Wife is a people person.
That is no more evidenced than by the fact that six of her old friends have descended upon our home for the weekend. Two arrived yesterday (Thursday) and the rest today.
These are the "girls" with home Wife has gone through thick and thin. Four of them were in our wedding. All of them became moms back in the 80s and early 90s and all are now parents of adults. One is now a grandmother.
Wife has all kinds of things planned for them -- shopping, eating, going to a concert. She'll herd them around, not unlike cats, and they won't move very fast, but that won't matter to them.
I worked upstairs this afternoon and I could hear the hum of female conversation downstairs -- peppered with hysterical laughter, stopping and starting, oohing and ahhing at this thing or that. These ladies have a history and although there might be months, or even a year, between visits, one would never know it. They pick up right where they left off.
I know and love them all just as Wife does, but I am not needed here. They're happy enough to have me but they know as well as I that it would be better for me to make my exit.
So tomorrow morning after a meeting, I'll head east and go visit some friends of my own.
And the laughter and good times will continue while I am gone.
That makes Wife happy so, consequently, I'm happy too.
I have decided it is a good thing to not live in a so-called battleground state. Because when one lives in a state that the candidates and/or his people have decided has already been painted red or blue, they ignore you.
I have already voted (love, love, love early voting) and I am so glad I don't have to endure non-stop commercials telling me how bad either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney is, when I think they're both decent men who just have a number of differences of opinion.
Because I'm not in a battleground state, I can relax. I'll tune in with interest on election night, but not with the sigh of relief that a person living in Ohio or Florida might. Those folks are still being courted and sucked up to big-time.
Here in Tennessee, we're supposedly red and we're a done deal, so not worth anyone's time and energy. And that's fine with me.
I've never been a big one for commemorating days. I'm good at remembering the important ones like birthdays and anniversaries (usually) but days on which significant events might have happened usually pass right by before I know it.
About 4 p.m. yesterday I realized it was the day my mother died 16 years ago -- Oct. 25, 1996. So when it came to mind I could not help but think of her.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in April and died in October -- a brief but fierce battle. She scarcely had a good day from the time of her diagnosis. Chemotherapy probably did more harm than good.
One of the things I most remember is how my dad went into total denial. He just refused to believe she would die and wouldn't even discuss it up until just a few days before she did. I remember her wanting to talk about it with him, and with my brother and me, and how uncomfortable it made me. I would listen to her but I offered little in response.
Wife, on the other hand, had a couple of poignant conversations with her. She loved her, but I think because she didn't have the lifelong connection, she was a little more willing and able to talk to her and provide the sounding board my mother needed.
I think I learned from that whole experience -- and this is not profound -- that people who have terminal illnesses need to talk about it and we don't do them any favors acting like they aren't dying. It's self-preservation, of course, because those of us who are being left behind don't want to accept it and have this unreasonable belief that if we don't talk about it, it won't happen.
Anyway, I thought about my mom a lot after I remembered the date yesterday. I like to think about her the way she was before she got sick -- a warm and funny person who always had something good to say to me.
I could not have asked for much more than that.