Last week Robert and I celebrated our 57th anniversary. Can you believe it? It’s amazing how time flies by. I remember our wedding day just as though it were yesterday – it was the summer of 1958, a sunny, almost miserably hot day. I was so sweaty in my elaborate wedding gown, and I remember the veil sticking to my face as my father walked me down the aisle at the church. I was so anxious, and on top of that worried that everyone could see the sweat soaking through my dress. But Robert says he only remembers how beautiful I looked that day, and that when he lifted the veil from my face, all he could see was the pure look of love in my green eyes. I’m not so sure… after 57 years, his memory isn’t as sharp as it used to be!
A lot’s changed over the years. We were both in our early 20’s when we got married, going on roadtrips with our friends and sleeping under the stars. It was a great time in our young lives, but we couldn’t have been happier when we had our first daughter, Marie. Marie is now a parent herself, and her two younger sisters are also happily married. Together, Robert and I have nurtured and played with our children, raising them to grow into the intelligent, creative young women they are today. We’ve surrounded them with love and stability, and they are living proof of the love Robert and I continue to share for each other. But as we grow yet older, we’ve had to adapt to life’s changes and make several adjustments.
After Robert retired a few years ago after working for almost 40 years as a partner at a law firm, he started spending a lot more time around the house. I’m also retired, so I was home to notice him acting a bit strange. The weird behavior began with not being able to balance the checkbook, and getting confused about how to play some of our favorite board games. Then he started to lose track of what season it was, and sometimes he would forget where he was and get upset. It was so hard to see Robert slip away like that, as if he were becoming a different person. But of course I still loved him and wanted to help him, so I became his full-time caregiver. I’d help him get dressed in the morning, help feed him and take him to the doctor. But after a while, it just became too much for me to handle all on my own. That’s when Marie and I decided to place Robert in an assisted living facility.
The senior home was great. The people there were so helpful and good to Robert. But Robert and I were absolutely miserable living apart, and it wasn’t helping his health any. I’d visit him often, but it hurt not having him around at home. Something had to change. When a friend at our church suggested Seniors Helping Seniors, I felt so hopeful to be able to have my Robert back. They’re a company that provides senior home care in our area, and we quickly got Robert set up with an in-home caregiver who comes by every day to check in on Robert and help him with daily tasks. It’s such a wonderful relief to have Robert back at home with me, and with his senior helper, I have more time to take care of my own health. But most importantly, I have more time to spend with my dear husband, who is doing so much better now knowing how loved and well-taken care of he is.