Posts Tagged 'love'

Sweetie Died

My one and only Sweetie died last week. She wrestled with Alzheimer’s for seven years and it finally took its toll.

It’s like peeling an onion. The first piece is your short-term memory. You will ask the same question over and over. Next comes a jumble of long-term memories. We’ll remove your ability to enjoy music, movies and live entertainment. Crowds will be your adversary. Your appetite will diminish and you will forget how to use a knife and fork. Your sweetheart will cut your food into bite size pieces. You’ll eat a lot of chocolate ice cream but not much else.

We’ll make dressing yourself a chore that takes more precious time away from living. You will forget how to tie your shoes. Along the way we’ll even add a few things, like headaches and pain. Or wild dreams that cause you to sit upright in bed and yell at the dark intruders. You’ll constantly repeat the same stories and create ones that are more fantasy than fact. You will visit the hospital ER several times and stay in the hospital some nights where you’ll rail against being there.

We’ll make you think you live someplace else other than your home. And wonder if your parents are still alive and do they know where you live. People will arrive who want to take care of you but you’ll swear at them and tell them to get the hell out of here or you’ll call the police. Your sweetheart will try to cope but he will feel much of your pain and anguish. Your sole entertainment will be getting in the car, driving into town, turning around and going home. Getting out of the car in your garage and walking to the house will become a terrible adventure.

Your sweetheart will turn his back for an instant and you will fall in the bathroom. And then you will fall a few more times. He will call the fire department to come and lift you from the floor, and you will tell them to mind their own business. You will finally get to bed, the paramedics will leave and he will wait for it to happen all over again.

You’ll sleep a lot on the chair in the sun room, the soft one in front of the fireplace and the couch in front of the TV. In a lucid moment, you’ll sit on the edge of the couch and say “I can’t do this anymore.”

Eventually you’ll have a caregiver because your sweetheart is exhausted. The hospice nurses will visit every day. They will bring a hospital bed, a walker, a wheelchair and other things that you thought you would never need. They will know things about life and death that only come from doing it over and over again.

You’ll fall asleep for days. Then, without warning, you will be gone. And your sweetheart will feel his heart bursting from his chest. And he will be alone for the first time in fifty-seven years.

And everything will remind him of you. He will fill his time by crying. And he will love you more than ever.

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I love her

I’ve talked about “Sweetie” in a whole lot of my blogs.  But maybe you haven’t met her.  So let me introduce her.

I met Ila about fifty years ago when we were both too dumb to know we were dumb.  It took us only about two years to figure out that we’d be better off married than to continue wandering through the desert looking for Mr. or Ms. Right.  Tomorrow we will be married forty-eight years.

My folks, bless their hearts, celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary back in the days when whale oil lit our lamps and the Internet was a string attached to two tin cans.  I can remember thinking “Twenty-five years.  Boy are they old.”  Now I’m them by nearly a factor of two.

Do you ever look at your significant other and try to think of him or her as a distinct individual, totally separate from yourself?  I do that once in a while and fail miserably.  Yes I know, some of you are saying “What a doofus, what a whatever.  That poor girl needs a life of her own.  She’s her own person.”  Well here’s what I say to you…phfffffft.

I can’t imagine what life would be like without Ila.  In fact, I can’t remember much B.I.  She looks like she did when I first met her.  Really cute.  Beautiful blue eyes.  Great shaped lips.  A body that I love to nestle up to.  You ought to see her in a bath towel.  Me?  I don’t look so good anymore but she’s a forgiving girl.

I can sense how she’s feeling even if we’re at opposite ends of the house.  Sure, maybe it’s my imagination or maybe it’s the lingering emotion that developed the last time we sat together.  Either way, it heightens the senses.

Do we argue?  You bet.  Usually it’s something I said or how I said it.  Or what I didn’t hear her say even though I was looking straight at her.  I’ve tried to overcome that character flaw but I’m stuck at a C-.  Sometimes hurt feelings last for the better part of a day.  Sometimes not.  It’s an awful time for both of us.  But it passes and we smile, kiss and say how much we love each other.

We go to the movies a lot.  And we hold hands.  You’d think that holding someone’s hand for almost two hours would get a little old.  It doesn’t.  But she has a way of stroking my hand that let’s me know everything is OK.

We sit next to each other on the couch and watch TV.  I sit in the corner near the comfy armrest.  She sits in the middle of the couch, on the crack between the cushions.  I’d move to the other end to get away from the crack.  She doesn’t.  And we hold hands.

I love to come home on Monday afternoon after driving the bus.  I do like driving the old folks but by the time I get home I’m tired and I’m hungry.  She meets me at the door, smiles broadly and says “Hi Sweetheart, how was it?”  I sometimes feel like Ralph Kramden with my own Trixie.

If we don’t always know where the other is we get edgy.  Probably because we’re insecure.  So what.

She doesn’t seem to have to work at doing things for me.  It’s part of her nature.  I have to think about it, get up the energy, not procrastinate and then do it.

If I ask for help, like when I can’t find my wallet, she leaps to the chase.  With me it’s more of a slow waddle.

I love to make dinner, bake bread and prepare new things.  She never says “That’s awful” unless I say it first.  Then she coos “Don’t worry about it.  We can eat eggs.”

When I get upset, she always knows what to say, how to hug me and how to make it all better.

Most of all, we love each other.

What more could I ask after forty-eight years.

 041120085491w


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