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.


Editor’s Pick
APRIL 26, 2012 5:53PM

Fading Memories

Memories erode and fade with time.  Like water and wind over the earth, time shapes memories and removes pieces of what once was.  Memories change and fade with time and become nothing but blurry pictures of what was. 

Marty’s first stroke was seven years ago and slowly, but no… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 31, 2012 5:26PM

Marriage and Evolution

I met her in October of 1973 at Susie’s birthday party.  It was a college birthday party with good, like-minded friends, you get the picture.  She was going out with a friend of mine who was studying architecture, I was a free agent and we eventually found each other.

MarGinGrad76 … Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 19, 2012 8:23PM

Locked Up

There is a very rare phenomenon known as anesthesia awareness, where under general anesthesia, during surgery, some patients wake up during the surgery and are aware of what is happening but because of the anesthesia can’t say anything to alert the medical staff that they are awake and aware.&nRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 31, 2011 9:39AM

Being In Denial

In April of 2005, as Marty lay in a coma in the ICU of Zale-Lipsy hospital, I sat beside her every day thinking of our past and looking forward to the day we would get out of the hospital and go home.  I kept saying to her young doctor, his job… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 4, 2011 8:10PM

Snows of Penderies

It was Christmas 1994.  We were in a small village in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico with Marty’s family.  Her parents had a wonderful home there that often served as respite from the Texas heat and flat geography.  This Christmas, in Penderies, there was snow on th… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 11, 2011 2:57PM

Dancing at Our Daughter's Wedding

I have never been a graceful man.  I always wanted to be, I have always wanted to move smoothly and nimbly with the grace of a well honed athlete.  Instead I tend to move with the grace and skill of a pack mule, strong and steady, not graceful.

When I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 23, 2011 5:54PM

A Biting Response

The act and art of physical therapy for a stroke patient should be part of any ongoing recovery strategy, it’s not, but it should be.  We have had the great good fortune to have a physical therapist visit our home twice a week for the last month.  Great and Wise thought… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 9, 2011 5:54PM

One of Those Videos

Our son and his wife celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary this weekend and I had the distinct honor of hosting my almost two year old grandson while they took some needed respite from parenthood.  Noah was the perfect house guest and in the eyes of his Grandpa is really very close… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 12, 2011 1:27AM

Living with Dying

A million things, a million decisions raced through my head as I stood in the ICU looking down at Marty.  From the moment we got to the hospital I started planning, I started plotting to find a way out of this medical morass.  My denial of the complicated nature of her… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 6, 2011 9:25PM

Marty's Enduring Legacy

I sat in Marty’s wheelchair with her sitting in the recliner to my right.  The house was full as we listened to the cacophony of pots, pans and voices coming from the people in our house.  I could hear the cries of hunger from the two week old daughter of my… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 12, 2011 3:01PM

The Guilt I Carry

Guilt.  Husband guilt, father guilt, survivor’s guilt, caregiver guilt, it’s pervasive, if not ruling.  It’s always there.  Guilt too often drives behavior, thoughts, and feelings, its real, its palpable; it’s a part my being with Marty.  It’s a part/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 20, 2011 5:13PM

Honoring the Warriors


Larry Kinard ca 1951

 June, 1950, North Korean soldiers poured across the 38th parallel, the arbitrary dividing line between North and South Korea.  By the time they stopped they had smashed through the South Korean capital of Seoul and had the NATO and South Korean troops bottled up at Pus… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 13, 2011 11:25PM

The 'C' Scale -- I Get Schooled Again

Marty is a musician.  Despite the trauma of the strokes she still possesses the soul and skills of a musician.  Music is one of those things that connect her to the here and now, one of those things that bring Marty back to the surface through the fog of the brain… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 8, 2011 6:24PM

Crying Over the Right Things

Out of the blue she said, “You’re doing a really good job,”

I said, “Of what?”

“Taking care of me.”

In my life I have done some things, I have been some places, I have received some accolades.  I have been praised by people in high places who… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 13, 2010 7:59PM

Do I Stay or Do I Go

Wednesdays are movie days for Marty and me.  We go early in the afternoon when there is virtually no one else at the theater.  For someone who has worked all their life going to the movies in the early afternoon in the middle of the week is positively decadent, but then… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 27, 2010 8:15PM

Dear God -- Hello

Marty and I both grew up in church-going, God-believing homes.  Neither of us grew in God-fearing ways, but in God-loving, gratitude ways.   Growing up we always, always said grace; we always said a short prayer before eating.  It was the same for Marty and it’s how we raise/… Read full post »