Old and Broken


Looking into the mirror this morning, the reflection I saw was of something old and way past its prime years. Taking a deep breath, I let it out and came to the inevitable conclusion: no more patchwork, no more repair. The whole thing just needed to be replaced.

Okay, stop laughing. I’m not talking about me. Besides, my worn out joint just got replaced last week, and the doc says it should outlast me. Complete recovery will take three months, and during that time he doesn’t want me to do anything but rest and recover. Unfortunately, I’m only good at one of those. It seems that the surgery and physical therapy is going to be the easy part. Doing nothing but resting, even for one day, is difficult for me. To do it for three months? Well, that will be impossible. Impossible unless I’m blindfolded for the entire time. Confused?

Welcome to my world where confusion comes not only to live, but to stay and thrive.

The Wife has a unique ability to “not see” things. I do not. For example, many things around our house need repair or replacement, but it doesn’t bother her. “If you only see all the things not done, you’ll never have time to appreciate what has been accomplished. Besides, it’s a work in progress.”

A work in progress … so am I.

For me, I see everything that needs replacement or repair, and it drives me absolutely crazy. (Yes, I know, it’s a very short drive.) My home improvement list is so long, I got tired of writing things down. It will take years to get all of it done, and that’s just on the inside. We haven’t even started on the outside. That’s why the only way for me to survive seeing all the things left undone is to wear a blindfold the entire time during my recovery.

Looking down at the hard splint on my right arm, I’m resigned to the fact that for the next three months, someone else has to do all the work around here. But who? Even though they are handy with tools and have helped their Papa with lots of projects, our granddaughters are still a few years away from being able to cut the grass.

So, what was reflected in the bathroom mirror? The original bathroom ceiling fan, now over seventeen years old. It, and all the other light fixtures in our house, are long overdue for an upgrade. Ask our granddaughters and they will say, “Papa, you can do it. You got lots of energy.” Sadly, I had to tell them that their Papa is not allowed to do any of the home repairs or yard work for the next three months. I know because that’s what The Wife told me.

Either I do the work or write a check to someone else so they can do it. The Wife said, “The only thing I want you to do is concentrate on recovery. Don’t worry about paying for the repairs. We just got a tax refund.”

That’s good because I ran out of checks years ago.

[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories since 2001.]