Bill is recovering well from his surgery. He isn't out and about on his own yet, but he is able to move around the apartment well; he is no longer using painkillers; and his surgeon, visiting nurse, and physical therapist are all pleased.
Over the past few days, Ben and I have felt safe leaving him alone. We are getting back to our separate lives; not coordinating schedules; not texting several times a day just to check in.
This is a relief, but in an odd way, it is also a loss. I wouldn't want to relive the stress and worry, and we all need to get back to our social lives and individual pursuits, but I find myself missing the closeness and even the tedium of the past weeks.
Except for the week of the surgery, I didn't miss any work, and Ben went to all of his classes. We both performed in all shows we had committed to before Bill became disabled, and we attended all important practices. How we managed this we still don't understand, but somehow our schedules worked out so that one of us was always within a radius of a few blocks. (It helped that my private office is in our neighborhood.)
When we weren't at work or school, practicing or performing, we were home. This was partly to spell each other, and partly because caring for an invalid is exhausting and we didn't really have the energy for much else. Friends dropped by with food or conversation, but mostly we sat at home in dyads or triads and read, watched TV, and talked. I missed a good friend's birthday party, a gathering of old friends, some non-essential practice sessions, a bunch of auditions and an optional performance.
And I did miss these things. I wouldn't want to live this way forever. I love my friends and I get a lot out of being in shows and films. I am not ready to give all this up, Ben needs an active social, academic and vocational life, and, as of the beginning of next month, Bill needs to go back to work.
But I learned that I have underestimated the rewards of sitting quietly with loved ones, talking about nothing in particular, having nowhere to go and nothing much to do, and I need to find a way to build more of that in, as well.
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