Until The Very End

During one of my visits to the hospital to see the old fella I spent some time with the spritely gentleman in the next bed who was ninety years’ young. He’d had a similar accident to my Dad but said he had sadly resigned himself to never returning to his lovely little bungalow with the beautifully tended garden.

He confided in me that he had never had cause to stay in a hospital before and had kept himself busy nursing his wife through a stroke for the past twenty years. As I made us both a cup of tea in the small ward kitchen the nursing sister told me that when his wife was eventually admitted to hospital he used to visit her every day come rain or shine and would stay from early in the morning to late at night.

As we chatted over our cup of tea and a chocolate digestive biscuit he proudly told me with a twinkle in his eye that he had been married to the love of his life for sixty-nine years but smiled as he said “mind you, we’ve had our ups and downs”. As an incurable romantic I had to ask him if he knew the first time he met her whether she was the one and without hesitation he said “absolutely”.

He said that he’d first met her at a fun fair and after he’d sweet-talked her into sharing a dodgem ride he’d asked her to a dance and three children and seven grandchildren later they were still together. After another chocolate digestive he went on to tell me that she was now in a nursing home and he would be joining her at last. I remarked how nice it would be for them to be together and he leaned forward and whispered “She has dementia m’dear and hasn’t recognised me in over ten years but I’ll be happy if it’s my face that she sees every morning when she wakes and the last one she sees before she goes to bed.”

As I sat holding his hand he smiled and I could see his mind wandering back to happier times and I envied him as he had found that which all of us longed for but which many seldom find within their lifetimes. I choked back a tear as I realised that he already knew how blessed he had been.

Everyone knows how to love but only a few know how to love forever

old hands

25 thoughts on “Until The Very End

  1. Oh my. How you managed this beautiful conversation without crying thru the whole thing, I’ll never know. He is, indeed, blessed. And my New Year wish for you dear, lovely, valuable, amazing Tink…is to be blessed this way as well. Much love and thank you for sharing this wonderful, uplifting tale of love. Hugs to you and please give Dad a warm hug for me too. xoxo

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  2. A lovely romantic story and well told. I am sorry to read about your dad’s accident Dallas, but glad he is recovering well. Wishing you and him and your entire family, good health and much happiness in 2016.

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  3. My dear friend. I have come back to this post several times for it is a story that must be remembered. One of my most favourite quotes about love comes from dear George Eliot, “what greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?” There will a time when old age comes, but let it come with joy and courage. Thank you for all of your marvelous posts over the past year. I am glad that we are beginning a fresh new year together. 2016 Here we come; let the adventures begin.

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  4. As I try to catch up with reading (eventually writing too) I am so happy I never pass a chance to read you. This was indeed a fortunate encounter, a reminder there is love to be had and love to hold on too. We all move so fast through life, unwilling to fight for what is worthwhile we too often miss our opportunity.

    Thank you for sharing this one my friend. Happy New Year and hoping all in your world is well.

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