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OPINION

HUNKER DOWN: Talk about the shoe on the other foot

By Kesley Colbert | Guest Columnist

I knew I was in trouble.

And it was just a stumble. A slight misstep as Cathy chased after a ball hit by our youngest grandchild. She didn’t fall or tumble down the side of the hill. She didn’t lie on the ground and cry for help. She kept right on playing.

More:HUNKER DOWN: “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”

More:HUNKER DOWN: Little less talk, lot more action

But she came up limping. And my heart skipped several beats.

Kesley Colbert

You’re going to need a little background. If I cut my finger or twist an ankle or have a bad cold or a rash breaks out on the back of my left hand — I demand the attention my infirmity requires. I moan. I cry. I DO roll around on the ground. I DO cry out for help!

Listen, I’m in pain here! Sometimes it takes weeks for my hangnail to re-hang. 

Cathy puts a wet rag on my forehead and dispenses the medical attention I require with grace and patience. I don’t have to lift a finger while incapacitated.

The household continues to run with the precision of a well-oiled vintage Number 4 Seth Thomas double dial “Fashion” clock.

Cathy doesn’t get sick. She doesn’t have a rash. She doesn’t have an “off” day. She just keeps going and going; like that Energizer Bunny on steroids. 

When our boys were young, they would play with me all day long. I could make them laugh; we had the best time pretending the bed was a raft floating down the Cascade River; we chased moonbeams and hid from the Abominable Snowman. But if something went wrong, the world didn’t feel right — they both made a beeline for their mother!

She is the rock in this family.

She didn’t utter a word about her leg for a month. When I asked about the limp, she would only say, “My knee is a little sore.”

I called Dr. Rick Williams. He was at the house in no time, examined Cathy’s knee and rightly discerned it to be a torn meniscus. The surgery went off without a hitch … for Cathy.

It wasn’t that smooth for me. Oh, I got her home with the help of the crutches all right. I got her in her favorite chair with her knee up and some ice on it without any problems.

The first hiccup came when she quietly pointed out that she hadn’t eaten all day. Did I mention she was in a chair with her leg wrapped from her thigh to her ankle with instructions to NOT be on it for any reason for a day or so.

I did what any husband would do. I got in that kitchen and rustled up a three course dinner. It only took me an hour. That first night she dined on a hot dog, a bun and the last course was the mustard.

First thing the next morning she wanted a cup of coffee.

You are going to need some more background. Mom and Dad were the biggest coffee drinkers on earth. I tried it when I was little and didn’t like it. I tried a tin cup of the stuff on a Boy Scout cookout in 1958 and liked to have croaked. I tried one more time in college to “keep me awake” while I studied but it was still unpalatable.

I don’t like the taste, the smell or nothing about it. I have never actually “made” a pot of coffee in my life. 

With a little instruction from across the room I found the coffee maker, a white filter, a Tupperware container of coffee grinds, her favorite cup, a spoon and something in a green and white box called truvia from the STEVIA LEAF. It took me an hour.

On the third day, sounds like God creating something, she politely suggested I change the sheets on the bed. You’re not going to believe this; that bottom sheet is fitted to the bed! It doesn’t exactly hop right off. And then you’ve got to twist another one just like it back on! That took another hour.

And lo and behold, I couldn’t wash the cream colored sheets with my black running shorts. I couldn’t wash my favorite red golf shirt with either. That was three more hours.

Listen, I took to rubbing her knee. I exercised with her on the floor. I had Alexa play that song by Carl Perkins where he threw his crutches down. I called my Physical Therapy son, “Josh, give me the accelerated meniscus tear recovery plan.”

I told you I was in trouble when I saw her stumble chasing down Max’s long drive. I just didn’t realize how much.

I’m Worn Out.