Friday, February 19, 2021

When I Am Gone

My wife is 62.  I am 83.  Statistical tables, insurance actuaries and common sense tell me that I will die long before her.  I often worry about that.

For example, a few days ago I struggled to replace the thin 21- inch fluorescent bulbs in the light fixture mounted over her desk. Once I inserted the pins of the bulbs into the sockets, they resisted my efforts to turn and lock into place. Without locking they would not light up. I was afraid of breaking the bulbs, but I proceeded to hold a tube firmly between my thumb and index finger and carefully exert enough force to twist it into place. The bulb lit up. I repeated the process with the second bulb and replaced the plastic cover.  

Task successfully completed, I asked myself, “When I am gone, what will Leila do?”

Or when the garage door would not shut because the safety light beams had been bumped out of alignment, telling the door that there was an obstruction.  

I asked myself, “When I am gone, what will Leila do?”

Or when the front door would not shut and lock properly. I was able diagnose the problem, replace the strike plate and solve the problem. 

 Again, I asked, “When I am gone, what will Leila do?”

Don’t get me wrong. My concerns are not sexist. Leila is a very successful and accomplished woman. She is not clingy or helpless or dependent. 

She just isn’t mechanical. 

On one fix-it occasion I posed the question directly to her.

“When I am gone, what will you do?” 

 “I’ll hire a handyman.”

She knows I’m the needy one, that I need to be needed.  So she added,

 “But Kerry, there’s no replacing you.” 


© copyright 2021 Kerry Gough



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