At that time I was in a stressful relationship that broke up and had me living alone as a single mother of four children away from that big lovely house.
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What to write when you’re growing old
FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura (The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2019 - 12:00am

What will I write about? I have had the most regular week, meaning I haven’t had very much to do. My husband and I are growing old. There are nights when we cannot sleep but unfortunately they are never the same night. Last night I could not sleep. Finally giving up, I rose at 1:15 a.m. and popped an allergy pill. They always put me to sleep. I learned that when in my late 20s I was decorating one of those local fir trees for Christmas when I spotted a big, fat, hairy, fierce-looking caterpillar snuggled within its branches. I broke out in a wild rash that spread all over my body and was horrendously itchy.

I went to a doctor who recommended an expert on allergies. This lady, who was always magnificently dressed and made up, began the ritual of scratching all sorts of allergens on both my arms. Apparently I was allergic to virtually everything. That was the Christmas season when my body looked like a relief map of the Philippines. The doctor gave me regular injections and prescribed antihistamines, allergy pills, for relief.  That’s when I learned that they also put you to sleep.

My allergies got so bad that once when we were in San Francisco walking through Fisherman’s Wharf, where a lot of seafood is cooked on the sidewalks, I broke out in a serious rash attack that made me run for the hotel to take my pills and fall asleep.

At that time I was in a stressful relationship that broke up and had me living alone as a single mother of four children away from that big lovely house. Strangely enough my allergy attacks and the migraine headaches I used to get while in that relationship disappeared. I came to the conclusion that it was stress that caused my allergies and all sorts of aches and pains. Stress can do strange things that manifest through our bodies. Stress can also teach us that the pills we take for our allergies put us to sleep. So I always keep a small stock of them to take on the nights when sleep eludes me. I took one last night and fell asleep finally at 3 a.m.

 So I woke up at 9 a.m., feeling very lazy. I played solitaire on my cell phone for about an hour. It’s the standard seven-card solitaire that I used to play as a child. I play it again now, and enjoy it even more. Then I had breakfast washed down with lagundi tea. I have had this bad cough —yes, again — and am trying to heal it with lagundi tea and capsules. It is slowly getting better but I hope it stops soon. It makes me think that maybe I have lung cancer or whooping cough or walking pneumonia.  Maybe I will just drop dead or something.

My husband has been waking up always saying he feels strange, his body aches. I guess he is probably getting the flu because he felt a little hot to the touch. So I reached for the thermometer I bought him recently but it didn’t work. One of the visiting grandchildren played with it, our helper said. I brought it to the drugstore where I bought it to have it fixed. They said the battery had to be changed but they didn’t have a replacement. I should bring it to someone who repairs watches. I rolled my eyes. Maybe I could send the driver to look for a man who sells watches and has the right battery. But our driver was attending to so many things I didn’t know when he would have the time. Maybe he will be free by Wednesday next week. By that time my husband will not need the thermometer anymore. Anyway, every morning I give him a flu capsule and he feels well enough the rest of the day.

The single big event on our horizon is his second son’s wedding the first week of October in Bohol. In anticipation of this event I am knitting myself a lace top that may or may not make it to the occasion. But I love knitting anyway so that portion doesn’t bother me. Only it takes so much time and so much concentration to knit yourself a lace sweater. I use the cotton mercerized crochet thread but I double it. This finds me seated in front of the TV watching Netflix and knitting for around six hours a day. That’s probably why I don’t have much to write about. I can’t very well write you the detailed instructions of my lace sweater; you wouldn’t understand it and it would bore you to death unless you are a knitter yourself. Then it would excite you and you would marvel at my skill, or else look at it with disdain.

See? Nothing’s happening right now. No wonder I don’t know what to write about.

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