It was a rough holiday season. Wendy and I kept the decorations low-key, and decided to exchange daily positive affirmations, notes of love and confidence-boosting challenges instead of presents for Christmas. It was a loving way to celebrate Advent.
The last of the medical equipment and supplies is out of the house now. Whatever the ALS Association couldn't take for their lending closet, I offered to Nazarethville Nursing Home.
I finally found a facility that would accept the medical equipment and supplies that the ALS Association lending closet couldn't accept. Because of your status as a 100%disabled veteran, we received all we needed from the VA hospital, so I didn't feel right trying to sell what was left over. There are so many people with ALS whose insurance doesn't cover all the things you received to keep you comfortable.
Ha! I just discovered a brand new, in-the-box, suction machine. I have someone I can call who can use this for one of his ALS patients. It's like packing up all the Christmas decorations and a week later finding one that escaped your eye. That wouldn't have happened if you were still around. You had a sharper eye than I have.
Which is just one of the things that tug at my heart. But let me tell you of my successes as the head of the household:
*I winterized the house and yard. I even remembered to cover the air conditioner and the grill! I couldn't find the snowblower gas can, so I got another one and bought the correct oil, then started the snowblower ahead of the snow! I even bought a few containers of the pet-safe de-icer. Don't worry, hon, I didn't put any on the deck or porch.
*I am keeping track of the bills and checkbook. I know, unbelievable but true. I really appreciate your getting me back into our family finances. If you hadn't insisted this last year that I "hover" over you, I don't know what I would have done. Not just the checkbook, but income taxes and online bill paying, the whole works. I would have been over-stressed and panicked by now. In ever should have lost track of our finances, but you did it so well...Of course, that was just an excuse, and I'm sorry now I used it.
Speaking of money, thank goodness you built up our savings account so that I would have a reserve on which to live. The insurance companies are like snails when it comes to paying off life insurance claims. I know we discussed my budget after you were gone, but that was with no mortgage factored in. Until I get the insurance money, the mortgage still has to be paid. Luckily, I can get by for awhile through your thrifty planning by pulling out of savings, at least until the benefit payments come in. Once I've paid off the mortgage, it should be just the way we talked about. Still, I'm nervous about it.
More small triumphs throughout these last three months:
*I put gas in the cars,
*Take the trash cans down to the street,
*Move the furniture,
*Shovel and blow the snow,
*Put air in the tires,
*Clean out the drains when they get slow, and
*Reset the modem for an update from our wi-fi carrier.
To anyone reading this letter who isn't my husband, you may think these things frivolous or that I'm spoiled. Maybe they are, maybe I am. But to me, these are great accomplishments, to be quietly celebrated.
These are also reminders to spouses who are caregivers. Whatever your present situation, know how your household runs. Know where the money comes from, where it goes every month, how it goes there, and what to expect when your income changes. (Beware, the checks will stop for a time while the institutions and companies sort things out.Make sure you have a slush fund to keep you going until they start up again)
Anyway, hon, that's about it for now. I miss you madly (and not just for the chores LOL). Always in my heart,