You see, when I was a little girl, my mother suffered from mental illness. There were times in her delusion when she barely knew who she was, much like Alzheimer’s. It wasn’t easy and she was hospitalized many times. That is why her recent diagnosis of dementia has been very difficult to take. But as I saw when I was a child, my father puts all of my mother’s needs first. At complete disregard for his own comfort, he would do anything for Mom. He’s remained by her side, loyal, loving, respectful, treating her as if she’s the young beauty he first married so long ago.
I saw another great love. Louise, my husband’s aunt, had a stroke several years back and was hospitalized and eventually moved into a nursing home. Her husband, Hubert, took the time every single day driving to see her, helping her to eat, talking with her even though she couldn’t speak well, and making sure every need of hers was met. There came a time he couldn’t drive any longer, and he would wait as the senior bus picked him up, not missing one day with his wife. When he suffered his own health crisis, he ended up in the same care facility. Though they weren’t in the same room, Uncle Hubert would wheel himself down the hall to spend time with his beloved each and every day.
Hubert and Louise didn’t have many family members, so I became a regular visitor of theirs. I watched as love appeared to grow even stronger as Hubert sat by his wife’s side, gazing upon her as if she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and talking to her as if she was the only person in the world who mattered.
It was then that a story began forming in my mind. What if an older couple actually met for the first time in an assisted living center? What if a warm friendship was forged, and eventually led to love? My book Love Woven in Time was born.
It chronicles the lives of Harry and Rose, two people who meet in the golden years, both with their own sets of challenges, but the main one being Harry’s onset of dementia. It was carefully written with the help of a dementia coach and author, Carol Howell, and with thoughts of my parents and my husband’s uncle and aunt, giving a story that is tender, believable, and written from the heart.
Though Hubert and Louise have passed, I am blessed to still have my parents. I continue to watch, grow, and learn from them about true love. A bond that cannot be broken. Even with the ravages of time, age, and memory loss.