I am going to share things with you today that are so personal that I debated with myself whether to share them at all.
I decided that, while events and feelings were still strong and vivid, I might be able to help some of you understand and appreciate events as you grow older and approach the end of life.
I think that as we grow older we let the aches, pains and frustrations of life alter the relationships we have with our life partners. The human tendency is to become irritable and intolerant, “He’s such a grouch” and “She’s such a nag.” Each of us has issues of our own, not fully understood by the other. We waste the chance to create memories we will cherish.
My sweet wife and I were recently separated by the end of her life. I have struggled on how best to tell you of our experiences. Sometimes others have said it better. The lyrics of a song keep coming to my mind:
“We haven’t got time for the waiting game. The days dwindle down to a precious few – and these few precious days I spend with you. These precious days I spend with you.”
I cherish those few precious days I spent with her. If you are growing older, your days together are also dwindling down to a precious few. Just as they did for us. Please don’t waste them. Cherish them. Make those days truly precious. You have only one chance.
My wife suffered from memory loss for many years. To understand her and better care for her, I tried to put myself in her place. When I did, I discovered I didn’t know who I was, where I was and I didn’t know anyone. I was always afraid. I was totally and completely lost.
The things, people and places I made up in my fantasies were things, people and places that would make me safe: Mother, home, family. I came to understand she was trying to fill the voids in her life, looking for safety. Many times a day, she would ask where her mother was and when we were going to go home. Or, at other times, she would begin a walk to “mother’s house,” a walk to nowhere. She was lost. The same person I fell in love with, married and shared my life with, but a person hopelessly lost.
Once more I found the best way to tell you what I believe to be true. When we were separated, she left me to go to the security of “home.” Words better than mine, from a classic song, say it best:
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. I once was lost, but now I’m found.”
She is found. Never to be lost again. Home at last. Safe at last.
One day we will be together again. At home and safe together.
Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or email@example.com.