Okay News and Good News

No workers today. Apparently, the people who had rented the jackhammer before us haven’t yet bothered to return it so the contractor couldn’t come to start ripping up the old concrete in preparation for redoing the stoop and putting in a ramp from the house to the garage. It’s not bad news; In fact, it’s okay. Everything will get done eventually. It was the garage that mostly concerned me. With hail a factor around here, I wanted to make sure my car was protected. The only hail we’ve had so far was pea size, but it’s nice to know I don’t have to worry, especially on days like yesterday when we were under a severe thunderstorm watch. The storm never got this far, but along the front range, they were seeing hail as big as a handful of snow. Even if the storm had hit us, my car was covered.

The good news is that so far, the vinca I planted yesterday is still alive and seems to be thriving, though after only a day, it’s hard to tell.

As I wrote the previous sentence, it occurred to me the good news is more that I am alive and seem to be thriving. Plants come and go — well, so do people, as I well know — but for now, we are both here, the plants and I. It’s been a long time coming, this contentment, but apparently, after so many years, even the absence of those who are gone loses some of its sting.

I had an odd thought today. I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to project myself into the future to prepare for my old age (because if I don’t make those preparations and do them now, no one will be around to take care of them, not even me because I will be too old). I worried that by thinking so much of being elderly, I was putting myself there prematurely. Luckily, the thought passed. I imagine that once I don’t have to think about fixing up the place to accommodate an older me, then I will slide back into being just . . . me.

Although the infrastructure of the yard, such as the pathways to give me an even footing and the inclined walkway instead of steps, will always remain, it’s possible that after I get the yard and garden looking lush and pretty, it will end up scraggly as I lose the interest and strength to keep it up, but that isn’t something I want to worry about. I’m planting bushes and other things that can generally take care of themselves once they’ve been given a good start. And if I can’t afford to hire someone to take care of the yard in that far off day, I can sit and dream of more verdant times.

Or not. It’s entirely possible I’ll be able to garden until the end. Some people do, why not me?

But that’s for the future. Today, I am able to do what I need to do. Today I worked outside for a bit, picking weeds and watering my plants. Today I’m grateful for what I have. Sounds like good news to me!


Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

9 Responses to “Okay News and Good News”

  1. Sam Sattler Says:

    I think you are wise to “elder proof” your house now while you have the time to do it right. My wife and I did the same kind of thing several years ago after we realized what a rush we were in to get the same thing done for my father. His falls had started to take a real physical toll on him, and everything had to be rushed into completion, meaning that we made the wrong call in a couple of cases.

    Now, I am 72 and my wife is 68, and we still don’t really “need” some of the conveniences that are built into the house, but we feel better that everything is in place for when we do need it. We don’t plan on leaving here until we absolutely have to. Oh, and honestly, I still don’t feel “elderly” in the least. So no worries there…

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      When I first saw photos of this house, the things that impressed me were the elder-friendly features such as the walk-in shower with hand rails (though the hand rails are the old, slippery kind; some day I might have to replace them) and the new galley kitchen. I’d planned to remove the ramp in front of the house, but I’ve grown fond of it. It sure saved me when my knee was kaput!

      Those last few years of his life, my father seldom left the house except to go to the doctor’s office, so he took his walks in the house, wandering from room to room until the timer went off. I bet he would have enjoyed having nice, even, private pathways outside to amble on. So I’m taking that sort of thing into consideration, too.

      It’s funny how often I read a book about an elderly person who’s in their late sixties or early seventies, and I find myself nodding in agreement about their elderliness until I realize the truth — those are not necessarily elder ages any more. At least not frail elder ages.

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    More good news (or bad news, depending on how you look at it): that blog post on Tarot went live this morning. Come check it out if you get bored, lol.

  3. jj7854 Says:

    I find myself planning around getting older too.  Redoing some landscaping to have less weeding and such.  Though I plan on hitting the lotto so can hire a maid, cook, gardener, chef, masseuse, etc…

  4. Judy Galyon Says:

    I know what you mean about having to hire someone. My neighbor is so sweet, that she is paying the guy that mows her yard, to mow just around my yard. We’ll see what next year brings!

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