A Surprise

For quite a few years, I have walked in the morning. Over the past three weeks, I haven’t walked at all. That’s because I have a pinched nerve in my left hip. I decided it was best to take it easy for a while, and it seems to be helping. That may have turned out to be a good thing this morning because Kate was up before 8:00.

I was in the family room when I heard something in the bedroom that made me think she was up. When I entered the hallway to our bedroom, I saw her walking toward me. She seemed concerned but not in a panic and said, “I was looking for you. I couldn’t find you.” I said something to console her. Then she tried to make light of the situation saying, “Oh, it’s all right. I just didn’t know where you were.”

Then she asked, “Where do I go now?” I asked her if she had gone to the bathroom. She said she had. Then I asked if she would like to take a shower. She did. I told her to come with me and took her to our bathroom. As I was turning on the shower, she said, “I looked all over for you. I didn’t know where you were.” Once again, I made an attempt at consoling her, and she said, “It wasn’t anything. I was all right.”

I left it at that, but this was an experience I have thought about before. Normally, I leave for my walk around 6:00. I can be back at the house between 7:00 and 7:15. I’ve thought about the possibility that she would get up and not find me. I didn’t worry much because she never leaves the back of the house until she has showered and dressed. In addition, she rarely wakes up before 9:00, and it has recently been after 10:00 and sometimes much later. Just in case she should get up before my return, I have always left a sign that says, “Richard is Walking. Back Home Soon.” I left it on the threshold of the doorway from the kitchen to the laundry room. That is a place she would easily see it.

All along, I have been prepared to give up the morning walk when I felt less confident that Kate would be all right if she found I was not home. Today’s experience was the first sign. It was fortuitous that it should happen when the pinched nerve had caused me to take a breather from walking.

The question now is what I do next. One thought is that I will not leave her in the morning. Another is that this change will probably lead me to increase the sitter time; however, I am not ready for that. I hope I can postpone that until sometime after the new year.

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