“Livin’ the Dream”

Crumbs were sprinkled across the top of my uniform like one might try to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar evenly over a sugar cookie. It’s not a uniform for outside employment, but my “in house” uniform that consists of a dull brownish/gray but very warm and cozy long sweater and warm black legging pants. The uniform wasn’t hung up neatly or folded perfectly in a drawer. No, I was wearing it. I was half reclining on the couch like someone was feeding me grapes. What a prima donna!

My hair was pulled back with a headband. It was clean. I had combed it earlier in the day when I woke up, but it hadn’t been combed since. No make up. WHY? I was just going to be lying on the couch all day. My face was clean, but I was looking very “natural”!

I looked down at the crumbs on my sweater as Joe and I were sharing from a gigantic bag of potato chips and pictured the view from Joe’s vantage point: Wife of nearly 37 years, no make up, hair pulled back with a headband, munching on potato chips, lying on the couch, feet propped up with pillows, potato chip crumbs across her chest and watching TV.

I burst out laughing as I asked him, “Would you have ever thought we’d be sitting here like THIS 38 years ago when we were dating?! He burst out laughing and said “Just livin’ the dream!” As we continued munching, we both just laughed and laughed at the thought that “this is livin’ the dream.” I was a mess. I wasn’t lookin’ pretty and actually, I was in a lot of pain.

I few weeks earlier I’d injured myself in a very not so delicate ballerina jump from my hearth. That’s a story for another day, but let’s just say playing with grown kids, grand kids and soft indoor snowballs doesn’t always end in the fun in which it started.

The more we laughed and then talked; we knew indeed we were “livin’ the dream”. Joe kept the zip-lock bag filled with ice as he rewrapped my ankles (yes, plural), heated up dinner to serve our son (with special needs) and ourselves, cleaned the dishes, got Joey ready for bed (and for work the next day), and then helped me hobble to bed. We’re just a month into this and I know we might have a few weeks to go. It’s lasting a lot longer than we’d ever have thought.

Our nights weren’t anything like a night out on the town, nor is this much fun (I’m in pain; he’s doing all the work), but what could be better? We were there together. He was doing that “for better or worse” thing we had talked about many years earlier. He didn’t cut bait and look for a better looking wife along our years of my bad back injuries, illnesses, C-sections, ankle injuries, or other challenges. And I didn’t abandon him when it was his turn to be served in a “worse” rather than better situation. We served each other through it all.

We’ve come to understand that “livin’ the dream” doesn’t have to a be fancy nigh out on the town, walks on remote sandy beaches, or big vacations, but still sharing the same couch in the same room with crumbs on our sweaters. I wouldn’t trade it for all those fancy things. Right here, next to each other is truly “livin’ the dream”. But believe me, when I can shake this ice, get the swelling down, walk normal again, go up and down the stairs more than once a day, I’ll be up for a date with my guy, lunch with some friends, time with the kids and grandkids, and doing more than reclining on my comfy couch. Until then, I’m just thankful we’re “livin’ the dream” together….still.


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