assisted loving

ken is about to turn 71.
good news.
bad news.
the good news is that he’s here, (actually, right now, this very minute cuddled up next to me) turning 71, loving his life, enjoying every second. he’s so very good at that. he loves his life.
the bad news is that for me, he’s turning 71.
and that scares the shit out of me.
scares me so very much.
i know, i know … 70 is the new 50, the new sexy, the new levi’s, the new iPad, the new GE, the new gloria gaynor disco hit.
i know.
it’s not as old as it used to be, it’s all in the attitude, it’s just a number… i get it. I GET IT. i do.
but actually, truthfully, i don’t get it.
i’m trying desperately to get it.
i’m trying to embrace it, go with it. be joyous.
like the other day when he backed into a parked car, he didn’t look where he was going. i said, “honey, baby, uh oh whatdya think?” he said, “blindspot.” I immediately went straight to, thought blindspot? bullshit…dementia.
and when he forgot to close and lock the front door, i said, “hey moo-moo, you left the door open.” he said, “hey, shit happens.” i immediately thought huh, shit happens… incontinence. Incontinence happens.
and when the knob on the clothes dryer got all fucked up, and it stopped working and he decided a good way to attack this problem, was, well, to attack the problem with a screwdriver. i said, “baby-doll, why’d you attack the dryer knob with a screwdriver?” he said, “you know, uh, i was, uh, stoned.” huh, i thought, stoned.
memory loss.
uh oh, i thought, assisted living.
and so, these little things, small things, these new small things, the new 70 is just a number small things, scare me.
they do.
and talking about it helps me.
writing about it.
sharing it.
spilling it.
because, when i get scared, i retreat.
and when i retreat, i go to my room,
and when i go to my room, i go deep inside my head.
and when i’m deep inside my head the chatter is about dementia, and alzheimer’s, and incontinence, and i envision wheel chairs and ramps, and dribbling and more incontinence, and then i think, oh my god… oh my frickin’ god, my future is HERE, HOLY SHIT, I AM HERE NOW.

and I gotta be honest, being in the NOW, living in THIS MOMENT is virtually impossible for me. i can recall being in the NOW once in my entire life and that had to do with a pap smear.

but, new year, new me… i don’t wanna retreat. i wanna be present. so, i leave my room, and all that nasty bad chatter behind, and i walk into the living room where ken is cozy: sitting in front of a lovely fire, reading the NY Times and I look at him and he looks at me, and i look at him… and i slide in right next to him on the couch, and he laughs.
a gorgeous, hearty, sexy laugh. a ken laugh.
and in that moment, in that NOW moment, what i’m scared of … is losing ken. this ken. my ken.

my iKen.

Category: Uncategorized 12 comments »

12 Responses to “assisted loving”

  1. Hollye Dexter

    Oh honey….worry steals so much time and joy from us. Troy does all these things and he’s 49. He drove away from a gas pump with the hose still in the car- ripped it right out. He leaves the keys in the front door overnight. Leaves the car door open parked on the street.
    I know it’s soooo much easier said than done, but my advice to you (though you didn’t ask for it) is just to enjoy loving Ken, living with Ken, being irritated with Ken, eating lunch with Ken, laughing with Ken….and let God worry about the rest.
    Let go of your worries for….just…one..second.
    Try it.

    And oh my god have the GREATEST vacation with Ken! It’s going to be amazing!

  2. Amy Wise

    I think we all think these thoughts of men that we just love oh so very much. It’s normal just don’t dwell. Just love him.

  3. Linda tears

    Oh Amy – how freaking wonderfully turned around – I’m sooo proud of you – and what an example you set for me! Brilliant! You make me laugh and cry simultaneously & spontaneously. How I love you. I’m taking this into the cave to read to Rob…..xoxox

  4. Madge Woods

    I love you and Ken and all is right with the world. I agree with Hollye and Amy and Linda. Just enjoy the present ( take a broom to your brain and sweep this shit out when it comes in). Great trick learned in therapy. Metaphorically of course. Sweep out the bad thoughts, the worry thoughts and just take in the day at the moment.

  5. Jody

    Unlike the other commenters, I don’t know you or ken, much less love either one of you! But! I think you’re a terrific, terrific writer, and I just hope the whole world discovers you. Yup.

  6. melody george

    Jody is so right…so so right….The whole world needs to discover you!!!

    as for the Ken thingy…Ken will be with you for as long as you need him…and You will be with Ken for as long as he needs you. Period.

  7. Jane

    Aw schucks, Amy. You did it again. Happy tears and sad tears at the time! I don’t think there is anything wrong with being realistic about age and what is coming, because it IS coming! No matter how much we keep telling ourselves 50 is 30 and 70 is 50, it isn’t. Age is NOT a number. Age is AGE and we are, after all, mere mortals. But I agree with others about not dwelling on it and definitely not letting it steal one special, wonderful moment you and Ken share.

  8. Jas

    I don’t know what to say that has not already been said. I agree wholeheartedly with Jane – age isn’t a number. It sounds like the personality and love is still there, still strong, and still filling up your lives. Love, love, love with everything that you have!

  9. Carol

    Oh Amy, it’s not an Age thing, it’s a GUY thing, they are doofy, awake, sleepy, stoned, drunk, sober, Men are kinda slow, well, yes, slower.
    It must be scary, those numbers, but you are on the same journey, same road, same love. That’s really all that matters.
    Peace, Love and the road you are on together.

  10. Barbara@TheMiddleAges

    Yup, yup, and yup. Still it’s scary. And still we gotta do it, huh? At least you are a fearless GODDESS! I am taking copious notes, my friend.

  11. Kathleen

    Ken might be turning 70 but looks and acts 50.

    Things do change with age, things do slow down with age but age is also a matter of mind.

    The mind is such a powerful tool.

    Until you can’t do it ~ don’t worry about it.

    Scary~hell yes it is.
    Since we are never moving I just measured the hallway staircase to see if one of those ride up seats would fit if ever we should need one.

    Horror~just the thought of losing a loved one

    Love each Day.
    xoxo my love to you both for a big birthday celebration!

  12. stacy

    this made me laugh and cry and i know exactly how you feel even though i haven’t got a ken but i do know about farts and laughter and dementia and memory loss because i was in love once and i know that nothing can take that fear away unless we don’t think about it. just don’t think about it. i love you amy!

Leave a Reply


Back to top