So tomorrow is Valentines day.
Bob and I have been married 41 years on that special day.
It was him, the romantic one, who wanted it on that day.
It was him who asked me to marry him dozens of times.
It was him who won out.
It was me who was afraid of marriage.
Afraid of the pain repeating itself.
Afraid that I just was not worthy.
Did nt someone tell me that for 17 years?
Did I not buy into that?
Early on in our relationship I became quite ill with
bouts of arthritis. I could not lift my arms, could hardly walk.
Did not fit in shoes, wore flip flops everywhere. The feet
hanging over the straps, they were that swollen.
Walking felt like walking on thousands of pins.
Bob decided to move in to help me with my girls
and cook for me.
It did not sit well with my next door friend, an old lady
full of old judgemental ideas.
He did not move in for an exciting sex life, did not come to
see if he could try it all out and then run.
No, he came to help.
Help he did.
He brushed the long hair on the girls even if they screamed because the knots were unfriendly this man did not do it like Mommy. They just tried him.
He would make and pour my coffee as I could not even lift the pot.
Many days now, I think of that. When the task is too hard and I feel like shaking him then I try to go back there.
Back to all his help and all his care.
I know he would do it for me if the tables were turned.
He would not question it, not for a moment.
Eventually I agreed to marry him.
We were broke.
He an artist painter, feast or famine life style.
My bookkeeper mother told me that we would starve.
When she met him she asked if he had a brother,
she fell in love with him , she knew he was so kind to me
and loved me.
I soon learned that this was a man I could trust, this was a man with integrity, he would not cheat on me.
He would do his best to take care of me.
So he did, for 30 years I was spoiled. He always opened doors for me. I never undid a grocery cart or took a bag in my arms, it was always him and he would not let me touch
He did the dishes, he only complained once about my cooking.
Honestly, once in all these years, I had made sushi with raw fish way before sushi was popular.
I promised I would never cook this again.
Well, I did not exactly cook it.
My oldest wrote this to a friend :
“Eventually, we were introduced to Bob and, in time, my mom fell in love. They were married on Valentine’s Day. I can honestly say that of all the people I know they are the only two I can honestly call ‘soulmates’. When they are together, it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t exist.
The love never stopped. Now when he no longer knows my name and he often kicks me out of the bed then I ache with an ache so deep that I cant begin to fathom it.
I tell myself that is not my Bob, but I cant truly believe it.
People tell me it is the disease.
Does not mean a damn thing to me, this is the man that I
love so do not talk to me about a disease.
I have consolation prizes, some days he kisses me on the lips, other days it is a barely peck on my cheek
I know when he KNOWS me.
It is all still there somewhere!!!
His brain is being attacked by some Pacman sort of enzyme but it has left a few little dots which tell him:
This is Jeannot, and all is well.
Alzheimer is horrible for the afflicted and probably more so for the caregiver. The last 13 years have not been a picnic
but then I KNOW people who have the same situation with a man who was unkind to them. Think of it how horrible that would be to end a relationship on that note.
I am so lucky that for 30 years we had bliss, how often do you hear that today?
Thank you, my love, thank you with all my heart I tell you that I love you.