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Lilacs & Greensleeves: Forever Love

What a beautiful thought but is it a reality? Well from what I have observed through the years especially with our seniors, it sure is!!
Now what’s that I hear some saying?
“We squabble a lot!” “She’s too picky!” “His idea of a good time is laying on the couch, remote in hand and channel surfing between four…count them 4 football games on at the same time.” And where does he want me? Right there rooting beside him!
Sis Boom Bah Humbug!! 
She says, “This relationship will never work unless HE makes some changes!!”  He says, “Oh man, if SHE doesn’t change, we are not going to see 10 years together, let alone 50!”
Ok, let’s take a deep breath and think about those who have come before us. From what I’ve seen, marriage for most couples then, was a complete dedication to the vows said to one another and people weren’t up and running out on the first argument, heading for the courts claiming ‘Irreconcilable Differences.’
Most of the senior couples I’ve talked with didn’t even have a clue as to what ‘Irreconcilable Differences’ were during their years together.
They said that they stuck it out, through good times and difficult times, through the squabbles and the down right foot stomping arguments.
How did they do that? How does any couple do that and cross the finish line with 50, 60, 70 years together under their belts?
From what I see, they commit to loving one another through it all. They laugh together, they cry together, they hold each other even closer during times of great stress and when it’s all said and done, they take the gold!!
Are there really couples like that out there? Yes indeed and I have met them in my years of nursing.
In my mind, I am thinking about a certain couple. I can’t help but giggle as I imagine them walking down the street conversing or should I say, major squabbling with one another. Back and forth they go, complaining about this and complaining about that! And then, at the end of their story, I find myself nodding my head and saying, “Cool” when I see them standing together looking out over the lake, and as they look into each other’s eyes and gently as they put their arms around one another, she lays her head upon his shoulder and they cuddle, remembering how much they love one another!

Now not all couples go through life having major squabbles like that but even those who do seem to really love one another, even through the complaints. Just in the time I have been with Care4You, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting senior couples who not only showed ‘Forever Love’ to one another when I first meet them but that love was sustained the whole time I was ever in their presence. They walked the talk and what a beautiful example they were and are!
Did they disagree? Certainly! Did they roll their eyes when one said something that made the other one scoff? Sure!! But there was never a time when either one showed the other any disrespect and as caregivers, once our clients become very comfortable with us being there, true colors come shining through and I can honestly say that it’s so refreshing to see couples being themselves….laughing, fussing, discussing the children, just normal home life.
To me, it’s an encouraging sight and I take a deep breath and close my eyes and remember one beautiful evening, when caregiving for my parents was done for the moment and I walked into our living room to see my husband, yes, channel surfing the television.
I was tired….very tired and as I sat down on the sofa, with him in his recliner, he came across a program where a young woman appeared on stage to sing one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, ‘Because You Loved Me!’
As I sat there mesmerized not only with her gorgeous voice, the words, oh those words just filled my soul!
When she was done, I turned towards my husband to remark how beautifully she sounded and there he was….my dear 6 foot 4 inch, football linebacker built man had major tears streaming down his cheeks and as I looked at him, I said, “What?”
He pointed at me and exclaimed in a very strong voice through those tears, “That’s what I think about you…those words Deb, that’s what I feel about you!!!”
Oh my…he took my breath away!!
I never had anyone in my life declare a song for me and mean it with such love!!
And then within a very short time from that joyful moment, my dear sweet husband’s own breath was suddenly taken away one evening when massive blood clots filled his lungs and as I held him in my arms trying my best to help him while waiting for rescue to arrive, my very best friend in this world was gone.
Did we squabble through the years…oh yes! Did we have deep personal talks about everything from the meaning of life, the news in the world, our families, our faith, our caregiving? You betcha!!
We were living ‘life!’
We had our ups and our downs, our laughter and our tears, we celebrated weddings of friends and family, we suffered in the losses of those we loved and all in all, even in the most difficult times….leaving each other was never on our minds.
We had dreams going into our marriage and while sometimes that road we were on took a surprise turn and those dreams were not met, new ones took over and we forged ahead.
And every time I hear Celine Dion sing that beautiful song, ‘Because You Loved Me,’ my heart just swells with the knowledge that we might not have made the golden 50 together…gee, we didn’t even make 30 years together but like so many of those before us and those after us, we were truly in love!
What kind of love? 
The kind of love that we see in our clients at Care4You.The kind of love that makes us as caregivers smile in appreciation of the reality of two who are or have walked together through all kinds of circumstances. The kind of love that transcends even death…
A ‘Forever Love.’

Written by

Deb is our own Deborah McSherry, experienced nurse and caregiver extraordinaire. Deb has been with Care4You since 2009.