After finishing the previous post, I put up my laptop, turned out the light, and got in bed. I quickly discovered that Kate was awake. It was about 9:45, more than two hours since she had gone to bed. I’m not sure how long she had been awake. I suspect it had only been a short time. It could have been the whole time she had been in bed, but I doubt it. It was clear that she was wide awake. She was very talkative. We (she) must have talked thirty minutes before going to sleep.
She began by telling me what she was doing. She wanted me to feel her cheek. I told her it felt very smooth. Then she explained how she made her skin feel that way. She said, “You just wet your skin.” As she said this, she put saliva on her finger and rubbed it across her forearm. She explained that our skin dries out as we age. We can keep it soft by moisturizing it. I was a bit like a psychotherapist. I didn’t say much except to express facilitative comments. She said she was very interested in this and was going to do more study about it. It is hard for me to remember everything she said. I know she talked about doctors’ knowing these things from their study but that she had learned it on her own through experience. She wanted to know and understand more. She kept saying, “I am really interested in this.” As she talked, she said “this” a lot. At several points, I didn’t understand what “this” was but didn’t stop her.
She made a gradual shift in the conversation. She started talking about the two of us and our relationship. She never asked my name during the entire time. In fact, she used my name several times. On the other hand, it was clear that she did not recognize me as her husband. It reminded me of our previous conversation in which she said, “I think we are going to make a great team.” She made reference to “the other people.” It appeared that she thought we were part of a group at work.
An interesting sidelight is that we were lying next to each other in bed, a very intimate situation. I have no idea where she thought we were. Certainly not in an office somewhere, but she was very circumspect the entire time. It was a very tender conversation without any passionate expressions of love.
She got into this by saying things like, “I feel very at ease with you. I feel I can tell you anything.” I said, “I feel the same way about you. We have a very special relationship.” I kept trying to steer the conversation in the direction of our love for each other. She didn’t rebuff my efforts, but she talked more about her respect for me and not love. It was only late in the conversation after I said I loved her that she acknowledged that she was beginning to feel the same way about me.
Knowing that I would be unable to remember everything that she said, I reached over to my bedside table and got my phone to record our conversation. I am inserting excerpts from that conversation below.
KATE: I feel more that way now. (That she could tell me anything.)
RICHARD: More than you used to?
KATE: I think so.
RICHARD: I think that’s because we’ve been together so long.
KATE: Yeah. That’s right, but anyway, Richard, I think we can work together. Not just the two of us but with all the others.
RICHARD: Who are the others?
RICHARD: I think we’ve had a good relationship.
KATE: I think we have too. And I imagine that it’ll be getting better. I’m feeling more at ease with you. It’s kinda hard to say, but now I’m probably going to be <pause> I have always been honest with you, but I would probably be more (she stumbled on the word she wanted)
K Thank you. Now I could say this to you and ask you to come with the right word and don’t think anything about it.
RICHARD: Good, I’m glad you feel that comfortable.
K I’ve always felt fairly comfortable with you, but I’m feeling much more comfortable now. And I think that’s important.
R I do, too.
K For you and for him
R Wait, for me and for Him? Him Who?
R I’m so glad we’ve been together a long time.
K Well, it’s long and not.
R It doesn’t seem as long as it has.
K There have been many short times we have worked together.
R Well, we’ve been living together though.
K Yeah? Right. (expressing her disbelief with a laugh)
R We’ve just lived together 55 years.
K (again laughs in disbelief) Huh? Don’t throw that on me.
R You don’t believe that?
R But you do admit we’ve had a good relationship.
K Oh, yes. Absolutely! I think from the beginning, it was just ‘Yes, I think he’s just a guy guy, but it wasn’t anything too overhead.’
R Now what is it?
K It’s getting kinda overhead.
R It’s getting overhead?
K Oh, yeah. <pause> Oh, yeah. <pause> Much more respect. Liking to be with you. Being willing to say what I really want to tell you. Well, I’ve aways been honest with you.
R You know that I love you, don’t you?
K You do? <pause> Well, I think I’m loving you.
R You do. That’s good. That makes me feel good. I’ve loved you a long time.
K Well, I like to be with you so much, so that’s the same. That’s the same. I feel I can always talk with you, be honest with you. And I’m impressed with so many of the things you are able to do. I respect you.
R Thank you, Baby.
K Well, I’m telling you the truth. The more I get to know you, the more I respect you and like you. And I think that’s wonderful.
R I’m so glad.
K This is the most . . I don’t know how to say it. But we understand each other, and we respect each other.
R I think we do.
K And those are two important things.
R And loving each other is important too.
K Oh, yes.
R You know, this month on December 19 we celebrate the anniversary of our first date in 1961.
K WHAT?? 1961??
K That’s a long way. We’ve always connected. <pause> In different ways now. More real honesty. Revealing ourselves and what we think.
R You’re very special to me.
K You’ve very special to me.