Yesterday Joe had to drop me off and then go off and have some serious dental stuff done. We knew we'd be cutting it close for time between him dropping me off for work and then getting himself ready to take the subway out to the clinic. It ended up that we had about 15 minutes leeway, so I quickly chopped some veggies and Joe through them into the fry pan. We let them cook for a few minutes then threw in a few other ingredients - supper made in about 14 minutes. Then, the door closed.
I'm never really home for very long on my own. An hour, maybe, every few weeks when Joe goes to church, would be the extent of it. We are together most of the time at home. This isn't because Joe stays home to take care of me, no one every considers that I may do things that would classify as 'taking care of Joe', but it's just how we live and, of course, it works out well for both of us. So, Joe being away for a few hours was - different.
I messed about on the computer for a bit and then made plans on how to do all the things that needed to be done. Many of those things would involve me doing stuff that Joe normally does, his part in the partnership. Slowly, methodically and with much 'thinking it through,' I got through pretty much everything that needed to be done. By the time Joe got home I'd been fed and watered, I had my feet up, I'd watched George Stroumboulopoulos do a half hour interview with former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, a man I always admired, and the strains of the Jeopardy theme song was playing.
I asked how his mouth was. He gave a frozen answer, he looked cute in drool. Then he asked how I did - I knew he was curious as to how I managed doing some of the things that he usually did for me. I'd managed - it was more difficult but I managed. But that's not what I told him.
"I was kind of bored without you here."
And that was true.
Yeah, I noticed the extra stuff I had to do, the extra effort it took to manage some basic things, but what I really noticed wasn't that the help wasn't there - but that he wasn't there.
I think it was good for me to be reminded that my relationship with Joe, while it's changed since I because disabled, it's only changed cosmetically - it looks different. But the reason I need him now, is the same reason I needed him then - and none of that has anything to do with bringing me supper in a bowl from the kitchen.