We were like shut ins this past weekend. On Friday we never even went downstairs due to bathroom anomalies. On Saturday I missed my 45th high school class reunion. On Sunday we missed our son Noah singing in the Litchfield County Choral Union concert. Cindy has not been able to attend events like these for months. I still could with coverage, but there are other things to consider.
When good friends ask from a distance how things are going with Cindy, my standard reply is to point them to my blog. I feel a little bad about that. After all, they ask because they care. When I am so open to the public about what is going on, why should I be hesitant to share again with good friends?
I have a responsibility to share our experiences on the blog, a responsibility that also provides me some catharsis. Yet outside of this responsibility I do not want to dwell on what is happening here. Any time I share beyond the blog, even with the closest of friends, I am reliving something I would prefer to just let go. That may not be fair to people who genuinely care about what is going on, I hope folks understand.
This also explains why I did not attend my reunion. As class president I used to be in charge of planning them, embraced my responsibility to do so, but I gave notice in advance that I likely would not make this one. My classmates in the know think the main reason is my caregiving duties. That is true to an extent, bedtime is not the best time to leave Cindy’s care to someone else, but that is not the whole story.
Usually people avoid their reunions if either they disliked their class or are embarrassed about their current situation. That’s what all the sitcoms we’ve been watching tell me, but neither of those reasons apply to me. My class is great. How great? At our last reunion we resolved the ambiguous issue of who is in the class by declaring anyone is in our class who wants to be. As we mature in life jocks and nerds, gearheads and hippies, learn to get along. I am proud that my class matured early. Two classmates even dropped by the house on Sunday before making their trips back home.
Obviously, I’m not embarrassed about a situation I’ve opened up to the public. I live for a good cause; I just don’t want to relive that cause. Charissa would have filled in if I asked, but I did not want to burden her with the extra responsibilities of bedtime care when the result would be reliving things throughout the evening due to well meaning inquiries.
Even as I’m feeling apologetic to both good friends and classmates about this reluctance, this points to another reason why I am grateful for living in Norfolk. People know what is going on. If they catch me alone at the bank or post office I might get asked “How’s Cindy?” and I’ll simply reply “Still happy.” Nothing more needs to be said. When we go out people will cheerfully shout out “Good to see you, Cindy!” The people we encounter during our town outings are part of the living, not the reliving.
Yet the living of our situation has drastic limits, even in a supportive community. Those limits were evident this past weekend when I felt like a shut-in. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.