Not to be entered into lightly


for_richer_poorer.jpg picture by pemerytx 


You take practically every one of her waking moments to care for you.  It takes hours to clean you up, dress you, feed you, and the things to be done for you never let up.  You don’t sleep long enough for her to get a decent break.  She won’t last long going this way. 


On a bad day, when you aren’t frozen in one spot, standing, drooling, drooping, until you fall over, you are wandering around a tiny, tenuous fragment of a bygone world, getting into things, dropping things, ripping into packages of food, tearing papers, spilling soda, flicking light switches, opening and closing windows, leaving doors open, letting the freezing cold into the real world, where you aren’t.  You aren’t here.  You move around the house thinking it’s not your house, not your house, the one you designed and built when you were 35 years old. 


On a good day, semblances of your old self show themselves and you stubbornly refuse to eat, to open your mouth to take your pills, to put on a sweater to stop your complaints of the cold, to sit down before you fall down.  Shards of your old language, your highbrow statements and pronouncements make their way to the edge of your brain and fall off in dots and dashes and then stop, maybe on pause, maybe never to be finished.  You show signs of recognizing language and sounds from an era of professional competence and talent long gone.  And in the very rare moment, you show a sign of compassion.


You take practically every one of her waking moments to care for you.  It takes hours to clean you up, get you ready for bed, get you into the bed, and you won’t sleep long enough for her to get a decent break.  I guess you’re a lucky man, in a way, for she has taken her vows to you seriously, to heart.  But she won’t last long going this way.




The photo for this post is entitled “For richer, for poorer,” .  It comes from PixelBoy’s photostream at .  There are some really pro shots there.  It’s worth checking out if you’re a photo hound.


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This bit was spun off the Sunday Scribblings prompt “#143 – for richer or poorer.”  Click here for more on prompt #143 from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

22 responses to “Not to be entered into lightly

  1. Wow–this was so powerful! Beautifully written, and, sadly, something so many people face as our population ages. I say she is a lucky woman to have a partner she is willing to care for in such a challenging way. So many of us have been tosses aside or “traded in” for minor transgressions. I have to hope that she cares for him because, for many, many years–despite everything–he loved and cared for her.

  2. Another thought provoking piece. This is certainly something to think about when marrying an older man or woman. Unfortunately, this is life. I hope she was very happily married to this man. It will make it easier to be nice to him. If he had treated her badly, would she be able to refrain from getting her revenge?

  3. I see there are some new visitors to the palace.

    Well, we certainly flat-lined right off the Jupiter overpass, didn’t we? This is one of your 44 Magnums to the brain, no wriggle room here at all, what? Is this what Jupiter woman was pondering downstairs in her Kenny Wayne loop: the future of an illusion? Do not go gently, people, sez our Alister-guide, look before you leap. And maybe look again. That overpass ain’t finished.

    That being said, wonderful strokes, painting the Fallen Man in his demise, red tides of consciousness in nano-second bloom amidst the daily disarray. And what is interesting, too, is that in tending her man, she even disappears in the narrative itself.

    Very cool image.

  4. Miss. A. Hard times for the weary.
    When I put myself in his place I see that I would hope and pray that my partner would want to care for me at the end of my life. Yet, at the same time, it is a horrifying thought that one I love so dearly would not last long from taking care of me.

    Well, I like the way you lay down a compliment ;-) And welcome, Floreta!
    Is she a lucky woman? My knee-jerk response is Hell, no! but there are things about things we don’t see with our eyes and may not know. So I’m puttin’ this in the spiritual category and leavin’ it alone! : )


    Thankya Mama Peg! I’m glad you’re watching out for me : )


    Thank you, my dear. You write the truth on all counts here. Any mother of two who’s reinventing themselves can’t have had it all easy, either. I applaud your attitude, your blog, and welcome you here : )


    Welcome, Utopian Fragments! Read on here and I’m afraid you’ll find more dark than light. I’m in a phase ; ) But remember the element of surprise! There are always bound to be surprises : )


    Ah, leave it to your writing mind to wind around, weave in and out, and emerge posing pointed questions! Loved the what if. Well, like I wrote to Floreta, my first response, although I wouldn’t seek revenge, would be to get the hell outta there! Put the dude in very nice care home and split.


    Hey there my good friend! Yeah, we got us some visitors alright. I been scurrying around, puttin’ the fine china and red carpet out and stuff.
    Now then, Paschal, you got a tangled mess here, thankya very much, which means now I got ta use more brain cells! First, the I-190/Jupiter chick was just talking about a dude in her past. She was having no time to ponder such grim topics as missalister dragged out today. And second, there are always loopholes to be found. I didn’t say she went over the edge. I said if things don’t change, she’ll go over the edge. Grande différence! Lordy. Oh, but did you ever make a supreme observation, high IQ man. Yes! She is hardly there, and getting less and less as he gets more difficult to care for. Volumes in that, eh? Volumes. But may I remind you, she ain’t gone yet ; )
    Paschal? Thank you for bringing your smart self here just about every time I post. You up my property value big time. Now I can barely afford to pay the taxes on this place, but ironically, that’s a small price to pay given the big picture : )


    Good to see ya, present! Exactly. Seems to me if the amount of care required gets to be too much, help’s gotta come in, or the affected one’s gotta go out…out, to a great facility, that is ;-) There has to be balance in this as in everything, yes? : )

  6. I’m sure no-one thinks about this when they say “for richer or poorer, etc”. But it happens and it’s something that is happening to people close to me. Makes you think!

