Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Life Imitates Art and Art Imitates Life, but

My Life Imitates Fishing!

Last Saturday a friend treated me to my first-ever experience of fishing. While it was not a successful day as far as catch was concerned, as I recounted the afternoon, I was struck by its similarity to my current lifestyle.

  • We were in a small boat, in shallow waters, driving slow, close to the protection of the mainland. (Yup, that's me, cautious.)
  • We weren't overly restrictive but would have been happy with redfish, snook, grouper or nearly anything that would have made a good dinner. (Can't be too restrictive.)
  • We came armed with GPS coordinates of locations where our sought-after catch was said to be. (That would be my list of the ten best happy hours in Naples and Bonita Springs.)
  • We brought a small supply of good bait to attract the fish. (Comparable to my smile, good attitude, coordinating outfit, snacks, beer and wine for us.)
  • We baited the hooks and cast the lines. (Yup, do that every happy hour.)
  • You must keep your eye on the bobber that indicates where the catch is. Blink for a moment and the bobber, the bait, and the catch are gone! (Sound familiar?)
  • My first catch was a stingray. Nasty looking thing with beady eyes. Best way to get rid of him was to snip the line, taking care to stay away from his body, lest he sting. Lost bait on that one. (Thankfully, I haven't yet encountered the human equivalent of a stingray.)
  • Next numerous catches were all catfish -- big ones, small ones, fat ones. Some captured all the bait, some just part of it. We could have kept any or all of them but released them as they were not what we were hoping for. (Real life scenario here.)
It began to storm, concluding the fishing experience. Back home, soaking wet, no fish, attitude a little wonked, but nothing that a warm shower and a non-fish dinner wouldn't fix. By bedtime a new list of the ten best happy hours is compiled, and this time, Estero is included. I'm expanding my horizons. I know the preferred catch is out there!

Back again ... after a long hiatus

Excuse the absence

It's been almost two years since I last posted. Here's why.

On December 6, 2013, Bob (my "Bobbert") passed away. It was 36 years ago that week that we met. After eight years of tumultuous dating, we married in 1985. We continued to challenge each other's patience and sanity for the ensuing 28 years but I wouldn't trade the time we had together for anything. I loved that man through thick and thin, and there was a lot of both thick and thin.

Bob had a stroke on June 30, 2013 and never recovered. Every time he would start a rehab program, a new, serious, medical complication would develop, so despite stays in three different rehab facilities, he never got a chance to benefit from rehabilitation. Between the stroke and the various medical complications, he was either in a hospital or a care facility from June 30 to November 24, except for one night home on November 20. After discharge from his last hospitalization on November 24, the decline was rapid. I enrolled him in Hope Hospice on Thanksgiving morning and they did an exemplary job of meeting his needs. He did not want to return to any hospital or care facility, so I kept him home, as he wanted.

Despite various medical issues in recent years all conditions were well controlled with medication. He saw his several doctors regularly and was diligent about taking prescribed medication. Because of this, his frequent tests always reflected numbers that were storybook perfect. The stroke was said to be caused by atrial fibrillation, which had never been previously diagnosed.

My everlovin' retained his good looks and military bearing right upon until the time of the stroke. He always appeared much younger than his actual age (and LOVED to be told that!). He kept his charm and sense of humor with caregivers for as long as he could speak. He was very much a people person and loved to go out right up until the very end, actually planning for us to go to happy hour at the VillageWalk café on his motorized wheelchair the first Friday that he was home. When he was hospitalized on that Friday, he commented with annoyance from the hospital bed that we were going to miss happy hour yet again. For all the years that I knew him, he did all our cooking, and the day before his discharge from the last care facility dictated a grocery list for the dinners that he intended to cook.

This is way more than you needed to know about Bob's death but I ask your patience. Every once in a while I still think of things that I could have handled or said in a way that would have caused my everlovin' less consternation, and I wish that I had done so. But I'm moving on with life. Have actually gone on a few dates, one of whom I met on Bob's birthday this year. Friends tell me my beloved is looking down on me from above, and I think I heard him say, "I can see that," with reference to this gentleman. Sadly, the relationship did not develop, but we had four wonderful dates. My Bobbert knew I loved him as much as humanly possible, and I think he would understand how much I would again like to be someone's significant other.

Rest in peace, Bobbert. I'll never embarrass you.