Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Christmas Love Story

I have been thinking this Christmas about a client of mine that is having a tough year. He has a wife who is in the later stages of Alzheimers. Thing is, he is still dearly in love with his wife and is still willing to do whatever it takes to keep her at home. He came to me to do planning for the possible need for nursing home care for his wife, but considers that to be a last resort. Every time he leaves the office with his wife, my secretary and myself are practically in tears. They are just so sweet and hold hands and, even though she is to the point of having really no meaningful understanding of her surroundings, her husband will always ask her if she has any questions about what I have been saying. He'll put his hand on her knee and lean in close and slowly and gently ask her, and then just hang on her every word. She usually just smiles and says, "no" but to look at him waiting for her answer, you can tell that he isn't just asking, he really cares. He always says, "She took care of me and the kids for all those years, I won't desert her and dump her in a nursing home!"

He reminisces about the old days when her mind was healthy and has the sweetest smile and his eyes just twinkle. These are the times that I don't mind having a client who wants to go on and on about matters that are not related to my work for them. Just seeing the love in this man's eyes when he talks about his wife, who now sits next to him oblivious to her surroundings, and hearing how much he appreciates her and would do anything for her, makes me want to go home and be the best wife and mom I can possibly be. Because I want my hubs, in 45 years, to have that same twinkle in his eyes talking about me.


Janean said...

I worked with a sweet older lady who's husband was twice her size and had Alzheimer's so badly he didn't remember her most of the time.
He fell. She couldn't care for him and had to put him in a nursing home.
She couldn't afford it. So she had to DIVORCE him so the State Health Plan would pay for his Long term care.
After 50 years, she had to divorce him. It practically broke her spirit.
So much in love...I pray I have that much patience when I am his age. Thank you for sharing that story.

roaringmommy said...

I love this post because my grandpa just died on December 28th after having lived in an Alzheimer's unit for 2 years. He and my grandma were married 61 years and together they made it through so much.
It is such a horrible disease because it takes away the true essence of someone you love.