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Tools and Tool Boxes



I am trying to sort some things out here and preparing for the future. Money has become an issue and I have been running the numbers and Bruce has had the best week in therapy in four weeks. He is kicking his right leg when swimming and OT said he got the best movement from Bruce's right shoulder yet. And this of course occurred after I had sat down with the therapists for suggestions on how to cut back sessions. Just another little fork in the road. I spoke with Bruce's roommate in NM about these issues and he said that I probably would not put Bruce into intensive therapy at 10 years post, so maybe I could reallot some money for now with less for the future. Something to think about. So I am trying to work on those things I do have some control over and that is the house. We have several donation pickups scheduled in the next few weeks and I would like to donate things that someone else may be able to use. This is a big house for one person to maintain, but most of it involves stairs. I am cleaning out those rooms making them available for guests but with little maintanence. I will keep my office which has an intercom just for quiet and respite from the incessant TV. But this is so sad. I look at the things that must go: the plastic container that he used to change the oil and the funnel to decant the old oil into the plastic recycling container, the spare computer parts he kept to repair his desktop that he no longer has. When Bruce went to help a friend, he put everything he needed into a paper bag. Mind you he has a large stand up toolbox and three carrying toolboxes, but always did the paper bag thing. Of course, when he got home the paper bag was just dropped. I found several in the truck and even one on top of the refrigerator. I am putting all of them in one spot to transfer to the big tool box when I finally find all of them. But I look at these little things that so defined him and us and that definition has been erased and a new one is being written and I don't like it. Changes this huge are so difficult this late in life when we are so less resilient and flexible. So when I get overwhelmed I go work in the yard where changes take decades, not four hours.


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Debbie, it took me eight years to start to clean out Ray's workshop (he was a carpenter) ten years to have his old boat that had rotted in the weather, dragged away. I was somehow going to "find" that handyman of mine again. I admit there are still many traces of his worklife here although I know he is not EVER going back to it. It is hard to let go of the old life.


You are to be commended for all you try to do. If everything is not as good as you would like it to be it is the same for us all. Ideally the stroke survivor would get all the help they need, they don't. We just all do our best with what we have.



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I know how you feel, Debbie... Brandt was a very good mechanic and woodworker. I can't bear to move anything yet in the garage, but interestingly enough, HE wants to sell his hot rod 56 Chevy Pickup. I've persuaded him to wait until Spring, just to be sure, and he resignedly agreed.


I think he knows he'll never drive again (now he's got this stroke-related epilepsy,) but I just can't close that door yet. It was too much a part of who he was all these years.


I keep trying to connect who he was then with who he is now. Some things are doable, like cooking and eventually bbq-ing, but the woodworking and restoring classic cars and trucks is probably not going to be a part of his new normal. (I can't even leave out "probably!") We'll get there... it must be part of the whole grieving process.

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Debbie, When we sold our house I had Dan's brother pack the basement and the garage, all his things. Deciding what clothes to bring with and what clothes to send to storage was horrible. I kept tearing up. You said it well "...these little things that so defined him and us and that definition has been erased...". Hopefully we will rewrite the definition of ourselves in the near future.



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