Once upon a time, there was a Minnesota girl that went to college. At college, she had a roommate. The roommate invited her to come to stay at her home for the weekend. The Minnesota girl said sure. That sounded fun.
On the weekend away, the Minnesota girl met a Minnesota boy and the two had a lot of fun.
To make this story not take forever, let’s just fast forward a year later. The Minnesota girl and the Minnesota boy married. It’s love to say they lived happily ever after…but there is more to the story.
Soon babies started coming. The Minnesota couple had three. Then the Minnesota couple moved to Iowa and quickly became the Iowa Girl and the Iowa Boy.
Fast forward a few more years. The Iowa couple added two more babies to their family. I’d like to say now that they lived happily ever after but that wouldn’t be completely true either…but…
The Iowa couple grew more and more in love. The babies grew. The Iowa Boy did everything he could to make the Iowa Girl happy. He went antiquing. He rebuilt and refinished furniture. She wanted a house, he helped her get one. He took care of all the man jobs. He did the lawn care. He filled the weed eater with string. He cut any board to the size his Iowa Girl wanted. He did all of the talking to electricians, plumbers or any tradesman that ever came to the house. If it was a “man job”, he did it.
The Iowa Girl loved it. She loved not having to worry about or deal with any “man job”. She loved that her only responsibility to it all was writing the check to pay the bill. She loved that he took care of her of her so well.
Well, here is where the story comes to a sad ending. Iowa Boy got sick with lung cancer and died. It was quick. Iowa Boy didn’t have time to teach Iowa Girl anything…she didn’t know how often to change the oil. She didn’t know how to deal with tradesman. She didn’t know the ins and outs of many of the “man jobs”. Iowa Girl hated this and it made things a little bit difficult. Not only was she grieving, she was reminded every time that there was a “man job” to do, that Iowa Boy wasn’t there to do it. Often that tiggered off a bit of sadness and more of a sense of loss. It was not easy for Iowa Girl, but she wasn’t a quitter. She lived life…but she always regretted not learning more about “man jobs” while Iowa Boy was alive.
I don’t know the rest of the story. I’m still living it. I’m sure you know by now that I am Minnesota Girl turned Iowa Girl. I’m sure you know Minnesota Boy/Iowa Boy is my husband who died in June of 2019.
This story is exactly how our life played out. Kramer jumped into the role of fixer, refinisher, power tool guy. I jumped into the role of all things domestic. Had our roles reversed and I died before Kramer, he would not know a thing about paying bills. He wouldn’t know how to contact a single person about the money we have and where it is. He wouldn’t know how often to clean anything…heck he wouldn’t know how to clean anything. He’d know how to wash his clothes but that’s about it.
I want to caution you all…
It is great to love someone so much that you do all of the domestic things…It is great to have someone that loves you so much that they handle all of the “man jobs”. But, when one loses the other, it’s not great.
The other day, Kelli was here and went to the basement to take a shower. We have an old shower in the basement that everyone loves. Kramer built it. It has two shower heads and is super powerful.
Kelli came up after her shower and told me something was wrong. The shower drain wasn’t working. Crap. Where was Iowa Boy now? This was not my department at all.
I looked at the drain. There didn’t seem to be anything blocking it. UGH.
Karl stopped over. I told him about the drain. Karl asked if we had a sump pump. Darn. I was pretty sure we did, but honestly, I didn’t even know where it was. Then I thought and remembered the tiny closet of a utility room we have in the basement. Karl and I went to check if the sump pump was there. We went to turn on the light and it didn’t work. That’s when I realized we probably tripped a breaker. Yep, that was it. The problem was an easy fix.
This all sounds simple and easy when I write it out but it really wasn’t that way. I tried to figure out who I was going to call about this if we couldn’t figure it out. I worried that this was going to be a thousand-dollar fix. I didn’t have the Iowa Boy to defer to and that triggered a new sense of loss.
The other day I was so proud of myself. I put the new string in the weed eater. I didn’t have to watch the Youtube video that I have bookmarked that explains how to do it. I guess the fifth time is the charm. The previous four times I did this, I had to watch the video.
So ladies and gents. My cautionary tale is please don’t let your loved one do everything for you. Include them in the domestic jobs. Learn some of the “man jobs”. When one of you loses the other, the one that is left will be so much better equipped to live life.