My inlaws passed away last year. They died 2 months apart. They had been together 56 years. She had a stroke in 2005 and was still able to get around but was never her former self again. The love he showed for her in the next 7 years was remarkable to say the least. He put aside his life and did his best to make hers as comfortable and secure as he possibly could.
Watching him as he cared for her and tried to make her life as normal as possible was truly inspiring. He continued to do activities that he was already involved in but as the years passed you could tell he was slowing down too. He never left her for more than a few hours at a time unless he had to be hospitalized himself.
He made her daily routine a ritual that she could repeat each morning and her days as enjoyable as he could. The daily routine of playing a Rummy game to 500 became the highlight of her day. He came to hate rummy but he always agreed it was time when she asked if he would play a hand or two with her. You see, she could no longer read and since she was a journalist in their small hometown newspaper, she became sadder and sadder that she could no longer do her favorite things. So he helped her replace those favorite things with her daily dose of rummy.
We spent more time with them in the last 7 years, trying to go visit twice a year and he so looked forward to someone else taking a turn at the daily rummy games. But you could tell he was always right there to ease the way when she got confused or frustrated.
He was her anchor you see and she clung to him with both hands. He kept things stable for her when she was inside the storm that was her confusion and fear. He kept her safe and secure in the love he had for her and she never doubted him or his love.
Spending this last year with them and then her after he passed away in Dec. 2012 has been an eye opener for me in evaluating my life and my future and what I want from it. It has been hard at times to sit and realize that I am on the last 3rd of my life and going into the "golden" years can be a scary thing. I look ahead to what may come and wonder if I will be as content as they both were to live in the now. I spend each day doing what secures me to this live. Making the most of each day has become something I am stewing with. I am not doing such a good job of feeling like each day has accomplished as much as I should accomplish. Then I remember that Paul tells us to be content.
Phil. 4:11 Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstance I am.
I have fibromyalgia and some days with my pain and fatigue, I do absolutely nothing. The next day I allow myself to wallow in my guilt that I am so much slower than I used to be. Then I remember where I have been and all I have gone through and especially, where I am going and I am renewed. I know my future and what it holds.
12:I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
13: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
So this too shall be overcome. My pain, fatigue and guilt, my insecurities on how I live each day and what the future holds in my "golden" years it all will be ok. I will take one day at a time and try to make a difference in just one person's life and in so doing make my life more content. I will walk the path I have chosen and let God lead me in whatever task He needs me to accomplish.
For God is my anchor and I will cling to Him with both hands. I will let Him lead me where I need to go and prayerfully I will be the kind of wife, the kind of mother, and the kind of grannie love that I need to be. My daily prayer is that I will be the example I need to be and the anchor I can be for my husband, my children, and my grandchildren. I know no better legacy to leave than the one that helps them all to be better in this life. Better Christians, better spouses, better parents, better brothers, better sisters......... just better...in Him.
.For all of us can do ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS US!!!!!!!!!