By: Donna Hale Chandler
After 39 years of marriage I lost my husband to cancer. We had a happy marriage and after the crippling grief began to ease a bit, I decided that I wanted to be happy again.
I turned to the internet. Meeting people without having to face them seemed a good idea to me at the time, however my first dating experience was disastrous. It made me question whether or not dating was for me. Then I met a nice man and agreed to a face-to-face meeting. Before leaving on this blind date, my mother cautioned me regarding ax murderers, serial killers and rapists. However, our first meeting went well and that brought about future outings, the movies and dinner once or twice. He worked ‘nights’ so our dating, if you can call it that, was during day-light hours. Occasionally he would stop at my home on his way to work to watch the news with me and have a few cups of coffee.
This particular evening he complained of indigestion and asked for a couple of antacids. He settled comfortably in my living room recliner and seemed to be feeling better. Then suddenly he began gasping for breath and I knew he was in serious trouble. I immediately grabbed the phone and dialed 911. Before the operator had time to answer, his breathing had stopped.
The calm, soothing voice on the other end of the phone told me that he would walk me through CPR, but first I needed to get my guest onto the floor. I dropped the phone, grabbed him by the ankles and pulled with all my strength.
Of course this caused his head to bang, no maybe bounce is a better description, off the seat onto the foot rest and off the foot rest onto the floor. The only thing I could think was, “Oh dear, I’ve killed him.” In my imagination, I could hear the doctor saying something about ‘blunt force trauma’ and could picture the investigation that would follow.
I began compressions, alternating with giving him breaths. The ambulance arrived. Competent people took over and then the questions began…….. lots and lots of questions. What is his medical history? What kind of medication does he take? Does he have a heart condition? I didn’t know.
Off to the hospital with me following the ambulance. Again the questions. I didn’t know the answers earlier, I still didn’t when they were asked in a different environment. However, the ER doctor had one new question. “Who is his next of kin?”
I had heard him mention his daughter’s name and suggested they might go through his cell phone looking for that name. That turned out to be the only helpful words I had uttered all evening because they were able to find his daughter and break the bad news to her.
By the time I got my weary body back home, it was quite late so I went right to bed. Tossing and turning, realizing how fragile our lives are, I wondered, “Do I really want to attempt this dating business?” At my age, maybe I should just forget it and find a hobby that would keep me occupied. Maybe I could be happy alone after all. Who knew that trying to date could be this disastrous?
After a sleepless night I awoke the next morning and realized that his car was still parked outside. My mother lived right down the street and I knew that sooner or later our condo association grapevine would notify her that SOMETHING was going on at my condo the night before and that a man’s body had been taken from my home on a stretcher. So I called her and told her the horrific news. I then asked her if she would follow me as I drove his car back to his home.
Her comment was an astonished “You mean his car was in front of your condo ALL NIGHT? Oh dear, what will the neighbors think?”
“Mom, are you busy? Will you follow me?”
“Of course. You should have called me earlier. We could have done this last night …….”
And so it went, a nice LONG lecture from my 79 year old mother to her 59 year old daughter about how easy it is to ruin your reputation.
Was dating worth all this trouble? Could I survive? Or maybe the question that should be asked is, WOULD MY DATE SURVIVE?
I decided that IF I do continue this new adventure, the next man will need to bring a doctor’s note.
Gram use’ta say
“Always smile when talking on the phone.
The person on the other end of the line will “feel” your attitude.”
From The Hints Book Almanac
By Donna Hale Chandler and Richard Lee King
USES FOR ALUMINUM FOIL, cont’d
10. Keep silverware untarnished – Store freshly cleaned silverware on top of a sheet of aluminum foil to deter tarnishing. For long-term storage of silverware, first tightly cover each piece in cellophane wrap. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible, then wrap in foil and seal the ends.
11. Preserve steel-wool pads –Just wrap your steel-wool pad in aluminum foil and toss it into the freezer. You can also crumple up a sheet of foil and put it under the steel wool in it’s dish or container.
12. Scrub your pots – Crumple up a handful of foil and use it to scrub your pots.
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