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Three score and ten or more

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What a day, or what days?

Day before yesterday, I was whining about being tired of trying to get our taxes done on time, things organized in our new home, and even feeling a little smug about finally getting the E-file in on time. Oh Gee Whiz, think about it!

Yesterday, I heard from Turbo Tax that I had screwed up something minor on my tax form by miscopying my 1099R (numbers are almost as bad as acronyms) and that the IRS had rejected my tax return as filed. I would have to find the 1099R that I received from the Georgia Teachers Retirement Service and recopy it then resubmit it. Of course, as I explained last post (or thereabouts) the form 1099R had been lost in our move. I spent time yesterday tearing apart things in my office trying to find the form when Janet hobbled into the office and said "Why don't you just phone the TRS and see if they can give you the information?' A light finally dawned, but they were closed for the day so I would have to wait till today to try it.

Today, we got up and went to our water aerobics class, but I hadn't fully realized how much pain Jan was going to have as a result. As we came home she was in such pain in her knee and her hands that she took a painkiller and went to bed. I kissed her and called TRS, only to find that it would take me fifteen minutes to access the income tax form on the TRS website, which I did, straightened out the tax return and resubmitted it. Everything seemed rosy except the pain that Janet was suffering.

Moments later, I received a phone call informing me that the wife of one of my dearest friends had passed away last night. The caller asked if we might help supply food for the family on Saturday after the funeral. They really didn't have to ask. These were some of the best and closest. She has been ill for some time but they were my friends. I married them, back when I was in charge of the local congregation of Mormons. I performed the wedding on Valentine's Day back in the late 70's or early 80's. We have been close ever since, (and actually for several years before.) I stated that I would roast a couple of large Boston Butts and do anything else that was required. Moments later I called my friend, wept with him a moment, and put myself at his disposal for anything else that he needed .

As I hung up the phone, it suddenly hit me that exactly one year ago today, I was kneeling in prayer beside my wife in the ICU of Meilahti Hospital in Helsinki Finland.

They had disconnected her from all the anesthetics etc. two days before, and we were just praying that she would regain consciousness. On that day they had taken her up to radiology for a CAT scan or MRI to see if they could figure out why she was so slow to wake up. The Neurologist entered the room and informed me that the examination had shown evidence that she had suffered two strokes. The had performed an EEG, and it had shown almost no brain activity and that when, or if, she regained consciousness, I should be prepared for the possibility that she might never be able to speak, or to walk or to function as a normal human being. On that very day, she began to fight the oxygen tubes, kick her legs, and respond physically to the physical therapist. It was several days later before she recognized anyone, or was able to speak at all, but she was clearly alive, and regaining consciousness at some level.

Last Sunday we visited our friend. She hardly woke up to talk to us, but she did wake up, smelled the roses we had taken her, conversed a bit, then drifted back into sleep. (She has been on morphine for chronic pain). Now, three days later she is gone, and my beloved Janet is with me. The coincidence and contrast just is mind boggling. Only a week or two ago my friend was sitting up in her recliner chatting, and being a little irascible. One year ago at that time Janet was just out of surgery and I wasn't sure I would ever see her beautiful eyes open again. I am so grateful, and at the same time confused.

Certainly I am not very concerned about the taxes any more (though Janet will feel more secure when the word comes from Turbo Tax that every thing is kosher). I find myself sitting here a little numb. I can't help feeling that God has kept us together because He has something for the two of us to do, and I do so hope that treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis (which seems to be the problem now) will put us in a position to do it.

To top it off, I have been so caught up in today's events that I didn't fulfill a promise to call my granddaughter who is extremely ill with keto-acidosis down in Florida, but -- first thing in the morning.

It is probably a good thing that I am writing on a computer rather than a typewriter, or, I'm afraid the paper would be all wet. I should be out of tears by tomorrow, and will soon write about some of the other events of this day. (Yes, this WAS a busy day).


At 10:02 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Just as I was reading about Janet's symptoms I thought "Rheumatoid Arthritis." It is an awfully painful condition but modern painkillers do work. So what if they are addictive.

I'm glad you can still have a good cry. That's a blessing.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Norma said...

I'm reading backwards about 10 days, so I hope by now (10-25)that things have settled a little in your household. Sorry about your loss.


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