Caregiving: Still Ambulent, Respite’s Where You Find It.

Wednesday August 6.

A caregiver’s respite is not always a person.  Sometimes it’s a place.

I love thrift shops.  I found a Goodwill Shop just across the 88th Avenue overpass from the Tulalip Casino.
Poker is a pastime Chris can still enjoy in spite of the pain in his legs and the trouble he has walking.  There is little exertion involved.  We drive there and he walks a very short distance, then sits for hours.  The cards keep him completely focused for a while.
Usually Chris comes out ahead, and I have no interest in the slots, so I leave him for a couple of hours and go browsing.  Lose myself in thrift shop debris.
Knick knacks crowd the shelves like society’s detritus, faded fairies and angels, capricious kittens and puppy dogs, slightly worn picture frames, various vases and dolls showing various stages of wear. Cheap imitations of Dresdens and Doultons.
After poker, Chris comes to meet me.  He picks out a white-bearded fisherman with joints at the knees.  Obviously meant to sit on a shelf.
I buy another ten books.  He’ll be in surgery soon, so I’ll get to read them in hospital while he sleeps. And they are cheap here; less than half what I’d pay in a Canadian shop.

The white bearded fisherman will be on the bookcase to welcome him home.  An omen, if you like, that Chris, too, will still be here when his hair turns white.

When we made our purchases?  I guess we were both thinking of his Friday surgery.

Yours truly,

Margaret Jean.

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