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Slivers of Silver Linings

At 9:30 a.m., this was how my day kicked into high gear. I decided to go to O’Leary’s because yesterday I tried going to another place of business that does oil changes and inspections. It was super busy, lots of people close together, none wearing masks. Leaving honored my promise to Tom to be careful in my outings.

I pulled into O’Leary’s and it all was good. Hardly anyone there. In fact only the people who worked there were there. Kate followed me so I could leave the car and get it later. Only it didn’t work out that way. I made a slightly too wide turn into the parking spot on wet pavement. My wheel caught the concrete retaining wall, read that as the wheel went over the edge and wasn’t budging. The retaining wall is flush with the parking lot.

When I realized I was stuck I broke out in a sweat. I went through all of the things in my memory that Tom has taught me about these kinds of non-magical moments when the world feels more against than for a person. He’s not a panic-driven person. After decades together he has imbued that in me as well. Take a pause when you need it and take it again and again when you are in a difficult situation so I do and did.

Kate parked her car, very well I might add, all tires on the ground. The three men in the store came out to offer their thoughts. Still, I didn’t panic or worry when they had no workable solution. Neither Kate nor I had our phones. Who does that, right? I guess we do. I also had a pancake for breakfast. It seemed rather big of me to do that on a Wednesday especially while I am still in the weight loss game but it held me over for the 2 hours of trickery involved in getting all of my wheels on the ground so it was a good decision. By then I was neutral on decisions. One bad one, i.e. no phone, and one good one, i.e. a pancake.

We called Triple AAA. Actually the manager did and had to speak for me since I wouldn’t use his phone. I had a mask on but he didn’t, neither did his two mechanics. I felt like I was rolling the COVID-19 disease dice being in there. The tow driver, no mask, too close to me, touching my keys, but, literally, with moist eyes promised me he would do his best to not hurt my car yet he couldn’t guarantee it. I couldn’t watch it. I love my car. It was a present I bought myself to drive something other than a handicap accessible van, to not stand out but blend in with the crowd once in a while. As you can see I am not very good at achieving the ‘not standing out’ in a crowd thing.

With no phone to bury myself in and no Kate who went home to conference with her students’ parents, I was left to TV. Did you know there was a game show called “Common Knowledge”? Me either. Some dude from the group NSYNC is the host. I had no idea. When Kate came back with my phone she enlightened me. It isn’t a terrible game show and seemed better than watching my car that may or may not be rescued. I loved that the tow truck occluded my view. The car, not a scratch! I sent them pizza for lunch as a thank you.

Earlier this week wasn’t so hot either. All the smoker detectors must be replaced including the one on the 12 ft ceiling. Again, Kate saves the day. Were it not for her that sucker would still be chirping. Tom can’t climb a ladder. Technically, I could but I’d probably still be up there. Monocular vision and heights are not friends. We thought we could call the fire department, non-emergent, but it was a lost cause getting someone to actually answer the non-emergency line. In the meantime, the dogs were freaked out.

When we settled back down Tom needed help adjusting the chin strap for his breathing machine. He woke up hypoxic this morning from the loose-fitting. Wouldn’t you know I broke it? For the third time, Kate saved us. She sewed it back on. Because the obstructionist VA respiratory manager finally retired the new guy stepped up and put two in the mail to Tom pronto. It really can be that easy at the VA with can-do people on board.

There are some slivers of silver linings in all of this. For one Tom is still here for me even if he is not physically doing these things with me but giving me the space to cry about them when I come home to him. And also tomorrow is Thursday which brings us one day closer to the end of the week. #ALSLife #ALSawareness