About the first part of August, 2010, my honey closed up his shop. For years, he had designed and built cabinets, woodwork, furniture, mirrors – almost anything one could imagine; he could draw and build. His shop contained every type of power tool imaginable.
We were going to celebrate our anniversary and then take a long trip, in our RV. When we returned, he’d reopen his shop and go back to his building. Little did we know that fate had other plans. MM intervened and the shop continued to be silent until the first part of this week, over a year after it had been closed.
Before retiring, I was a software consultant and a road warrior. I traveled, for my job. My work week usually began on Sunday night when Bob would drive me to the airport, and I would fly out, and it ended on Friday when I flew back in. For almost twenty years, that was our routine. And while I was away, Bob’s work continued in his shop ……without me.
Not until this week has he felt well enough, or been well enough, to even think about plans and wood and tools. And truthfully, I was always concerned that the wood dust (he never wore a mask), or the glue, paint or paint thinner might, in some way, have contributed to his cancer.
When he began to start flipping through the pages of his Woodworking Magazines, my heart swelled. I knew he was beginning to feel well enough that he was “itching” to get back to his tools and the wood. A love of building had been inherited from his grandfather and his father. It was in his blood and strangely enough, that’s where his cancer is.
This week he opened the shop and for the first time in over a year, the sounds of the saw, and sander, and planer emanated from the shop. How wonderful! But little did I know how skittish I would be about him returning to something that he had done for years……without me being around.
Never before had I felt the need to go and sit in his shop, while he worked. I had never “hovered”. But now, it was almost as if I HAD to be there……watching over him. I found myself telling him to “be careful”, and worrying that he would get too tired. He hadn’t been out of the hospital but a couple of weeks, and before that he’d pretty much been a couch potato. Was he really strong enough to do this? He had been working with power tools for years, but I found myself actually being afraid that he would cut himself. (Kept that little bit of news to myself!)
I had been a big proponent of him getting exercise, getting up out of his chair, doing something…..and now that he was, I was worried. Was he doing too much, too soon?
He finally told me that I was acting like a “mother hen”. He was trying to get back to normal – his kind of normal. And, I needed to do the same. I just had to have confidence in him, and his readiness to do this.
I was happy that he was building up his strength, and that the pain in his legs was becoming less frequent – which meant that his need for pain medication was also becoming less frequent. He also knew that he couldn’t take pain meds and work with his power tools.
He had confidence in himself and his ability to return to normal …….now, I must work on my confidence, and in the fact that he really would be okay among those saws, and sanders, and planers! I’m working on my confidence ….. even if it takes valium to do it!!! (Just kidding!)