Today hubby Gerry (my care partner) and I had a good start to our morning: we discussed how cancer affects relationships, then reviewed some time-critical household management chores over breakfast. Afterwards, he went out to paint the deck, and I prepared for some medical appointments and errands. Before I left, I poked my nose out the deck door to let him know I was leaving (carefully keeping both cats inside), then closed the door and departed.
After Gerry was through painting the deck, he was greatly surprised to discover his chemo-brained wife had locked the deck door from the inside (as was her routine) while he was outside (which was not routine).
He was alone on a freshly-painted deck at 11 am, ten to fifteen feet off the ground, knowing that I wouldn’t be home for another seven hours. He tried to get the attention of some workmen two yards away so they could call me, but they couldn’t hear him over their lawnmower.
Ten minutes of staring at the earth motivated his engineering brain to develop a plan that (he hoped) wouldn’t contribute to our medical bills. I cringed to hear the route my 77-year-old spouse chose to climb down to safety. I won’t bore you with all the details, but he successfully dealt with the challenge so he could care for me another day. This evening as the sun was setting, he graciously re-enacted the moment so I could take a picture.
I’m glad this didn’t result in a care partner role reversal.