The other bucket list

It sounds morbid, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a list of things I plan to do after Grumpy kicks the bucket. It’s part of living with someone who is terminally ill. Life becomes about him. You have to wait your turn. And so, without even wanting to, you find that you’ve made a list of things to do… after. These are some of my things, in no particular order.

1) Buy a house. Sometimes I like to fool myself into thinking I can do this while Grumpy is still alive, but that won’t happen. He doesn’t want to live in the kind of house I want. I don’t want to buy the kind of house he’d be willing to live in. And he doesn’t want to move. He’s dug in. So for now I just save my money, and dream of the little house I’ll buy someday.

2) Spoil my dog rotten. Some people would say that I’m already doing this, but Nebby has to live with someone who is in a tremendous amount of pain, and that can be hard on a dog. If Nebby outlives Grumpy, I’m going to make it all up to him.

3) Get rid of all the furniture and start over. Most of it was Grumpy’s. Some of it I never liked in the first place, and most of it has suffered from life with Grumpy. He spills stuff. He used to start fires. There’s been some damage. There might be a few items that I’ll keep, but most of it will be gone as soon as that can be arranged. I want small furniture… no huge couches, desks or beds. I want things that I can rearrange myself if I feel like it. And I want old things. Small, old furniture for my small, old house.

4) Visit my brother. He lives in another state. I can’t travel now. When I can, I’d like to go see my little brother for a week or so. Nebby will be coming with me.

5) Start making quilts again. To be clear, I never finished a quilt in my life, but I like piecing quilt tops. I want to do some more of that.

6) Make rosaries. It’s been a long time since I’ve been what you might call a good Catholic, but I always loved making rosaries. I like making the cheap, plastic give-away rosaries, and occasionally I like making a nice one. I miss it.

7) Volunteer at an animal shelter. I think Nebby could do this with me. And we might even take in foster pets, if the cat can handle it.

8) Turn off the TV, possibly for good. I might even put it away in a closet.

9) Replace the flatware. Why does no one understand that you can’t stack a plate on top of another plate with a fork in between? My flatware is all bent. I hate it. It’s pointless to replace it now, but when I’m on my own I’ll be getting new, unbent utinsils.

10) Learn how to make friends, and make some. I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull this one off, but it’s worth a shot.

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23 thoughts on “The other bucket list

    1. Yeah, it’s kinda sad, but it’s also just life, and there’s always something good in every situation (this is where I try to live up to my blog name). Grumpy has someone to take care of him and love him, which not everyone does at the end. And I have a whole new chapter to write after he’s gone.

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  1. I’d lean toward “refreshingly candid” instead of “morbid” here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post like this, which might just be timing … or might be a sign people don’t feel comfortable writing about it. But it’s a true part of life, and reminds me of some conversations I had with my siblings when our mom was dying. We didn’t want her to die, but it was inevitable, and what might have sounded callous to other ears … that was our trying to pave the way for a new world we’d have to learn to make the best of somehow.

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    1. That’s exactly how I feel… like I probably come off as callous. But this is the way I live. I sincerely hope, for everyone, that they never have to watch someone they love slowly die, but when you’ve walked a few miles in these shoes you find that you just can’t be soooo serious and gloomy every time you think (or talk, or write) about death. I most certainly am not looking forward to Grumpy’s death, but I’m looking forward to some things that will come as a result. Life is so weird!

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  2. It’s not callous, it’s real. You can love someone and care for them and still have these thoughts. Sharing them here might help, especially since you can’t travel and share them with others. Are the groups in your area where you could get a substitute care giver for a day or two? I know someone who went through this, and he could get some help from a local hospice during one or two days a week and overnight a few days a year. Good luck to you all (including Nebby).

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    1. We could get additional help but Grumpy would not be okay with that. I can’t even talk him into letting somebody come while I’m at work to check on him. it’s okay though. he’s not too much trouble.

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  3. Having alternative plans is always a good idea. BTW, I laughed over your intent to put the TV in the closet. My husband recently had to leave on business for three weeks and the darn thing didn’t get turned on – it was bliss!

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  4. I thought of “lefty living in a cheap motel” for some reason…I kinda felt this way while I wqas living in a boys home…then again a dime bit for the state…I think we have to have plans for when we are “free”…anyway…you’re making friends now, someday you may want to meet some of them…I often have my computer on and sometimes the TV..

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  5. I especially appreciated your make-stuff-cuz-I-like-to goals. Especially this one: “Start making quilts again. To be clear, I never finished a quilt in my life, but I like piecing quilt tops. I want to do some more of that.”

    Right on, sister. That’s the attitude! Who says making something has to mean only making it the way *other* people do?

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  6. I think this post is similar to how sometimes parents talk about what we’ll do when we’re “free” again. It’s not that we hate parenting, it’s that we acquire new desires and sometimes children don’t go with the plan. When I left home, my parents bought white sofas, and traveled twice as much, and cleared out my old room to make way for their things. I’d be a fool to think they hated my living with them, but I’d be just as much a fool if I didn’t think they were happy to reclaim their time and space!
    I think it would be odd if people didn’t look forward. Looking forward is part of the human condition.
    I prefer only making the tops of quilts. I loathe binding. lol I do it, but oh, it makes me NUTS! And it’s so funny, because piecing and quilting take 100 times longer, but I enjoy those parts, and I don’t want to do practical things, like finish the bloody thing!

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  7. 10) Learn how to make friends, and make some. I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull this one off, but it’s worth a shot.” – If you’re anything in person like you are on paper(?), I don’t foresee you’ll have any problem, and I’m psychic – or is that psychotic? I always get those two mixed up —

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