Archive for February, 2023

Two Years and a Day

Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
The Thinker

The Thinker

Wilson stuck around for as long as he could. Those 12 years went by in a flash, even with the periodic emergencies, most of the days were made up of a routine…breakfast, meds, bathing, trimming his beard, doing our exercises, taking him for a walk. Mind you…this was WILSON, brain injury or no, so he was alternately stubborn, playful, belligerent…but thankfully infatuated with ME. So he never tried to escape & mostly wanted to please me by cooperating.  Luckily, I was well-acquainted with him. I didn’t make him do things he wouldn’t like. He would never just go for a walk! He was used to having a destinations in mind, so the WALK was to the Post Office, where he went several times a week all his life. I had set up a P.O. Box, so fans could write, send donations, and cards. We almost always found something in the box, so the errand was rewarding.

I cancelled it only a year before he passed, even though he hadn’t been able to make it that far any more for several years. Rena had reduced their daily walk to around the block, towards the end. He was getting wobbly, and mostly leaned all over her, pushing her against buildings or parked cars towards the end, looking for all the world like a mismatched pair of drunks, struggling to get home.

I grieved hard the first year, alone, with no special memorial to celebrate this extraordinary artist, as he deserved. But COVID had us sequestered already for two years, and we were only one couple out of millions now suffering. People died in a matter of days, in the middle of their lives, and even the elderly thought they had much more time! But I’d been keeping Wilson ALIVE for all these years, as he slowly declined…he hadn’t taken sick & suddenly died. He was slightly dying every day…but knowing that doesn’t mean I was READY.

This is the 2nd year of his absence, and I’m just beginning to grasp the permanence of his departure. Forcing myself to look directly at it today, I’m hit harder than the first anniversary, when I was still in shock. This is the REALITY now, and it’s time for me to start accepting it. So I’m trying to treat this like a NewYear’s Resolution. I’m sure that like a diet, an exercise program, or stopping smoking, I will have many relapses…or lapses in my resolve. But just because I should start moving FORWARD doesn’t mean I’ll be able to leave him behind.

I miss him terribly, and feel pretty sure he’s still following me around, always snooping and forever eavesdropping on me. I used to get exasperated with that, but now I’m comforted by this notion. Besides, I never COULD tell him what to do! I once hung a Do Not Disturb sign on my studio door, to keep him from bouncing in every 20 minutes to tell me a funny thought or see what I was doing. Telling him to STOP IT never worked, but he never came in if the sign was there.

He respected traditions & boundaries if they were CLEAR. So, I drew  a clock on the sign, with the time when he could expect to be welcomed again, with open arms.

I wish I could hang it on the door now, so I could know in advance when to expect his return….

*Please be so kind as to contribute to the Trust, if you can. I know times are hard for everyone these days, and I am no exception.I’m now sleeping in a hole in this ancient bed! I want an adjustable frame & new mattress, so I can stop waking in pain over & over all night long, struggling to get comfortable. I’d be most even a small donation from many starts adding up. Thanks! xo