Who Would Have Thought?

I honestly thought I would grow old, sit in a rocking chair on my porch and drink tea with my friends. Instead, I am now 83 years old and the caregiver for my husband who is 87 years old and has Parkinson's. If I had a choice, I'd be doing exactly what I am doing, because we have had an exciting, wonderful life and I still believe in the vows I took 61 years ago. "In sickness and in health", I took good health and the good times, and I will do my best to help him in the sickness years.

A love of travel

This is not to say there aren't days when I am less than a good wife. But I ask him, every day, "Where would you be today, right now if you could choose a place?" The answers are predictable, either Mexico, on the Pacific Coast, fishing, or Florence, Italy, being a tourist and eating well!

We loved to travel and we had a pattern we followed. A rental car, a loose itinerary, and lots of good food. I told him, my tombstone will read "She Ate Well". He has forgotten all of his childhood. I asked a nurse, "With dementia, don't you forget recent events and remember the early years?" She said each patient is different and my husband is doing it backward.

Fortunately for both of us, he does remember our travels and I can read my journals of those trips to him. I am so glad we spent our money on travel and now have precious memories. Funny memories with good friends, all of whom are now gone, but remembered in our reminisces.

My turn

Now, I help him from the bed, help him in the bathroom, shower and dress him, assist with his feeding, push the chair to his recliner and made sure he has the T.V. remote, his gloves (he is always cold), and his blanket. Then I start the day. I thank him often, for the lifetime of taking care of me, when I had no idea what was involved... he solved the problems and kept me safe. Now, it is my turn to do the same for him.

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