A Shared Life

My parents passed away in 2010 – only a few weeks apart. Today would have been their Wedding Anniversary.

Looking at the photograph taken on their honeymoon that warm February morning 60 years ago – you see a smiling fresh faced young couple.

Your parents always appear to be old as you grow up,
but as for all of us … they too once were young and vibrant – filled with the joy of starting their life together.

In the years that followed, my parents created a home with an atmosphere of love, security and happiness.
Growing up in that home for me and I know for my sister was the most wonderful of times – there are only good memories.

They lived for the last year of their life in the shadow lands of dementia – with confusion and uncertainty as their constant companion … where each sunrise brought a new day without the memory of yesterday.

There are poignant moments in those last weeks that will always remain with me

My mother’s face as she sits beside Dad’s hospital bed holding his hand …
Kisses his forehead and says goodbye for the last time
Speaking silent words only they could hear and share …
The loss on her face a few days later as I tell her that the love of her life would not be coming home this time.

In July 2010, after only 4 weeks of being separated by death from Dad, my mother passed from this life without physical pain – with kind and loving nursing staff by her bedside. The rising winter sun was pouring into her room, she was listening to music, and the bellbirds were singing in the trees outside her window.

Although imprisoned by Alzheimer’s – it did not in the end destroy her…. She died simply of a broken heart. She was 87.

Their life was, in every sense a love story. Not so much for the fact they lived together for 61 years … though in itself that is remarkable.

Rather – that in the end, the beautiful thing is that they could not live without each other.

What matters in the lives of most people are the small appointments of days,
the details of which one wishes he could remember as he ages but cannot.
Achievement does not make a life.
Doings that slide quickly past, almost unnoticed, compose the texture of days

Samuel F. Pickering

 


8 thoughts on “A Shared Life

  1. “where each sunrise brought a new day without the memory of yesterday.” is a wonderful sentence! My parents are old and still alive and they hold on too each other, so I can very much relate to your story, thank you!

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  2. Lovely. And sad. My father just passed away a little over a month ago, and I worry it won’t take my mother long to join him. It sounds like you have wonderful, loving memories of them, even when their times were tough. I hope the memories give you joy and comfort.

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  3. This was an absolutely beautiful post and I am now writing this comment with misty eyes. What a loving tribute to a loving couple and what inspiration your parents are. You did good! 🙂

    Like

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