Thursday, January 7, 2016

Helicopter Husband

This is a dueling blog. Donna-Lane's version can be found at: http://theexpatwriter.blogspot.ch/

When I first came to Europe to start our relationship, D-L's friends, as well as her daughter, warned me vociferously not to "hover" around Donna-Lane in the manner of a protective boyfriend/fiance/spouse. After all, she had lived on her own for years, decades, and not only was well capable of fending for herself, she has the sort of alpha female personality that tends to do first and communicate later. For the first few months (maybe even now), I was fearful that I would say or do something to offend her independent spirit and she'd send me packing.

Circumstances have changed recently, albeit temporarily. Since July, D-L has been going through chemotherapy treatments following both gallbladder and breast cancer surgery. The chemicals leave her pretty fatigued most days of the week (after a good day or two immediately following a treatment) and most hours of the day. She does well to sit at the computer for maybe an hour before she has to crawl back into bed to rest and ease her shakiness.

I've transitioned from being her toy boy to being the family chef, butler, opener of the heavy door (that sticks halfway) between our bedroom and the bath, and steady hand when walking up a flight of stairs or through the hospital corridor on our twice-weekly visits.

Because she has passed out once and almost a second time from low blood pressure, I am rarely out of earshot or more than a few feet away. Yes, I hover. So a few days ago D-L dubbed me her "helicopter husband." Like a "helicopter parent" who is over-protective of their kid. (I was that too - when my daughter was learning to drive as a teenager, I first took her to a large, empty parking lot. Since the car we had at the time "idled" at about 20 mph, I saw no need for her to touch the gas pedal!)

Donna-Lane vows that once she is through the chemo and the radio, she wants to balance the scales by waiting on me for awhile. I'll settle for turning in my rotor blades and returning to our normal no-hover lifestyle.

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