My next project in self-teaching was“meal preparation and refrigerator management”, or better known as cooking and grocery shopping. But before I could go to the store, I could see that we needed more room in the fridge. It was unbelievable how quickly portions of last week’s meals could become mystery food as I pulled out leftover after unrecognizable mold laden leftover from our refrigerator. After making more room on its shelves, I headed for the supermarket.

I became proficient in cutting up lettuce, slicing tomatoes and creating salads that even Diana raved about. One night we had tacos, which I must say, turned out pretty well. I found out how amazing it was that a little lettuce, tomato, cheese and taco sauce could make a tortilla shell come alive. My new found skill in cooking proved to me that even retired old men could learn something new.

My nursing duties also included driving Diana to her physical therapy sessions several times a week. Sitting in the waiting room for an hour while Diana was in the back being put through her paces proved to be rather humbling. People from all walks of life and with a multitude of physical ailments were constantly coming and going. Mentally I took note and dwelt on the situation, giving thanks for being fortunate enough to be in good health.

As the days turned into weeks, Diana slowly began to improve and inevitably started taking over the household duties that had been thrust upon me. As each incremental step of improvement became apparent to me, I feigned remorse, hung my head and whined to her that I wasn’t needed anymore. On one of these occasions, she looked back at me from loading the washing machine.

“Yes, you are.” She said. “I still need you.”

Her wide smile confirmed what I was feeling in my heart.

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