Thursday, December 20, 2018

I hate this

Henry called again last night. He had a fight with Reg, which ended with him having to get a ride from his friend, Phyllis, who scolded him. And that turned into a two-hour call to me.

He can't live in Key West anymore. No one supports him. Everyone treats him as though the accident was his fault. Everyone insists he has a brain injury. He wants a divorce.

It's exhausting.

Especially when he begins to rehash the accident and his time in the hospital. I tell him what I always tell him -- I don't drive, I can't begin to speculate what happened at the moment of impact; he was not put into a coma for two weeks for his ankle, and if he wants to know about his brain, he should talk to his local, trusted GP who has all of his medical records.

I told him that if he really wants out, he has to be smart. The house they both live in is in his name. Is he prepared to throw Reg out and sell it? Is he single-mindedly devoted to rehabilitating his ankle, so he can move to another city and get a new job? That seemed to distract him and refocus him. He wants to give Reg another chance. He wants to save his marriage.

I looked at the phone. We had just hit the 1:44 mark. The remaining 20 minutes were really rather pleasant. He can't wait to see me Saturday. Then I had stomach cramps and diarrhea. It might have been the greasy, cheesey lunch I had with my nephew. But the stress of this call, and my upcoming visit, didn't help.

I know it's only been two months. I know he's doing the best he can, trying to work through the horror of what happened to him and the aftermath. I know it is a testament to our friendship that he turns to me.

I am not a shrink. I am not a doctor. I am just a friend who loves him. I feel inadequate and overwhelmed.

Earrings, gloves and a cat toy

That's what I got from my nephew for Christmas. The earrings are square bits of pale blue glass, which means he's made note of what I wear. The gloves are emblazoned with a Cubs logo (duh). Unfortunately, the cat toy is not impressing the feline denizens of my household. Connie does, however, like the white plastic string that attached the tag to the toy.

I gave him a cap from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He and I have discussed how the Library is more than $9 million in the hole. So, since he loves caps and he loves Abe, I know he appreciates that his gift will help. I also gave him a gift card to Walmart. The Walmart near his campus is his hub for everything -- groceries, toiletries, clothes and (I suspect) Christmas shopping.

We had a cheesey lunch at a restaurant walking distance from his house. I had grilled cheese and he had pizza. He updated me on his exams (all good grades, thank you) and the friends he's made in his dorm. We talked about the upcoming Cubs season (will we get Bryce Harper?) and politics.

It was a good Christmas visit, but it left me more tired than it should have. I just can't lick this cold and cough!