It was almost cruise time, and we were very excited. Our cruise on the Liberty had just ended on March 10, and the inaugural voyage of the Carnival Breeze was right around the corner. We had never done an inaugural cruise before, they either didn’t sail at the right time for us, or we were already booked on another cruise when the inaugural was announced. This time we were lucky, we had prior commitments in Italy in May, and it looked like we would finish with those commitments by Memorial Day weekend. No need to twist my arm, Italy is our favorite country and Venice in particular is very special to us. The new Carnival ship would be launched on June 3, and it would be easy to stay in Venice and go on the cruise. We loved our cruise last year around Italy on the Magic, and we were anxious to repeat the great experience on the new Carnival Breeze.
By April 2012, we were enjoying pictures of our first great-grandchild born in February, and anticipating our eighth grandchild, expected in June. In few short weeks we would be heading for Italy, and Fuzz was getting the house ready for the summer. Life was routine, uneventful, and there were no problems on the horizon.
Then the unthinkable happened. Without warning, or any prior medical problems, Fuzz went from cleaning the garage to fighting for his life in an ICU. Suddenly our life was on hold, and I was being asked how I felt about no CPR orders, and if organ donation was something I would consider for my husband. A massive blood clot had passed through his heart and was now in his lungs, partially blocking the main arteries to both lungs. One day blurred into the next, as he spent days in ICU. Complications set in, and he was rushed to a bigger medical center 3 hours away. Vascular surgery and clot busting followed in what became and endless nightmare. Our daughter’s wedding day came, and we waited in the hospital for pictures of the big wedding we were missing. Our son stepped up to walk his sister down the aisle. We were very lucky, and Fuzz recovered enough to go home, only to hemorrhage again due to blood thinners. Rushed back to the hospital, Fuzz spent another week battling the complications; and it appeared our upcoming trip to Italy might not be possible.
Soon our prayers were answered, and Fuzz made steady progress. He was determined that our trip to Italy would still happen, and he set out to recover his strength in a few short weeks. He had cheated the grim reaper, and he beat the odds, and our trip to Italy was back on the calendar.
Fuzz has some wonderful attributes, but things like cars, plumbing, and electrical work are not talents he possesses, and he is the first to admit it. He does however give it his best effort, and from that comes some very amusing stories. Thankfully, I now get a chance to write one of our amusing family stories, rather than his obituary.
Fuzz hates electrical work, he readily admits he knows little about it, and efforts to improve his skills over the years, have not been very successful. For years we had a switch in the hall that was a 3 way switch to turn the hall light on, from separate locations. One of the switches by the front door always got stuck halfway, and then would suddenly snap on or off after quite a delay. He always commented, “that switch in the hall is breaking, I am going to have to change that soon.”
Despite being broken, it actually worked for many years. One night Fuzz came up to bed and told me; “it happened, the switch just broke completely so the hall light doesn’t work.” He explained he would take the afternoon off 3 days later so he could spend a few hours fixing the switch, and taking the time to do it right.
The afternoon came and he assembled a small chair to lay out all the tools. Of course, I was needed there to help, someone has to hand the tools over, and hold the screws. Fuzz really hates electrical work, so he is already sweating and nervous. He carefully took the switch out to see what he would need. He confirmed that he needed a switch, so he got in the car and went to Walmart. He came home with the switch, and carefully installed it. He turned it on, and behold, it didn’t work. He inspected the other switch and decided that maybe the other switch needed to be replaced as well. He got back in the car and he made a second trip to Walmart. He returned, installed the switch, and it still didn’t work. He shook his head and slowly glanced at the ceiling. He decided that we have lived in the house for 30 years, and it is probably the fixture in the ceiling that was to blame. The third trip to Walmart, yielded a new fixture for the ceiling. As he stood on a small ladder, sweat appeared on his brow as he carefully replaced the fixture. He handed me the old one, stopping to take the light bulb out, and put it the new fixture in the ceiling. He climbed down, turned on the switch, and it didn’t work.
Then I asked a simple question:
“Is that light bulb good?” I asked.
“Yes, of course, it was working fine until the switch broke.”
You really have to love my handyman husband. An entire afternoon for the project, 3 trips to Walmart, 2 new switches, 1 ceiling light fixture, and if I had found this problem three days earlier, all I would have done was to change the light bulb.
We are now days from our wonderful cruise, and every minute we both stop to think how lucky we are to be together on another cruise. This one will be very special, the cruise that gave us and chance to reflect on how lucky we are to be still together enjoying each other. We feel blessed that God decided he really didn’t need a handyman after all.
Copyright May 24, 2012 Rita Alexandrea