Today is my husband’s last day of work. While he officially retires at the end of February, his accrued personal days and vacation days makes this his last day at the job. I know from past experience that he will most likely receive calls asking for help and information, and he has a helpful nature and will come in if they truly need him. But they have been working for some time to make this transition and eventually he will be free and clear to start a new season of life.
We’re both excited and hesitant. Because of our commitment to caring for Dad, we have no immediate plans for moving or extensive traveling. We’ll have a small meet-and-greet for his co-workers this evening after work for one last farewell and hope to have a private party for family and friends in February some time. But for a few weeks, he’ll just enjoy sleeping in and getting used to having time to do the things he’s been hoping to get to for quite some time. We’ll have to get used to a new rhythm of life and being a couple.
In the meantime, I will continue to move forward in the publication of the book and continue to try to get the studio in good shape. All this stalled when I was sick and I’m ready to move forward again.
The times, they are a changin’. Prayers for our transition are always appreciated.
Christmas did not come to the Kemper household this year. No decorations were put up, no cards were sent and those that we received were put in a pile unopened. No shopping was done, no gifts were exchanged, and no cookies or treats were baked. The book we were reading together for Advent was laid aside and unfinished. Sleep, decongestants, and cough medicine reigned. I rarely got out of bed, while Mike had to continue working, grocery shopping, making meals, and caring for Dad.
December had been a heavily scheduled month with little margin for breathing room, but all those plans and needs came to a screeching halt while I tried to recover. I sent my publisher a couple of emails to let him know I hadn’t fallen off the planet and discovered he, too, was suffering from this awful cold virus that hangs on and on and on.
As I was recovering, I went to my doctor’s office to check my hearing (which is still muffled from sinus pressure) and to discuss a tenderness in my left wrist that had come on over a month earlier but since there was so much to do, I pushed it aside trying home remedies like icing, pain medication, and hand exercises. Since three weeks of resting it hadn’t improved anything, I thought I’d have that looked at, too. It ended up being an inflamed tendon sheath requiring a steroid shot and a wrist brace. I’m wondering if all this is becoming the new ‘normal’. I’m praying that it isn’t.
But I’m slowly starting to get better. All the things that were put aside in December still need attending to, but it has to wait until I can do it. My stamina needs improvement and I can’t drive with the wrist pain and brace, but friends and Mike are helping me get out and about.
Look out, 2018. Here I come.
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.