Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This is Love

I shared this story with my Facebook friends a few months ago. It's so beautiful, I felt it worth repeating for you today.

My next door neighbors (Donn and Trish) have been married for 65 years; they are a lovely, kind, generous couple. 

Several years ago Trish was diagnosed with dementia and Donn vowed that he would always take care of her. He has faithfully kept that promise—she is still in their home. Donn feeds, bathes and dresses her. He doesn’t complain—his only regret/fear is that she no longer knows who he is.

Trish has been non-conversant for the past two years—just mumbling and pointing to things that are not there. And in the past two weeks she has become completely bedridden. Donn can no longer move her by himself—his daughter and I take turns helping him.

But today was different. Today I witnessed a loving exchange between the two of them that was so beautiful, I felt embarrassed to be there. As he was lifting her head so that I could re position her pillow, she looked directly into his eyes, smiled, and said “I love you!"

What an amazing gift!

When Donn and I were finished with our labor of taking care of Trish, we sat down in the living room, next to the fireplace.

"Did I really hear that, or was it just my imagination?" he asked.

I hugged Donn and whispered in his ear, "You might have lost her being here, but not her love for you." 


  1. It really is a remarkably beautiful story. I might have had tears in my eyes, or it might have been the cold. Hard to say. :)

    1. Bill, these beautiful people have been a part of our lives for more than 25 years. Everything I know about gardening and habitat I learned from them. They have been like a 2nd set of grandparents for my daughters. Trish and Donn has been my neighbors, my friends, and a dear older sister and brother.

      Even more painful than losing her, is seeing how her slow passing (Nancy Reagan called Alzheimer's 'the long goodbye') hurts her loved one.