I was over at Mom’s today as a new care giver was being trained in. She’s a refugee from Kenya and has been in the United States for seven years. I fed Mama while our regular care giver showed “Ruth” around.
After lunch Mama is helped into the bedroom and changed and freshened up before her nap. It took awhile today because Mama was pretty messy. And the whole process is a bit stressful for her and she hollers. And the whole time Dad waits on the bed, ready to hold her up if she tries to flop back before they are finished.
But once she was cleaned up, they tucked Mama into bed. And Dad cuddled next to her and put his arm around her and said in soothing tones, “I’m here for you, Nina. I’m here. I’m here for you.” And Mama calmed down as she nestled warm and close to Dad.
I met up with Ruth in the kitchen after this and saw that she was choking up and blinking back tears. “Oh the love he has for her!” she said. “Such love!”
And I blinked back tears and nodded in agreement. They’ve been married over sixty years now. And I am blessed to see their love lived out in sickness and in health, in good times and bad.
Such love! Such precious love!
P.S. This is a photo Daddy carried in his wallet for I don’t know how many years. Maybe until his eyes got so bad he couldn’t see it anymore. I wouldn’t restore it if I knew how, because the worn look of it speaks so well of the faithfulness of the man who cherished it.
I want to thank you and tell you how deeply moved and thankful to God I am for a friend of mine introducing me to your blog. I have read over many of your posts all the way back to 2013 and have wept and felt grateful at the same time. Let me explain. Six months after I got married in 1990, my father had a quadruple bypass that went horribly wrong. That was the beginning of watching a 17 year decline where my mother was his caretaker and we were told he had dementia brought on from the botched surgery. This eventually turned into full blown Alzheimers. My point is that it was a very long journey that finally ended in Jan 2008. The last four years of his life took a toll on my mother and me.
There have been six life giving years for my mother after his death. In 2014, she was told that she had alzheimers. It was in the beginning stages and for the last two years I have been driving back and forth helping her. It has gotten steadily worse and just this last week I have brought her to my home. She thinks she is here for a few weeks visit. Honestly, she will probably never be able to go back to being alone. It has finally reached the point that she is not safe. That brings me to tonight when I read your blog and reflected on my own mothers 17 year caretaking role with my father. It brought tears to my eyes to hear of your father’s and your love and sacrificial service to your mom. My parents were married 52 years when my father went home. I am navigating this transition and thinking God, I don’t have a second tour in me and then I found your blog and was strengthened and encouraged in faith hope and love and realize I am one in a sea of many. Thank you for sharing your heart. God is using you more than you know!
Cynthia, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for the challenges your family has had. It’s so hard to see our loved ones struggling. But there are blessings in being with them through it all too, and God gives grace one day at a time as we depend on Him. I pray God will continue to strengthen and encourage you as you take on this second tour. You are not in the battle alone. Thank you so much for sharing how our stories have moved you. You’ve touched my heart as well! ~Cheryl
Makes my heart melt!