A Caregiver Remembers Smoothing the Blanket Over His Children

I had a strange but comforting realization this morning.

We have rather an odd schedule between us. She goes to bed about midnight, watches television for away and then wakes around 9 for breakfast and bathroom. Then she muddles around in a sort of daze for a while and goes back to sleep for 3 or 4 hours.

I get up between 6 and 7, usually go to the gym to work out or walk a couple of miles for coffee. Then I do laundry or work outside or work at my desk or read until it’s time to have lunch or make a late supper for the both of us.

If I go out, it’s usually in the morning when I know she’s back asleep and I like to be home when she really gets up.

Today she came into my office, excited about something but I really couldn’t understand what she was saying. She was also obviously tired so I said that she should get back into bed and I’d come and sit with her for a while – which I did.

She had already forgotten what she was talking about so she was quiet and we sat together saying nothing.
After a couple of minutes, she pulled me down, gave me a kiss and said thank you.

I sat there for a while and found myself idly smoothing her blanket and memories came back of doing that to my children when they were little. There was nothing more to do, they were happily asleep and so, in one last gesture of care, I would smooth their blanket as the last most gesture I could make to be certain they were fine.

I realized then that so many of the things that I had been so angry about losing in my own life suddenly seemed not nearly as important, I had accepted a different role and was, at least for now, all right with that.
I’m certain that I will relapse and be a bit selfish, a bit self-centered sometimes but I will remember this moment smoothing her blanket.

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