Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Payback …

  • By Virginia Walters
  • Saturday, November 14, 2015 2:21pm
  • LifeCommunity

We’re all familiar with the Karmic mantra “What goes around, Comes around.”

In fact, each of us has probably intoned it more than once; sometimes in the attitude of “As ye sow so shall ye reap” intending the good you do will come back to you but maybe once in awhile we’ve hissed it in the tone of “You’ll get yours!”

Whatever, Hubby and I have had occasion lately to discover exactly what goes around, etc.

You may remember a few years ago in this space I recounted the adventure of recuperating from major surgery in the care of two merciless sons and their father. Much to our dismay, Hubby found himself in that circumstance in October and I was the caregiver. Karma? Could be!

No. 1 Son joined us in Anchorage at the hospital, and again supervised the strolls up and down the halls and the visits with the various medical professionals who came by at regular intervals, sometimes just to say “hello” it seemed. His presence was more for his peace of mind than mine, apparently, but he did give his siblings hourly updates on the goings on and the progress of each day, which absolved me from all those phone calls (I don’t text).

By the time we pried Hubby away from the hospital (after nearly two weeks) with the admonition to not lift anything heavier than a coffee cup, and to walk, walk, walk, we were all ready to leave the Big Town. We had been there during the September Snow Day, then PFD day, which turned into PFD Weekend, and any number of “bad traffic” mornings and major rainstorms, so by the time we finally headed south even the car let out an audible sigh when we left the traffic and noise of the city.

I thought I was well prepared for the homecoming, having been in those shoes not too long ago; however, as everyone is wont to point out, people are different. Hubby, even as an invalid, is antsy as all get out. It was no problem getting him to walk, walk, walk. He wore a path in the carpet pacing the floor so it was a glorious day when we finally got him to Walmart for the trek around.

One problem — he shops along the way. When I was making that sojourn, I wanted in and out. No meandering along comparing prices from the morning’s newspaper ads. Give me the shopping cart for balance then time me.

Not Hubby. He strolls along offering a continuous dialogue about the items on the shelf. “Too much”; “That’s not a half gallon”; “Who’d buy THAT?”

We barely make it past the groceries in the twenty prescribed minutes. Needless to say, we often spend double or triple that time making one lap, and that is if we don’t encounter someone we know and stop and chat.

No. 1 Son stayed long enough to be satisfied that we can take care of ourselves. (I’m not sure when we turned into doddering old geezers) but Youngest Son came home from the Slope right then, so we were not alone. I was having a little déjà vu, remembering my turn under their watchful eyes. Daughter called regularly, and asked if we needed her to come up for awhile. I responded “No, your brothers are here.” And she giggled and said “I know, Mom, that’s why I asked,” and suddenly I flashed back to the family dynamics when they were growing up and how she was the one in control, whether the brothers knew it or not.

But I told her I could handle it, just keep calling as I may need a pointer or two. Middle Son, who has just relocated to Fairbanks, called with the news that he has an extra bedroom we can use anytime we need a break.

However, having a kid living in the same town, which is new for us this year, has been a boon. He dumps the garbage, shovels snow, retrieves things from “the shed” and generally is available if we really DO need anything. I find myself making up little errands so he feels useful. I’m sure he texts to his brother that we need a keeper.

A friend is going through this same scenario (Hello, Moosie) although her stint has been somewhat longer, and in the beginning a lot more scary. I can only commiserate and remind her this is taking sisterhood a little too far.

So the recuperation is going well, and right on track. Hubby will start rehab next week and the nurses at CPH will get their shot at him. It was old home week when we went in to register. I recognized that gleam in their eyes as they sized up their new vict … uh, patient. And as they wired him to a machine and said “Take a deep breath,” for some reason “Karma” flashed through my mind. Whether for him or them, I’m not sure.

Virginia Walters lives in Kenai. Email her at

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