Many mornings I wake up exhausted and frustrated from moving my husband, Dennis’s lifeless legs and arms all night. It feels like a nocturnal wrestling match. Except no one wins…
I was approaching 50 and thought, “I cannot fix my husband’s situation, but I can grow through it, but how?” Inspiration whispered in my ear, and I began this journey…
I hoped this project would re-frame my life for me. *spoiler alert, it didn’t. It opened my soul and re-arranged me.
A CRIPPLES DRUDGE FROLICS TO FIFTY AND BEYOND
Before we start, let’s figure out if my ramblings are worth your time. Are you fun? If you paused to think you might not be, there are many blogs about organization and plodding through life semi-conscious. Just Google, joyless living!
Now that it’s just us, let’s chat.
I love to have fun, and at its core, this blog is about creating fun, and personal growth, in all circumstances.
This blog is also about life … mostly mine, but should you choose to come along for the journey, you will be my friend in the process. I will set goals by thinking outside of the box.
My blog is also a lot about being a caregiver, news alert … that’s all of us (even if you’re just caring for your cat, Gertrude). It is also about other stuff too.
Get comfy, get a cocktail, tea, whatever you fancy; I’m enjoying a particularly excellent month of Cabernet box wine.
Let’s start at the beginning of this idea. So I’m turning 50 this year. Big deal, right? So are millions of men and women. Well, it is a big deal for every one of us! It appears to be a fork in the road of many women’s lives.
Sue Monk wrote in Traveling with Pomegranates, “Is there an odyssey the female soul longs to make at fifty that has been blurred and lost within a culture awesomely alienated from the soul?” Well, my answer is YES! I would also say men as well as women. Sue, I want a ticket for the trip.
I’m fully aware; probably, nobody will read this except my children, who will do so with great enthusiasm and provide thoughtful and engaging feedback. Why would my busy 20-something kids do this? They love me. And my wounded face is tragic.
First, I need to explain what a “cripples drudge” is.
Webster’s definition of Cripple: a. offensive. A term used to refer to a person partially or totally unable to use one or more limbs.
Drudge: a person who does menial, distasteful, or hard work.
Cripple & Drudge= ME!
My daughter, Amanda, and I love the Masterpiece Classic series, Downton Abbey. The show is where I found my official title. We love the acerbic Dowager Countess (played to perfection by Maggie Smith.) When she discussed her granddaughter marrying a man with a bum arm (oh my God, how did he carry on), she said, “Is this to be Edith’s life an old cripples drudge?” Upon hearing this, my daughter and I laughed hysterically. My husband is 13 years my senior and classified as a quadriplegic. Indeed I am an old cripples drudge!
As a full-time caregiver, I don’t receive a paycheck or anything tangible from acknowledging what I do with my life, AHHHHHH; now I have a title I wear with great pride and honor,
That title makes it sound like I’m a saint who works tirelessly. Yes, caregiving is hard, … like, really hard sometimes. Days can be exhausting. Almost every day, my heart breaks a little more. Multiple Sclerosis is stealing my husband deviously slowly. Damaged nerve, by damaged nerve, he is losing his physical abilities.
Nonetheless, I’m not sure about a lot in life, but I am 100% positive it is what I am called to do now. Being in the palm of God’s purpose for your life is sublime.
Plus, my life is nothing close to drudgery. Some days Dennis is doing great, and we can be found at the local bar drinking wine at noon. On other days we are napping in the afternoon or my favorite, hanging out in my hot tub drinking wine and watching Masterpiece Theater, loudly commenting to myself on the plot twists.
There you have it. I’m a cripples drudge, officially hitting middle age, in search of more love, insight, connection, compassion, and more from herself!
I write to understand myself, so this blog is as much for me as anyone. Hopefully, readers (my children) will get something out of this, even if it’s just a good laugh at me! You won’t be the first or the last.
Based on my values, I decided upon tasks I thought would help me grow from my foundation. My friend Bombay Sapphire and I came up with ten things I would like to accomplish before I 50.
You readers (aka emotionally blackmailed children) will keep me accountable! So hold on to your Spanx. Here we go!
start a blogYou go girl already done number 1! Even though it took me forever and quite a few of my eyebrow hairs. If you want to read more about this task go to menu then posts write love lettersto the people closest to me in my life, hopefully in time for Valentines day, despite this being a crazy good season of The Bachelor. This one is done although the letters are coming out in waves. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ANYBODY EMBARKING ON THIS JOURNEY OF WRITING LOVE LETTERS. Prepare for and have a piano recital that has real human people come to it. This event will have a two drink minimum as in I’m not playing until everyone in attendance myself included has two drinks. Not wine or beer, but hard liquor drinks. Trust me, this is for the good of everyone involved
- Make a friend with someone forty years older, I have a few leads on this or maybe there is there is some sort of tinder type site for people in their 90’s, or I will just go to the nursing home down the street with pudding and wander the halls.
Make a friend with someone 40 years younger, I think church may be the place to find some teenager, with maybe not the best social skills or acne, or a giant heart who would be willing to be a friend with a middle aged woman! Dance with my husband Dennis standing. This is going to take some creativity, perhaps a harness from the ceiling or a bunch of guys holding him up? hmmmm … .
- Learn to make Crème Brulee, Kyle and Amanda love this stuff and they are the greatest loves of my life. Plus this is a badass dessert to make. I read the recipe it involves bruising vanilla beans, cooking the brulee until it is done but still and I quote ” trembling” and a blow torch! I know what you are thinking, Damn that girl has stones!
- Spend a day in a wheelchair. We own an extra one, and I really want to get some teeny tiny glimpse of what Dennis goes through every day. Obviously I will have to get out to help Dennis a bit, but a field trip is planned.
Publish mine and Dennis’ love story. I think posting it on a blog no one but my kids and husband are reading qualifies! I would humbly request that Sam Elliott play the mature Dennis, Josh Lucas the young Dennis, and Ryan Gosling plays my Son Kyle. For myself, obviously Meryl Streep has the dramatic acting chops to tackle this intense theatrical journey, but she is 19 years older than me so … a lengthy talent search will be essential. The actress must be around 50, from Canada, ridiculously klutzy due to size ten feet, a big reader, craft enthusiast, a weird obsession with Nuns, and a massive fan of puppies and babies. Do something special with Katie– To Be Announced. Yeah, the step-mother step-daughter relationship hasn’t gotten a lot of great press in the past. Katie and I are gonna try and show the world how it’s done! How exciting a cliff hanger!
I will post as I accomplish each task. Hit the menu and then post; I have already done #1 and #2. So Kyle, Amanda, Katie, and Dennis press the follow Frolicking at Fifty button. I love you guys!