Following my example….

After my mother, who had alzheimers died, Kelly (my daughter) told me I’d showed her how to act as a daughter. (I hope she never has to care for me that way, but it was good to see that she learned that lesson.)

Maybe my role now is to show all my wonderful friends how to be a wife to a husband who has a terminal illness.

I hope they realize that love evolves. When your partner has a serious or terminal health condition, you adapt.

John has always been a strong, viral man. It’s hurt him deeply to be reduced to breathing through a machine and waiting for me to get a handicapped assist cart before we try to go into a grocery store.

We can’t dance any more. He even has problems getting enough breath to talk, but I love him as much now as when he was healthy.

I know he needs me (although sometimes it’s hard for him to acknowledge that). I understand that I’m now providing the physical strength he no longer possesses. I am no youngster. I’m 75. I am weaker than I would have been a few years ago, but I am trying to do what is required of me.

I wonder if Shelly realizes that she might someday need to support Richard, or Linda realizes that Ron might someday need her help in every way. Sherry and Bob are perfect together, but does she understand that she may someday have to try to lift him, if he can’t stand up? Dave and Sharon are younger so the problems are less likely, but do they realize that life isn’t always as easy as what they’re experiencing now?

Maybe that’s our role in life to show others the strength they will need when life changes. Maybe, like in my situation when my mother developed alzheimers, it’ll be your mother who needs your help, or maybe your partner won’t be as as healthy as they once were. You just step up and do it.

I want those who will follow to watch me, because I plan to be a “good example.”

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