Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: TALKATIVE (09/08/16)
- TITLE: Waxing Loquacious
By Judith Gayle Smith
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I enjoy talking underwater just to see the bubbles burble. My prating keeps others from filling empty space with nonessential nonsense. My ego demands feeding – ergo, my ego raves on. I “chain” talk. Momma said I had my tongue loose at both ends. I cannot discuss this with myself – I might find myself disagreeable. People blow pepper up my nose so they might get a word in edgewise.
Until the day following my sister's seventy-fourth birthday.
I have been unnaturally quiet the past few months. My husband choked on chocolate coconut cake last April. I'd forgotten to bring him his milk. Was his choking a desperate attempt to shut me up? “Death By Chocolate.” Not funny at all, but a great ongoing topic of conversation. I became ashamedly speechless, realizing that phraseology was so inappropriate..
His caregiver immediately administered CPR, saving his life. He struggled to breathe, lessening his ghastly shade of blue. I bragged that he most beautifully moaned for me, and she said that was my job, being his wife. Humor among the groans.
His Parkinson's Disease started grabbing his throat. He couldn't swallow correctly. Dysphagia – a new term and a wealth of speeches about his need for cutting his food into wee pieces and thickening his soups, juices and water. Speech therapy for him for sixteen hours weekly for four - awkward, for me – weeks. I was to keep quiet while my husband and his speech therapist filled all that empty air space above us. Sigh. I read old magazines while cheering him on semi-silently.
A week following his graduation from speech therapy, he choked again on a piece of toast slathered with butter and strawberry preserves. I unthinkingly handed it off to him, trying to cut calories. He suddenly screamed. He couldn't exhale. He had aspirated the toast into his bronchial tubes – three different sites.
In the Emergency Room, being prepped for intubation, his Atrial Fibrillation started spinning. I cringed as a crash cart flew in. The room overflowed, crowding doctors and nurses. First, the paddles shocking him (and me.) A frazzled nurse started CPR. I choked with fear and gratitude - watching this incredible team save his life.
His doctor screamed at me for allowing my fella to eat toast, accusing me of trying to kill him. Hysterical, sobbing - gushing tears colliding with snot - I got the message. My beloved must eat only pureed food for the rest of his life. He is only seventy. I have to crush his pills, mixing them with jam or honey to make them palatable. Too sweet, and I miss his mouth at times, dripping honey onto his beard. Moods become dark with discomfort on his part, and weeping on mine.
Today we are celebrating our forty-second Anniversary. Quietly. My mouth is oddly failing to move, and my tongue no longer flaps in anticipation of overwhelming all within hearing distance with my prosaic prose.
I am dead tired, weary – and so grateful to God Who saved my hubby's life. My fella is taking it so much more graciously than I would/could/should. My mouth still wants to overwhelm – but to overwhelm my beloved's sexy lips.
We'd prepared our end-of-life wishes months ago, refusing CPR – wanting to quietly go home to Jesus. A persuasive doctor coaxed us into allowing the life-saving measures. We filed the necessary pink forms. If we hadn't, I would have lost my precious bear.
Bragging up my marriage became artificial, almost eerie. No more Joie De Vivre. Procrastinating on all I had committed myself to – I forgot Who to trust. I barely kept up with my social life on the computer, not gathering around those who could buoy me back up. I did manage a weak attempt at commuting, but the results fizzled. Unable to maintain my insouciant demeanor, I dethroned the frivolous me. Satan slyly snuck up on me, tempting me with his poisoned candy – trying to make himself the apex, nay – the very zenith of my life. Refusing to gamble on him, I returned to He who keeps me checking in with him, not allowing me to check out, yielding to despair and fear.
Odd – I don't feel much like talking now . . .
A true story.
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