It’s too graceful to be a dog. No, you’re right, it is a dog.

I’ve done all the “easy” 5x5 crosswords in Apple News+. Yesterday, my wife’s (and therefore also my) nephew and I did four of the normal “big” crosswords. I asked if he liked them at all, mentioned that he and his husband had tried and failed to get into them, mentioned the paid tier of Apple News, and shrugged. Little would I expect that upon completing two, he’d have at least two more in him in the same sitting. I kind of just started them to kill time.

Today began for me at 3am. Not intentionally, at least for me. My wife was complaining about back and stomach pain. We initially panicked, the both of us, worried that it was sign of a heart attack. We are, after all caring for her grandfather after several cardiac events, and the thought has lingered from her shrink when mentioning her dad’s side passing from heart disease in their 50’s and 60’s. I assured her, that her last two ER visits related to nausea and dehydration turned up nothing, other than “you’re dehydrated, let us stick you!” and so she calmed down, having two electronic devices further not-suggest that she was in cardiac distress (other than maybe added panic on top of a stomach bug).

Then Papaw woke up at 4am, and me being the “capable” adult in the room, got up, and handled his early morning requests for water.

Again at 5am.

We all “slept” through 6am into my 6:47am alarm.

I snooze for 40 minutes after my 7:05am alarm.

My wife is feeling “well enough” to get up and attend to Papaw’s meds, little breakfast of applesauce.

We start work, and it hits her again. My wife heads to the bedroom, where she spent the rest of the day, taking it easy on her back, and trying desperately to hold down water.

The nurse administers a mediation.

I attend a meeting, and the medication has reached it’s effect.

With my mother-in-law out of the house, and no longer running the show, and now my wife in bed unable to help, our nephew and I changed his diaper and take care of the medication’s effect.

For a moment, I feel proud of us overcoming this relatively minor worry.

Until Papaw needed changing again, and we had just used to the last of the gloves on his last change.

I run to Walmart, for gloves. I forget about my wife, I’m ashamed when I return. But a new nurse has come and has changed him and is wrapping up, cleaning him. There are visitors, but Papaw is more engaged with the nurse than any of the visitors today.

A cow is seen in th front yard, and it’s owner is dispatched to reclaim.

I research and realize a few options to ease my wife’s stomach. I return to Walmart when family guests have left.

It’s cold today, and the cat, Ginger, has come in and out.

My nephew and I debate if what we see is a dog or a cat in the pasture with the cows. I concede that it’s a dog, it’s far too rigid in the way it carries it’s tail.

I finish all the “easy”, 5x5 crosswords in Apple News to date.

I gush about an online friend to my nephew. A moment later, I see they’re in emotional distress, and I wish I could do more.

My wife briefly visits us in the living room, and attempts the medication I provided. Some time passes and our nephew and I have leftovers. She can’t hold the anti-nausea meds down, I try to reassure her, and reiterate focusing on water. She has had some water stay down. I want to get her home before we consider taking her back to the ER. She’s a hard-stick and that makes her feel like a pin cushion by discharge. It doesn’t help that she’s super passive for the doctors, so when a nurse is drawing blood and asks how she’s doing, my wife’s face has been in an excruciating wince and clenched tone “yeah, I’m all good.” I would say “clearly my wife is in a LOT of pain. Can we try another way?” and everyone realizes the truth. “I don’t know why I can’t say it hurts…” ¯\(ツ)

Papaw sleeps from 3pm till 9pm when his daughter, my MIL, arrives. She wakes him and returns to running the show, having brought baby food for him.

I wait to be called for changing duty. I’m not unhappy to be leaving here tomorrow. However, I will miss taking care of, bringing this sweet, delicate man, a little comfort to his bodily needs that he can’t manage himself.

I will miss him.