When Bill came home after his first stroke, I talked to him about writing a memoir about our experience. We could take turns writing alternate chapters from our points of view. He said, “I don’t know.”
Since he only had the use of his right hand, I suggested he could dictate his chapters either into a recorder or to me directly, and I could write them down. I even joked that we could both sit at his computer. I could press the keys on the left side, and he could press the keys on the right side, kind of like playing “Chopsticks” on the piano. He said, “I’d rather play ‘Chopsticks’ on the piano with you.”
I gave up on the idea of a book written by both of us, but now that he’s gone, I’m thinking of writing a memoir about my six years of caring for him. In the meantime, I’ve written three poems from what I hoped was Bill’s perspective. I could only imagine what he was thinking. These poems were published in How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver. I’ll paste one below.
From a Husband’s Perspective
She works hard
to care for me, the house.
She cooks, cleans, does laundry,
does everything I’m unable to do.
She writes short stories, novels, essays.
She’ll be a best selling author one day.
I couldn’t do without her.