"A place for everything and everything in its place," she said, as if her grandmother's maxim would somehow save her husband from his fate.
The questions the doctor asked further solidified what she had feared. She couldn't bear to watch it being committed to record, "There you go, with the typing again. Do you really have to write this all down?"
Her schoolmarm demeanor would falter at times. A dab of the tissue beneath her glasses, "I go through a lot of these, these days."
His adulthood was slipping away. Not into old age, but adolescence. His ornery boyhood charm was evident. A former college professor, his specialty was computer science. He could no longer remember how to operate his own.
She clutched her tissue.
The dirty clothes hung with the clean. She knew by the way he folds his sleeves.
The accidents found in the hamper.
The nest egg squandered unbeknownst to her.
The stop sign he ran on the way. "Well there was no one coming."
His toenails had become unsightly. She had mentioned they needed trimmed that morning. He had complied. He took off his socks to show his handiwork, nails cut to the quick.
As she broached the subject of the future, the retirement village by their son, the living will... she clung to his arm. His "big, strong" arm, she said. The arms that had built their house, helped raise their children, protected her for so many years...
And she dabbed again.
And he just smiled and took her hand.
"It'll be okay."