Dementia is a debilitating illness. Not only does it rob the afflicted of their memories and their normal way of life, but it robs their friends and family of the person they love.
Taking care of a person with dementia is challenging and can be emotionally draining, but there are also special moments that make all of the hard ones worthwhile.
That’s what Becky Gacono discovered when she was awoken one night while she slept at her parents’ house.
Becky’s mother, Mary Jane, has dementia and needs special care. Her husband of 68 years, Carl, watches over her and goes out of his way to make sure her every need is met and she feels comfortable and safe.
When Mary Jane wasn’t feeling well a few months ago, Becky brought her friend Brenda, a nurse, over to her parents’ house to check on her. Brenda said she thought it would be a good idea for them to stay at the house that night, so she and Becky hunkered down for the night.
A few hours after going to sleep, Becky heard Brenda get up and followed her into the living room. Brenda told her she had heard her mom and dad, so they tiptoed over to the door to listen and make sure they were okay.
“We can hear something, but we can’t figure out what it is,” Becky recalled. “We listen some more. I know what it is. They are kissing. It’s the middle of the night and they are kissing.”
As Becky and Brenda quietly listened outside the door they heard Carl ask, “Is everything OK?”
“I love you,” Mary Jane answered.
“I love you too,” he replied, and then said something that brought Becky to tears:
“Oh, I never thought I’d ever get to kiss an angel.”
Then things got quiet and Becky realized they had fallen back asleep.
“We are still standing outside their closed door, but now we are crying,” she said. “We tip-toe away and stand together in the living room wondering — who wakes up like that? Who says those things woken from sleep? They never knew we were outside their door. They never knew we heard them. They never knew their gift of love they shared with us — if only for a moment.”
Becky also shared a video her sister MaryAnn took of their parents one night when she stopped in to see them. In it, the love Carl and Mary Jane have for each other is so evident. Dementia may be robbing Mary Jane of her memories, but it cannot steal the love they have.
Were you touched by this couple’s sweet love for each other? Then share it!
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