Sewing Camp

I truly do not want to learn how to sew, be a seamstress, or do other related crafts. I am male and in my 70’s. I do not need that. And yet I must.

That is silly attitude. When you have spent 50 years with someone occasionally you will disagree with her. When you love someone so deeply that you are willing to turn away from your own self-interest to take care of her during a chronic illness it is possible to smother her in the care-giving.

Learn how to sew. Just do it. Do not arrogantly display your new found skill set. You are the helper. You are the holder of pins. You are the threader of bobbins. You are the crimper of snaps. You know where to find interfacing in the fabric store. Be proud that you know what interfacing is! Do not imagine you are in charge of project scheduling. The illness’s symptoms will set the schedule. Relax. Enjoy the moment.

Lord have mercy! It is easy to have a fight when your lover, wife, partner, mother of your children, your rock, the person who shares your vision, the center of your universe is gifted with a chronic illness. Parkinson’s disease is not always debilitating but it can be and it can be so for the one who has it and the one is helping the one who has it. It can be exhausting.

In the morning she is way off. Movement is hard. Fingers are numb. She has finally fallen asleep after a restless night, when I get her up so she is not way off her medication schedule, she is angry with me and with herself. As the day progresses she improves but I have not moved out of care-giving mode. To her it becomes smothering. An argument ensues over who will cook dinner.

I have to give in. She cooks dinner. It is like old times when we were younger. She is and always was a good cook. Comfort food. I am more experimental which occasionally turns disastrous. I really miss the old times occasionally. But it is also good to enjoy the present.

Perhaps, just perhaps, I need to enjoy the moment.

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