Many people don’t know this but there were things that Duane thought were HIS job, he was adamant that I didn’t do them. They weren’t the “normal” things like working on engines or getting covered in grease. Changing oil or pressure washing the house. Yard work or gutting fish. Those were all equal opportunity jobs. These were the day – to- day simple household things that I just didn’t do. Even when he got sick I didn’t do them, he somehow made sure of that.
I have never shoveled snow. He told me it was his job – to the extreme that Gracie wouldn’t go out to pee for 2 days sometimes until Duane came home to shovel her a path. (Her choice, not mine, she held it). We never lived in the snow after he got sick. This year it snowed … I just stayed home because – not my job.
I didn’t take the trash to the curb. Even in San Diego the trash guy came and got the cans. I still forget almost every week. I do remember, when I’m in bed, at 3am, and have to run out to do it.
AND the worst … I didn’t take my hair out of the drain – WORST. THING. EVER. I would rather clean poop or vomit. In Reno it never crossed my mind, we had good drains in Arizona and in San Diego I just poured a lot of Draino down there. Well, when you’re living with a septic tank you have to do it. Last week I concurred that. I have LONG hair. It was the absolute most disgusting thing ever. I put on gloves and still gagged at least 5 times. How does so much hair get stuck in there? Why is it still soapy? Why is it so gross? What is all the other stuff in there? How do leaves get in there? Why doesn’t it just go down? I bought this flower hair catcher thing and I’m hoping that helps – until I have to pull it out and change it (because believe me $3 is worth throwing it away and getting a new one.)
I sometimes forget the things he did, before he got sick. He cooked dinner every night he was home, I sat on the floor leaning against the wall, drinking wine and watching (not learning). He took the trash out – if he was going to be at work when they came he took it out before he left, did the major house repairs with my help – which usually consisted of providing popsicles and staying out of the way, fixed the broken toys, changed the oil in the cars and boats, helped me with my business, cuddled with the dog, and cleaned the shower drain.
This last year has been eye opening. The major things I was aware of – I had to be. I know how to maintain the big things – engines, house renovations, boats, cars and life. I know how to prepare one’s paperwork when they’re dying, I know how to care for someone when they’re dying, I know how to grieve. I know how to figure things out. It’s the small things that are still blowing my mind. As I stand over my kitchen sink eating random parts of meals because it’s too much work to cook for one person I realize it’s the little things that are so hard to wrap my head around.
He was a guys guy. But he always opened the car door, the house door and took care of me. He made sure I was safe and comfortable. He made sure that the little things were done – the things I knew nothing about but took for granted.
– xoxo Victoria
P.S. One thing I will probably never figure out is direction. I google maps everything. My sense of direction is so off. Duane would get so mad…hahahahahaha