Okay, ya'll ... it's 3:30am Arkansas time and I'm up roaming around the apartment ... wishing for some dishes to wash or some floors to scrub ... thinking about starting my washing machine, but, no, I'd better not. There is a perfectly nice lady living on the other side of my apartment wall and she probably sleeps normal hours like a normal person.
I don't expect ever to be normal again in this life. Was I ever? Oh, well, we won't go there. (sigh)
The thing is ... My Phillip ... my beloved precious damnyankee Phillip ... got me so confused, as the years went by, that I didn't know the difference between night and day. The two of us were often up during the wee hours ... sometimes for health reasons ... more often than not, for fun. I swear we had some of our best parties at 3am. We'd think up stuff we wanted from the kitchen. Sometimes, I'd bring leftover fish in to his hospital bed. I remember once he looked at the fish and suddenly had a craving for cole slaw and fried potatoes and waited ... happily content ... staring at the fish ... until I went back to the kitchen and rustled up and entire meal.
and we both loved it.
I remember those nights as filled with conversation and laughter. How could two old people with serious health issues have such a good time? I dunno. But we did. We did. Our neighbors never quite understood us ... not that we cared a hoot ...all those years we lived in our apartment in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Neighbors wanted to pity us but Phillip and I never needed an ounce of pity. We had a good life and I told the well meaning souls that fact over and over again. They never believed us but it was true. We had a good life. We were happy. We considered ourselves lucky beyond belief. We'd both had earlier lives ... earlier marriages ... we 'd both lived through hurtful lonely times. When Phillip's MS was diagnosed in 1987 his wife bailed right out on him. He spent a lot of years alone before our paths crossed and I found my way to his door. From that minute on, we felt safe. We had each other. We enjoyed each other's company all the way to the end and memories of his sharp mind and funny sense of humor still keep me company today.
A few days before he died, I was sitting beside his bed in the nursing home ... he said, "You're too quiet, Jonelle."
I said, "I'm practicing not talking so much. I'm trying real hard to be quieter."
He said, "Why?"
I said, " Because I want to become an elderly person who has dignity. I want to be calm and composed."
He said simply, "Won't work." and grinned and winked at me.
These memories ... no matter how small and insignificant they may seem ... fill me with peace and happiness .