Over the decades, anytime my huband and I had house problems, he would most often fix them. He had a gazillion tools and a whole lot of knowledge and skill from all his part time jobs growing up. His father was a plumber, and his father’s friends, other men of various trades, all hired him over the summers in college. He learned one trade after the other, fixed cars, and was our overall handyman. My role seem to include the traditional “mom jobs” that both our mothers had. I took care of the house (laundry, food, holidays, shopping, bills, children, etc.). We also both had our careers, too, but his role definitely included all house, car, and yard big jobs and emergencies.

As my husband’s health conditions gradually created limitations on his abilities to fix things over the decades, he was still my knowledgable one to tell me what to do, or tell me when to “call the guy.” He was my rock. Even from his hospital bed in our living room at the end, my reliance on his knowledge and confidence was my “go to” for every emergency. And he knew he could rely on me for his physical care and his health emergencies as well. It made us both feel valued and blessed.

A few years before he became disabled, I had asked him to make a list of all his passwords and a list of where all the shut-offs were so I could at least turn things off if there was an electrical short, a leak, or any other emergency. I offered to do the same for him since I had always handled the bills. We made that exchange feeling like it was premature, but we also knew it was right. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that we did that. Every time I’ve needed to use them, I thank him. And even with those lists, I’ve still had quite a learning curve this past year and a half without him. That just gave me so much comfort and capability in the beginning.

Since then, I have compiled my own list of companies to call, and I have signed up for service contracts so I can get help any day of the week and even after hours. I’ve learned how to “call the guy” (or woman) for services, find a handyman, be patient when I have to do without something while I wait, and not automatically panic. I’ve been able to go online to resolve all our accounts and close out his business without the difficulties that I hear others have when their loved ones pass.

I’ve certainly missed my husband more than I can express. He did make me feel secure and safe, but, now that he’s gone, those lists have continued to make such a difference as I adapt to my new normal. It was comforting to know I had them. I suggest to everyone out there who lives with others and exclusively takes care of one aspect of life for their “team,” think about making those lists. Gradually, I’m getting used to managing all the problems as they pop up. I’ve learned a lot from service people, googling how-to’s, and finding YouTube tutorials. But starting out, those lists absolutely saved me. Just a little preplanning has made all the difference.

6 responses to “Preplanning”

  1. Bobbi, You are my amazing cousin and I love you


    1. Thank you so much, Cuz. The feeling is mutual!


  2. Patty Whitaker Avatar
    Patty Whitaker

    Great advice for everyone!


    1. Thanks! It really did save me.


  3. It’s really important to feel confident and independent! So proud of you! You’re leading others…


    1. Thanks. You’ve been an inspiration for me!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s