Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sleeping with Clint

09/27 I woke frequently during the night, and each time I woke up talking to Clint. I reached over to touch his arm, and then I remembered. But I wasn't sad. I remembered snippets of each dream, and I think we were off on a trip somewhere each time. We were rolling around on a double bed laughing our asses off about who would get the bed and who would get the sofa. His 6 foot 4 inch frame wouldn't even fit on the bed corner to corner. Then I remembered all the years wedid sleep in a double bed. We were both skinny then, and we just curled around one another and made it work. There wasn't much that we couldn't make work. For the first few years - I like to think of them as our adolescence - we worked hard to find our safety zones, our corners of the ring, so to speak. We were trying to blend our families, a challenge for anyone, and we were so young. When we married, in December of 1974, he was 40 and I was 26. That's not a typo. Although I had a previous marriage and a 5 year old son, I was a BABY when it came to family dynamics. I was so lovestruck that I married a man with 4 children! Clint worked all the time, and I was left to keep Gretchen and Parrish from killing each other. I've no doubt, they both wanted to kill me. I made oatmeal for them nearly morning, determined to send them off with a good breakfast. I practically slammed it down in front of them, and they ate in cool silence. That was the 1976 - 1977 school year and Gretchen turned 15 in August after Parrish turned 8 in July of 1976. I drove them to school in our yellow VW bus, and we were in a carpool. I remember popping the top of a can of Tab and lighting a Virginia Slim before I even cranked the car. Stress? What stress?

But we made it. We did it. And where was Clint all this time? Seeing patients, operating and taking every consult anyone asked him to. It was not unusual for him to get home from work at 10:00PM or later. He saw his patients every day unless we were out of town. Even if he was not on call, if we were in Macon, he saw every one of his patients. That's the kind of doctor he was. His patients adored him. And on Sundays, when he finished rounds (Parrish often went with him) we all met at the hospital cafeteria and ate fried chicken for lunch. When he finished rounds too late for lunch, Poppy always brought us a huge box of Krispy Kremes. God. No wonder I miss him so much

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