Sunday we enjoyed the opportunity to visit with a friend from South Africa. David Tswaedi, former seminary classmate of Richard and former bishop of the Lutheran Church in Southern Africa when we were in Botswana, was in St. Louis. David had a couple free hours Sunday afternoon and we were able to visit on the St. Louis seminary campus. At the end of our visit David asked if we could give him a lift to a church in St. Peters, Missouri. “Sure,” we said in good African form, even though we had no idea where the church was.
In the car Richard got out the St. Louis map. My heart raced mildly as I remembered the last time he was armed with a map in St. Louis. (See March 9 entry)
I climbed into the driver’s seat and asked, “Are you sure you can figure this out?”
“Yes,” he said, condescendingly, giving me a side-glance and unfolding the map.
As we pulled out of the seminary, we discussed how to get to I-70 which had the most direct route to St. Peters. Richard relaxed to permit me to find the best route. I chose I-170 but was plagued with left hand exits that furrowed Richard’s brow briefly. Soon we were on I-70.
As we crossed the Missouri River I realized I had no idea which exit to take. I was totally dependent on Richard’s map reading since the road we were seeking did not have a direct exit from the interstate. He projected that the fourth exit after the river would be the best option. He was correct, but off the interstate I failed to get in the correct lane to execute a right hand turn. By the grace of God, a couple cars at the first light were slow and I could play the jackrabbit to get into the right lane. Soon we were on the road searching for the church. Bingo, Richard saw it. He had successfully read the map, and I had successfully listened! Progress again!
Setting the Alarm
We were both gratified that Richard did so well at making decisions with the map and in delivering such clear direction. But by the time we returned home he must have used up all his precision brain power. I was delayed at getting to bed as I completed some writing business for an article I was submitting to the advertizing tabloid. I thought Richard had simply gone to bed, but the truth came out in the morning.
Richard invested his waiting time in adjusting his cell phone settings. He has a spare non-network cell phone beside his bed that he uses only as a clock. He had set the calendar to alarm at one time and the alarm clock at another time. On his ATT cell phone he had set his alarm to go off at still another time. Starting at 5:30 this morning an alarm went off every little bit until we got them under control by 6:05.I took a moment of silence while I contemplated what to do with that man. I decided to simply give him a hug. We then disarmed all the alarms and schedules on both of our cell phones and agreed upon one time that our phones would simultaneously ring every morning. I never would have guessed that decision-making would be such a target in therapy.