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   My wife Alice is a character. Or should I say, a major player in my life. Just this past April, the 17th we had our 31st wedding Anniversary.  Wow, 31. In the last few years we have both seen our share of life altering situations. Yet she more than me.

  A few years back she had a major heart attack, died on the table twice and survived a quad-bypass. They took veins from both legs and thighs. The doctor said the veins usually are good for 25+ years, but in her case 10, at the most.  Being a fragile Diabetic, with insulin injections three times a day is a hit against her. Her Diabetic retinopathy is slowly making her go blind, and we are trying to keep that Bleak Monster at bay. Having another surgery, and dying twice on the table again she survived a paralyzing stroke; leaving her left arm unusable and left leg barely functional.  Long distances require a wheel chair, a quad cane about the house, a shower chair for bathing, an automatic lift chair to assist with getting up and an automatic lift twin-size bed to help there as well.
   Amazingly though is how she doesn't complain.  The weeping dark depression has not afflicted her in years like it did from the onset of this 'new normal' of hers; yet, there are bouts of it that try to creep in.  But the grand-kids and family, dogs and Video Recording of TV shows keeps her mind going.  Along with all the games on her Kindle Fire, and reading she's a pretty sharp cookie even now. She cracks me up with that thing.
   Alice use to have a scary memory like a still trap!!! I always relied on her way too much. We will watch one of the many shows she likes and then a day or so later half way through a second viewing I smile when she says, "I think we've seen this one before."  Her mind is good, trapped in a defeated body, but the memory is beginning to slip more than just getting older.  I think it's actually a hold over effect from the stroke. Everything is dated from The Stroke with her.

   Little things mean a lot. Something as simple as 'going to the store'.  When I'm off from work, shopping is a grand all day adventure. Though once in a great while we go to the Park, movies, or eat out.  Shopping is an all day event. She's actually gotten a little better and instead of using the wheelchair to go out to the car she give walking a struggling journey as I tease her happily along. Her Rheumatoid Arthritis is a killing pain in the 'good' hip.

   We all have our good days and bad, but when every moment is a challenge a deep breath to face the next makes you a hero.


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