“This is Michelle. I’m sorry to call at the last minute, but I can’t make our appointment tomorrow.”
I hung up, shaking my head. What was I thinking? I worked as a senior companion. I spent every Saturday, from 10 A.M. to 7 P.M., with patients. I had no good excuse for canceling. I wasn’t sick. My husband, Gene, was fine, all things considered. I just had this nagging feeling. I had to skip work the next day.
That was no small thing. When I’m not working with seniors, I’m a hairdresser. I alternate hours between jobs, working nonstop Monday through Saturday. I’m rarely home as a result. I can’t afford to be.
Gene was another story. He’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago. At first, he was able to keep working. But the tremors in his hands got worse. He underwent deep-brain stimulation surgery. The tremors subsided, but Gene’s other symptoms worsened. His muscle strength deteriorated. He suffered from intense neck pain and couldn’t stand for more than 10 minutes. He spent almost all his time sitting in his dark blue recliner in the family room, watching TV. He’d be sitting there in the morning when I left for work and still there when I got back home at night.
I had been making dinner that Friday when the strong urge to cancel my job came over me. A quickening in my spirit. I need to stay home, I need to stay home, I need to stay home.