What I Learn From Marty

Marty'sHusband

Marty'sHusband
Location
Waco, Texas,
Birthday
March 30
Bio
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.

MY RECENT POSTS

MAY 18, 2012 6:26PM

Breasts of Vegas

Las Vegas…..Thursday night a couple of weeks ago….blackjack….I’m ahead…it’s a miracle.

I’m sitting on the right hand of the table watching the dealer.  She’s a lovely twenty something brunette with long smooth hair and dark eyes.  Her shi… Read full post »

MAY 8, 2012 9:19PM

The Fountains of Bellagio

She stood in front of me leaning against the smooth, finally finished concrete rail.  Her left elbow rested on the curved rail, a cigarette in her right hand held between her middle and index fingers, the smoke drifting and billowing up in the wind.

The music drifted through the Las… Read full post »

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 »

APRIL 11, 2012 5:39PM

Cheating Death

Just north of Waco a woman from Iowa was killed.  She was driving down I-35, a crowded, fast, bone-crushing interstate connecting all of North America.  She was driving north when a tire flew out of the bed of a south bound pick-up flew and through the windshield of her car and… Read full post »

APRIL 6, 2012 5:34PM

Singing a Song

The living room was empty, quiet.  I walked through and heard a soft song, barely audible coming from behind a closed bedroom door just off the living room.  I stood at the door and listened quietly, I heard this gentle, sweet singing, “I’ve been working on the railroad….… Read full post »

APRIL 2, 2012 2:09PM

Choosing Paths

I’m not a “road less travelled” kind of guy; in fact I kind of steer clear of that road, too many weeds, cracks in the pavement and just general sweat.  I’ve always been prone to find the path of least resistance.

I learned early on the power of saying, “I… Read full post »

MARCH 24, 2012 5:10PM

"You Got Me?"

I’m on her right, my right arm under her right arm, my left holding the back of her pants; she looks at me and says, “You got me?”  I nod.  She turns her head to her left, looks at Erica, her caregiver who has one arm under Marty’s and one arm… Read full post »

MARCH 21, 2012 5:30PM

If Your Happy and You Know It

Snoopy, the oracle Beagle of Peanuts fame, dancing, feet pulsating, moving rapidly, nose stretched to the heavens shows it.  Brandy Chastain, running, arms held high, hands gripping her jersey she just ripped off, unabashedly celebrating victory in a way where everyone recognizes the sheer joy o… Read full post »

MARCH 9, 2012 6:53PM

Around the Barriers

Curtains, doors, fences, thoughts, fears, ideas, there is always some kind of barricade, some barrier keeping us from accepting, keeping us from embracing, keeping us from understanding what we don’t understand.  Marty’s life, our life, has slowly become about conquering barriers, ph… Read full post »

MARCH 5, 2012 5:55PM

Pieces of Marty

It is real, it is fact, death comes, slowly, quickly, whole or by piece, death is a part of us.  Some of us go quickly, unexpectedly, without notice or care.  Some leave, some die a little piece at a time as we watch what once was become so very different.… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2012 4:55PM

Routinely Broken

It says something about your life’s circumstances when you consider a hospital stay routine.  Two years ago Marty went to the hospital for what was, to us, a fairly routine visit to get a dose of IV antibiotics for a urinary tract infection.  Routine, maybe not so much.

We checked… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2012 5:48PM

It Works Better with Two

“There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain”

John Lennon

I went to church the other day, alone.   I don’t like going alone; there are places where alone doesn’t work very well for me,/… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 16, 2012 11:43PM

Screed

I started writing this blog about three years ago.  The premise was simple, I wanted to keep Marty’s friends and family apprised of her life and our journey.  But, being something of a political junkie, radical moderate and uber-user of the medical community I wanted to inflict my pol… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2012 6:14PM

Is the Turtle Dead?

Marty and I are miles from where we started.  Her progress, her improvement from the early days of the strokes is really amazing given our starting point. 

When is enough, enough?  When have things progressed as far as they can go, when do you arrive at “as good as… 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 »

I remember sitting in the waiting area of our new temporary home, St. Catherine Center, a sub-acute care center in Waco.  It was adjacent to the hospital we had just left and was king of a way station for people too sick to go home, but not acute enough to be… Read full post »

JANUARY 6, 2012 5:53PM

A Revelation -- My Unbelief

I play at golf.  I have no faith in my game.  I hit the ball all over the place and when I address the ball I never know if the good Larry or the evil Larry is going to hit the ball.  Lately, my golf game is kind of a metaphor… Read 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 »

DECEMBER 22, 2011 6:22PM

An Absence of Bad

I send out an annual Christmas letter.  Sorry, I know, I know, but it’s not really the narcissistic, four page, every things perfect kind of Christmas letter, we haven’t ever seen perfect.  Mine is the, “I’m going to tell you some really basic stuff about our surviva… 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 »

NOVEMBER 23, 2011 9:06PM

Hummin' for Jesus

Our minister stands at the front of the sanctuary every Sunday.  He’s a tall man, thin, graying, in love with his work.   He reaches into the water of the baptismal  font, pulls hands dripping with water up and lets the water flow through his fingers back into the font and s… 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 »

NOVEMBER 4, 2011 8:15PM

Strokes Suck

It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally I look around, I think of Marty’s brokenness, I focus on what was and what is now and I get angry, I get pissed, I feel completely imprisoned by my life and I scream in my mind, “What the hell am I doing and… Read full post »

OCTOBER 31, 2011 8:33PM

Forgiving, Always

I do it every day, several times a day, it’s one of the dances Marty and I do.

I reach under both of her arms, get a secure hold, make sure she is anchored with her right leg on the floor and use my prodigious frame to pull her to… Read full post »