Till Death Do Part

"I Paul, take you Stella, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God's holy law, and this is my solemn vow." This is what my dad promised 44 years ago. 44 years ago, he didn't know he was promising to commit to a women who would suffer from early onset Alzheimer. 44 years ago a young boy named Paul didn't know he was promising to take care of a wife who would not be able to take care of herself after the age of 60. 44 years ago, Paul was promising to love a young Stella who captured his heart with her good looks and love of life! He was marrying a beautiful girl who made his heart skip a beat, who he could see his life with forever. And so life went, full of surprises, ups and downs, but they always had each other until this disease stole that life. Until this disease we call Alzheimer took Stella away. They don't travel to Vegas anymore or take random trips to Carmel or Nordstroms. They don't watch the grand kids together over night while we go out and play. No, they don't do that anymore. Instead dad gives mom a bath and dries the entire bath tub before he helps her to get out. He changes her clothes and brushes her teeth. He cooks her meals and cleans up after her. He does the grocery shopping and keeps up the house. When mom had a difficult time using the toilets because of the distance, he bought higher toilets throughout the house so the Queen, as we call her, would feel more secure when sitting down. When the house wasn't getting warm enough, her changed out all the units in the house to keep it warmer longer. When she is scared he holds her. This is my dad, a man who took his vows seriously. When he promised, he promised. He could easily put my mom in a home, but he knew she would be sad not being in her own home. So he hired someone to help, and keeps her in her home. He could easily do what Barry Peterson, a famous journalist whose wife suffers from early onset Alzheimer, has done to cope with the loss of his wife. You see Barry put his wife in a home and because she is not there mentally, he is seeing other women because that is what his wife would of wanted had she known what was happening. And together with this new love, they visit his wife and he has written a book about this showing us how to handle something like this is our own lives. But I would rather take Paul Dictos' way of coping with the loss. Sticking by your wife till death do part, not till sickness do part. So during this Christmas season with your loved ones around and some not close to us, remember your vows to one another, to your children, to your families. It's never easy, it's not supposed to be or else what would be so special about it? I pray that when in this very situation the man I married would be a Paul Dictos, one who would honor his vows till death do part. I love you dad and everything you exemplify. Merry Christmas to the father that has not only shown me and the world what it means to love, but what it means to be a man of your word. Stella is a lucky girl to have Paul as her man. She will be taken care of for life, with class. Love you more...


Gut-wrenching and beautiful, Nina.
The Garud's said…
You brought tears to my eyes. What an example he has set.

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