No Greater Love
A tremendous love story of elderly care, family emotions, and great sacrifice, all in the name love. More
This is the story of my husband’s slow decline into complete physical dependency and mental distress during the last two and a half years of his life. The times he remembers who I am, the times he even forgets who he is. The funny things he does or says, always the big tease, the times he is aware of his dementia and cries in torment of his helplessness. The agony we feel for him as he becomes more debilitated. He doesn’t want to live this way being a burden to me, yet doesn’t really want to die and leave me. He often begs me to kill him and come with him.
My daughter, Kathy, moves in with me to help care for him, her siblings are still supportive and call or visit regularly. Our son, Larry, devised a way of transporting him to several family functions, securing him in the transport chair in the back of his utility van. We are on Hospice assistance, they are a Godsend;
He witnessed the worse hurricane season we had in many years, without being aware of it. He missed the weddings of three of our grandchildren the summer of 2003. Those three weddings and two trips to the Cocoa Beach motel, where our large family celebrated Thanksgivings, are the only respite I take from him in the three years before he dies.
Don lay in a comatose condition the last few days. I am wakened about one a.m. that morning; his breathing pattern has changed, from pre-death ‘spiking’, to gasping with a slight gurgle. Two of my daughters sit with me next to his bed talking and even making jokes. He would have loved to be in on that!
Even as he lay there in death, he is beautiful. I will never forget the sound of his voice calling my name or the vision of my children following his hearse as he is transported out the door.
Goodbye, Don, I’ll always love you. Thanks for a wonderful life.