Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Misplaced Autumn Day

Dear John,
 
It's a lovely fall evening - a bit out of place in the middle of August, but a fall evening nonetheless.
 
We had rain and thunderstorms until mid-afternoon, and I don't believe the temperature ever got out of the 60s. Now it's 58 with a breeze out of the north. I've spent the evening in my winter pajamas, knitting in front of an open window, with cats sleeping all over me. The only thing lacking was a hot cup of chai. But, even if I had any, I couldn't drink it that late in the day without being up all night. So it's just as well.
 
Last night I told you that widow brain is a very real thing. I wanted to show you this and try to explain what it's like. You can't concentrate, for one thing. And you have no short-term memory. You have the attention span of a gnat. It isn't pleasant. And it's very frustrating to other people.
 
About six months after your death, I went to see Joe with strep throat. While I was there I told him about the cognitive problems I was having, and that I wasn't sure if it was widowhood, fibro fog, or residual damage from the car accident. He stared at me for a minute, then burst out with, "What the hell do you expect?"
 
And this is why I drive over an hour for primary care. I laughed, he shook his head at me, and over time it all got better. The widow brain lasted for two years - much longer than I'd expected. I seem now to be back to my normal cognitive state, such as it is. I know that I couldn't have taken this job any sooner than I did. Now I'm ready for it, and I'm enjoying learning a new career. It seems that my widow brain has departed. I may be safe to take out in public again.
 
Tomorrow is my day off, and Maggie has her second vet appointment in the morning. June will be delighted to see how well she's doing. She seems to have doubled in size. She has long legs and a long body, and she loves to gallop up and down the hall in the middle of the night. Sometimes Abby joins in, and it sounds like a herd of elephants. She's a happy, healthy, cuddly kitten. I'm eager to see how much she weighs now, since she was under a pound when Jethro found her. Bless my Great Collector and Protector of Kittens!
 
I'm the last mammal awake - I will remedy that shortly. I'll miss you tonight as I cuddle up in my flannel pajamas with the windows open in the cool night air. Come and cuddle with me?
 
Miss you,
Joan.

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