Uncommon Common Sense

Every marriage is a merging of strengths and weaknesses. A fortunate marriage is one where one partner’s strengths compensate for the other’s weaknesses, blocking those weaknesses from having a negative effect on the family. Barbara had so many strengths which made THE difference in cementing our family bonds over the decades.

Barbara was the most amazing “people person” I have ever known. Perhaps my cousin, Alyson. But she lives in Charlotte and I’m not close to her family. Facebook tells a lot and Alyson is definitely a people person. And both of them absolutely love dogs. To them, dogs are people, too.

At church, folks stood in line just to have a few moments with Barb on Sunday morning. When she became volunteer coordinator, every volunteer need became filled. She always found the right place for a member’s skills. And she was sincerely grateful. Those well known “hard cases” became productive volunteers.

Any time I could chat with Barbara about the things going on in her life was a fun time. This fun often spilled over to our dining room during one of her marvelous dinner gatherings. Lots of ladies showed up early to help prepare and lots of them stayed late to clean up. I made many friends because of my “people person” sweetheart. It is likely I never would have met them. Our family was strengthened by good friends. I basked in her glow.

But I believe the most valuable strength Barbara exercised in our family was her common sense. I admit it, I have virtually no common sense. I tend to say, “Let’s do it.” without weighing the consequences. At every crossroads decision, I knew I could rely on her common sense to shine the light on the best path to take. My strength is in making things happen once the decision is made. Barbara’s common sense and my tenacity joined together many times to cross the next hurdle.

Today, I need Barb’s common sense more than ever. But it is gone. Alzheimer’s Disease robbed her of that and so much more. I am now faced with the need to place her in a care facility. There are so many things to consider in making this decision. Things that require common sense. Barb’s very uncommon common sense.

Our wise doctor is aware of this need and has pointed me to a consulting firm which specializes in cases like mine. You can imagine my relief. An assessment of our situation is underway and a search for viable solutions to the obvious needs. Once again, common sense is operative. I don’t welcome the challenge that faces me, but I feel confident we’ll take the best path. –LG

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