SENIORS: FILLING IN FOR YOUR SPOUSE

Jan 4th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Jerry has a really bad head cold, and I’m the one who gave it to him, so I’m filling in for his blog post today.  I have some reflections to share with our faithful readers about the reality of life in the middle-senior years.  That’s the late 60s and throughout the 70s.  I’m figuring that the ‘later’ senior years begin about 80.

By now you are aware that my father died a week ago, and we buried him last Saturday on a brisk, windy cold day in North East Iowa.  He was 96, had lived a long, happy and fruitful life.  His last several years were marked by moderate to severe dementia.  He always knew who we were, but his short term memory was totally worn out.  We heard the same statement and question many times during the course of a conversation.  And we loved him anyway.

We Loved Him So Much

Jerry and I had the privilege of spending two weeks with him and our step-mom just before his heart finally began giving up, and he went into a coma.  We had lunch or dinner or both every day during those two weeks.  We went to our favorite haunts in Phoenix, always being sure to have his favorite Merlot on the table or ready to be ordered when we arrived.  We loved him so much.

We laughed and joked our way through each day, consciously aware we were making memories that would last beyond his life on this earth.  We didn’t know how soon he would leave us.  We just knew it wasn’t far off.  We loved him so much.

And we had lunch one day with my sisters and a brother-in-law.  Daddy said the only person missing was his fourth daughter.  He was never happier than when he had all four of his chicks with him.  We loved him so much.

We four had the privilege of taking care of him in his last days at home.  Our baby sister is a hospice nurse, and she managed those last four days with nursing expertise and daughterly love.  All four of us contributed to caring for him, and we will be eternally grateful for that time with our daddy, whom we love so much.

 

 



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  1. Yes, Sharon, “WE LOVED HIM SO MUCH”!!!!! So marvelous you had those two last weeks with pa Shaw! How blessed he was to have you with him and vice versa! If you were able to really know me – and I am sure you do, you know how much I would love to be there too…. just to sit down by him! to hug him and tell him some “portingenglish” words… He would probably not have recognized me, but LOVE sometimes doesn´t need to be “a show”… just to be “felt”! Yes, Shaws sisters, “WE LOVED HIM SO MUCH”…. I still wonder how your parents just accepted a foreign person in their house – and how blessed I was about that! There is one thing I´ll never forget about “daddy”- HE LOVED HIMSELF!!!!!!! That´s the best quality a person must have- if you love yourself, you are able to love anyone in the world! And that´s what Jesus taught us- “to love our brothers and sisters as we love ourselves”- so he had the whole Bible in his HEART!!!!!! I am still trying to learn that- “to love myself enough to be able to love others…” It isn´t easy to love ourselves sometimes…. In the first month of 2011 my aunt Clementina (87) left us and in the last month, pa Shaw – and they had something in common- both of them loved themselves! My aunt wasn´t pretty anymore, but she felt so happy about being who she was, she thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world- very simple life, no fancy facts, but it was so “GOOD” to have her around and just call her and talk to her- the subjects were aches, medicines, but she was so happy and we were too to hear her voice. She didn´t have a phone (nowadays almost everyone has a phone at home in Brazil or a cell phone) she had to go to a neighbor to call us….it was nice because she had to exercise herself….Well, two special people aren´t here anymore, now they are in a very good place, for sure. But with me I have their best lesson in life- a treasure- “love yourself to be able to love others truly!”- “WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH, DADDY!”

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