Old love is what makes me think there is hope for the world. I tell you this story not so that you can think this old man is cute, but to realize there is good in the world – and that this is what life is about.
Today I talked with a little old man about his currently situation. Wife of a hell of a long time diagnosed with Alzheimer’s some time ago, and chose for her to live with him because he vowed to take care of her in the good and in the bad. Some of you might not understand what that means for this man. Living with someone with later stages of Alzheimer’s is like babysitting. Things such as simple daily routines are non-existent to her. Bathing, eating, sleeping, driving, conversing, going potty, none of those things are possible on her own in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. So, he shared with me that he was struggling keeping up with his wife. He, like anyone else at his age, his health is starting to deteriorate. He needed help with Medicare, and we discussed that for a bit….Then he began telling me about the last time he had to call an ambulance. “I sat there across the room from her, the love of my life, and she couldn’t pour herself a glass of water. I had already been feeling bad that day. Then something just happened and I couldn’t handle it. I knew I needed help I just didn’t know why I wasn’t feeling okay.” He went on to share with me that basically when EMS got him in the ambulance – he couldn’t utter the words “heartbreak or heart ache” or say anything at all. He was confused, sad, sick, and then he realized he was about to drive away from their house. Driving away from their house meant leaving her, alone. He said he then cried. It was the first time in years he had left her. He had the sweetest southern accent. He proceeded to tell me parts of that conversation over again, and again, aaannnd again but that’s not the point.
Some of you might not get anything from this, and it might very well be one of those “guess you gotta be there” moments. But, for what it’s worth, that sweet old man made my heart happy. Life is too short to live unhappy. We are here to love each other. I think it’s rare now days for someone to have such a raw love and compassion.
(photo @pinterest @donebrilliantly.com)