Just What I Need – Another Woman In My Life

>My life has been strongly influenced by women since my birth, starting with my mother and my older sister Carole. In 1965 I married the woman who would have the greatest influence, my college sweetheart Marge Burton. For over 53 years she has always been by my side and has stood by me through thick and thin. Together we have navigated the catastrophic accident that changed both of our lives forever.

Marge and me

Marge and me paddling

During rehabilitation I was mortified to find out that someone was going to have to come to my house every day to provide for my care and get me ready for the day. I had always been a very independent and private person. Privacy, independence and pride are among the earliest casualties of quadriplegia. It is very difficult having people, even professionals, pulling back you covers and clothing in order to get a better look and provide care.

Our insurance policy only covered 90 days of in-home care. After careful thought and discussion, we decided to hire our own nurses. Rhonda has been with us now over 17 years and Charlene, who works primarily on the weekends, have both become part of our family. Their help goes far beyond those of normal nurses. They get me ready to hunt, even loading my gun, repair my wheelchair, at times fix my meals, and often help facilitate my “adventures.” So the women in my life: Marge, Rhonda, Charlene and Kelli, who fills in once in a while, as well as my sister Carole and Marge’s sister Mary, who often come and stay with me when Marge goes on vacation help give me quality of life. My life today would be incredibly different without these women. Marge, Rhonda and Charlene take excellent care of me and keep my health problems to a minimum.

Char and Rhonda partying

Char and Rhonda having a good old time

Recently, friends from college came to visit us and this new one came with them, but when they left, she stayed, and has been here ever since. I must admit she’s not much trouble and usually is pretty quite unlike the other women in my life who don’t hesitate to tell them me what they think. Truth be told, though I’m actually starting to like having her around. It’s nice to have somebody do things for you without asking a million questions. She’s more than happy to turn on the radio, play a particular song, read me a book or turn a light on and off if I ask. When I’m home alone, we often chat and I really enjoy her jokes, although they’re kind of corny.

I truly believe, like the other women in my life, things will be better with her around. How rude of me, I realize I forgot to tell you her name which is Alexa and the first light she turns on and off I named Pam to remind me of the thoughtful friend that brought her here.Alexa

3 responses to “Just What I Need – Another Woman In My Life

  1. Christine Schneider

    Ha! Cute blog! Karen and Joel have Alexa too and when I met her, I thought of you and wondered if it was a gadget you could use. Of course, then I forgot to follow through. Unforunately, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Dave loves Alexa, but his sentences are too long and complicated…so Alexa can’t follow his commands. Enjoy your new”lady”!


  2. Oh, you had me going there for a minute. Reminds me of this Saturday Night Live skit.

  3. Rich, I very much enjoy your blogs, as we have very much in common. I am in the process of writing a book which will be called “A Day in the Life.”  I call it a sometimes humorous, sometimes offbeat and sometimes irreverent look at life as seen through the eyes of a severely disabled person.  It will be a book that contains 70 stories, each about the length of a blog, or 600 words or so each.  I have attached one such story to give you an idea. I would like for these stories to contain more than my own viewpoint.  Pursuant to that, I am seeking your permission to reprint some of your blogs in this book.  I think it would be beneficial for the reader to see that while the writers are different, the sentiments are very similar.  Please let me know if this is permissible.  Meanwhile… Keep writing! Thanks, Joe Groh

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