

The comment was nice, the writer pointed out how good things were in my life.  They were spot on, my life is good.  It’s good for a lot of… Read full post »

AUGUST 29, 2014 5:05PM

Don't Wait....Party Now

Too often we wait.  We wait too long, it’s too late to say it, it’s too late to make sure it’s known.

 Funerals are not the best time to tell someone you love them that you appreciate and admire them.  Its okay to honor people at their funeral, but… Read full post »

AUGUST 21, 2014 2:00PM

Pride Doesn't Make You Fall

There is a difference between being proud of something and being prideful.  It’s a small semantic difference but an important one.  One can be proud without hubris…..hubris makes us prideful.

The Proverb saying “pride goes before the fall of humanity” points to hub… Read full post »

JULY 31, 2014 8:57PM

Holding a Grudge

I gave her a drink of her berry flavored G2 Gator-aid.  It’s not necessarily her drink of choice, but it is one she tolerates to keep me placated. I tilted the bottle up at her mouth and a little bit leaked out of the bottom and dripped down her chin and… Read full post »

JULY 21, 2014 1:05PM

The Only Choice

I know exactly why I do it and it’s not because I’m a saint or a particularly self-effacing guy.  I’m not patient or generous enough to qualify for sanctification and I have a very healthy ego and really like to have my way in most everything. 

I do it,… Read full post »

JULY 13, 2014 2:19PM

I'm Okay with the Mundane

It’s been about six months.  I hate to put the bad voodoo on us but it’s been about six months since we have seen the inside of a Providence Hospital room. 

For us, for the chronically ill, this is a big thing.  Not doing the hospital for any length… Read full post »

JULY 5, 2014 11:36AM

A Story in Pictures

Marty will be 60 this year on August 23.  Ten years ago 60 seemed a sure thing.  Nine years ago, after the first stroke 60 seemed possible but for the first time I had doubts.  Eight years ago after the 2nd stroke, 60, for Marty, seemed doubtful.  

Marty… Read full post »

JUNE 21, 2014 12:28PM

Labels...It's Complicated

The man looked at Matt, our son, and asked, “What do you do?”

Matt gave his practiced answer.  I wish I remembered what it was; it was a really impressive answer and made me proud our son had such a great job description.  Marty and I made a good man…yes,… Read full post »

JUNE 10, 2014 8:55PM

Bad to the Bone

“We were runnin down the road trying to loosen our load” back from the lake when Marshall Tucker, an early 70’s southern rock band came through Sirius singing, “Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman is doing to me.” 

I loved The Marshall Tucker… Read full post »

MAY 26, 2014 11:56AM

My Father the Warrior....Repost

This is a repost.... I liked this one about my father and on Memorial Day...it seemed appropriate.  My Dad is now 85 and is about to start his 2nd term as President of the National Korean War Veterans Association.  As such he has been to South Korea several times, metRead full post »
MAY 24, 2014 1:10PM

Hell of a Guy


I have been pooped on, peed on, phlegmed on, and puked on.  The last years have tested me, they have tested my marriage.  Uncontrolled bodily fluids will do that.

It’s not my fault, it’s not Marty’s fault.  In point of fact she is a bit embarrassed… Read full post »

MAY 17, 2014 2:39PM

Funniest Person She Knows

We were in the car, just cruising, when daughter Erin called to wish her Mom a happy Mother’s Day.  We talked over the hands free, Erin talked, I talked, Marty talked.  It was a nice Mother’s Day conversation.

After we disconnected I said, “That was very nice.”

Mar… Read full post »

MAY 14, 2014 8:53PM

Mother Marty

Marty is a mother.  It’s more than a little enlightening to see the young woman who became your wife make the transition from girl friend to wife to mother.  We all evolve, daughters become wives, and wives become mothers. 

Marty made the transition, not seamlessly, not gracefu… Read full post »

APRIL 27, 2014 2:31PM

What We Have

I reached down and gently touched her head, pushing my fingers into her thick salt and pepper colored hair.  She stirred, just waking, looked at me through sleepy eyes and first said, “Scratch”, a command to scratch the back of her head.  The rule is, you touch it you scratch it

Read full post »