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Due to my wife's recent surgery, I've been sleeping all by my lonesome for the past 10 days.
It's a new experience - the first time in 39 years of marriage I've been able to occupy the master bed by myself for an extended period.
When I first realized that such a unique opportunity was at hand, I planned to make the most of it.
Let me explain.
My wife is the best person I know. She's kind to everybody, even those few she doesn't especially like. And those few have no idea she doesn't care for them.
She is one of the few people I know who routinely goes out of her way, sometimes at great personal inconvenience, to lend a helping hand.
Her graciousness causes her to be regarded as the favorite aunt by most of her nieces and nephews. One niece even named her first son after my wife. (No the son wasn't named Harriet. His first name is Cason, and he was given the name in spite of me.)
My wife is the best friend of countless acquaintances spread across the continent from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Ottawa County, Michigan to numerous places in Kentucky.
During the years I worked as an educator, we moved to several communities as I moved up the administrative ladder. When the Cason clan would hit town, Harriet would initially be referred to as "the new principal's wife" or the "new superintendent's wife." But without fail, that would change and I'd soon be identified simply as Harriet's husband.
People are drawn to her. Even our granddaughter prefers her "Granberry" over me most of the time.
But when it comes to our master bed, my wife isn't so gracious. She's a bed bully. It's not just that she keeps warm by routinely using her freezing feet to absorb my body heat. I have been tolerating those middle-of-the-night icy shocks for many years.
I just don't understand why, when one of us has to vacate the bed, it's always me. When she's sick and doesn't want her sleep disturbed, guess who is forced to the recliner or guest bedroom?
Or when I'm sick or recuperating from one of the ongoing surgeries required to repair my worn out body, why am I the spouse who always has to relinquish the bed? I even endured the really unpleasant experience of having tonsils removed and deviated septum corrected at age 50 in order to reduce my snoring so her sleep wouldn't be disturbed.
Why do I continue to allow myself to be so intimidated by such a wisp of a woman?
Harriet's surgery wasn't anything life-threatening, but it wasn't a walk in the park either. Since coming home from the hospital, she hasn't been able to sleep comfortably in our bed and has been sleeping on the couch or recliner or guest bed.
I thought I'd finally be able to enjoy some long overdue rest. And I did for the first few nights. I slept like a baby. But that slowly changed.
By about the fourth or fifth night, I started waking up about 4 a.m., and was unable to get back to sleep.
Last night I was up at 3 a.m. Something was missing. I think it was a pair of size 7AAA feet.