“Whatever’s easiest” was a phrase Jim and I adopted during his illness. Dealing with cancer—doctors, nurses, treatments, etc.—was hard enough, so when we had choices, we chose whatever was easiest.
That phrase came to me recently when the battery in my car died. I had just made my last shopping stop before going to meet a friend. We had plans to go to an art fair for the afternoon and then I was cooking supper. I turned the key in the ignition and after a few clicks, nothing.
Fortunately, I have AAA roadside service, and this is exactly the moment when I am deeply grateful for it. I called and after a relatively short wait (I once waited for three hours for a tow truck in downtown Philadelphia, so I have some perspective here), the truck arrived and the operator confirmed the problem was my battery. He jump-started the car and then told me he had a replacement battery in his truck if I wanted to purchase it then and there.
My battery was five years old and after four rather balmy Philadelphia winters, it had survived the polar vortex of last winter in Michigan. I was not surprised that it had died.
I asked how much it would cost, and it sounded like too much; but, in that moment, “whatever’s easiest” popped into my mind. I could imagine getting home with a recharged battery that would be dead by morning or driving to a store to buy a battery (it was Sunday so my regular mechanic was closed), but that could take a while and would probably mean missing the art fair.
So I bought the battery and ten minutes later, I was happily on my way with the battery incident behind me.
While Jim was sick and after he died, I kept saying I wanted to remember the lessons I learned while caring for him. I am glad this one stuck.
Life, even without cancer, can be hard enough. A dead battery could become an event—or I could choose the easiest route to getting it fixed.
I am grateful for the lessons I have had on prioritizing what is important and for the resources to be able to make choices; life is too short to waste time and energy on a car battery.