    I think your first sentence is 99.999% right on. If people do think about it, they think it won’t happen to them. I have the same situation with folks close to me and now I think you’re 100% right: it does indeed make you think and think and think…
    All the best, Ms. Mood. Good to see you : )

  8. There you go again, hitting close to the bone. Not easy reading, but powerful, and impossible to stop once started.

    Sometimes I think there are just some things that are put in your path to do; they are your karma, and if you try to avoid them, they’ll get you in the next round, but harder.

    As always, much to think about here.

    Also, and you know me, always looking on the bright side, maybe it’s possible that the years together have knit them together in a larger life, so that in tending her husband, she is in some way, caring for herself as well. That said, I hope there’s a nurse or friend or child or somebody who can step in and let the poor woman go out to a movie or meet a friend for dinner once in a while.

  9. ANNO
    Good to see you, anno! I agree there are things put in our paths to do, but those things being one’s karma… I know only enough about the concept of karma to be slightly bothered by it. Clearly I need to read more about it so I can get it over with and either be completely bothered or relieved of bother altogether ; ) The feeling I get about such things—that souls are on journeys toward perfection via one or more sentient beings over one or more lifetimes—may be another way of explaining karma. I’ll try to do my homework : ) In the meantime, in the situation that sparked this piece, I know that there are plans in the works.

  10. Your explanation of karma conveys far more clearly my own intended meaning. I sure don’t believe in deserved hardships or karmic retribution, nor see much evidence for it except in books and movies where it is certainly satisfying. Instead, too often, it is good people I see working through devastating circumstances, enough so that I feel resigned to accepting these experiences as just another part of life, and probably not something that can be avoided.

    Discovering a supportive community, even a small network of people who can provide temporary relief, helps, and may be a saving grace. I’m glad to know that there are plans in the works for the situation you described; it is otherwise truly overwhelming.

    We are at the beginning of a similar story, but deliberately excluded from offering any assistance. It is bewildering, and it makes me sad (and angry!), but I am trying to see the community where they have chosen support as a blessing.

  11. ANNO
    I’m with you all the way. I did a teensy bit of homework, enough to put that bother of mine to rest. Seems karma could be described as being responsible for your deeds and thereby being responsible for your life, and that sounds just fine, until you think about the things that happen to you on a daily basis that you can’t control. For example, if, from childhood conditioning, you have an adverse knee-jerk reaction to something that causes harm to someone, who is really responsible, you or your parents? If you’re running errands on noon break and you run into a long lost friend, and your personality is such that you don’t want to be rude so you talk too long and are late back to work, who is responsible for your DNA? It’s too grey. If it’s true, it’s true, but it’s too far-fetched a thing for me to care to stress over. What I do care about is investing my energy in doing what’s in my control to do to promote peaceable relations.

    A supportive community is essential. In my story it’s there, it’s just that the caregiver is taking awhile to accept outside help, which is as maddening as your story of being excluded. In your sitation I can imagine reasons for refusing help—pride, not wanting to be seen deteriorating, or considerateness, not wanting to radically disrupt your life—but yeah, where else can you go with your thoughts but to be grateful support is there? It’s tough. I thought growing to and living adulthood was tough. But I’m seeing it ain’t nothin’ compared to the chain of dominoes that gets tripped as you get older!

    Hey anno, thanks for coming back with more. I’ve enjoyed it : )


    That is really, really cool! But just how amazing is it? I mean, I would think it amazing, strange, if Astrology and Tarot are so closely related, for lack of a better word, personality-wise. Because we’re opposites in so many ways. Compared to my ponderous self, you’re free and easy, for instance. But I don’t really know, so you tell me! It it amazing personality-wise or odds-wise? You da Astrologer ;-)


    Oh, man, DJ, coming here after your genious Grimm’s-weaving must have been a shock to your system! LOL! Sorry about that! I should have warned you ;-) Well, I see your compliment and duly covet it :-D

  12. I must say I don’t go in much for karma, neither as a value judgement nor an explanation of things. But if older folks still have things to which they feel a commitment they are,to my mind, still in the game. And fortunate. Now some things are worth living for, some worth dying for, but nobody should ever have to suffer in the process.

  13. BASS
    Amen, Brother! And your last sentence, I couldn’t have put it better. I wish for that, think it should be across the board, but have seen enough to leave me faithless regarding it. But I need to stop that downer talk and have a little faith revival, put back some good vibes into the Universe! Yes indeed : )

  14. Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Well, it would be crazy of us to assume we know each so well, wouldn’t it? Plus I don’t really know your chart and even similar charts can make such different people…Above all, I think The Moon is a reflection of womanhood and perhaps we are embodying that principle well. I’m definitely Moon-y because I have it next to my Ascendant, so it wasn’t that surprising to me.

  15. More and more of us will face either side of this type of situation. I was especially touched that your poem showed a mirror and a microscope onto both sides of the effects of “for richer or poorer” in this case. Each is “tied”… very well-done, Miss A.

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