Monday, November 27, 2006


We're back from our cruise and will post some about it here...

but until then, enjoy this inspirational story:

It was a busy morning, approximately 8:30 am, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb.

He stated that he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, we began to engage in conversation.

I asked him if he had a doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I then inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for awhile and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, and I finished dressing his wound, I asked if she would be worried if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. I was surprised, and asked him. "And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?" He smiled as he patted my hand and said. "She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is."

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, "That is the kind of love I want in my life." True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything that comes along their way."
Author unknown


Blogger gs said...

This is going to be a long comment, but it's true:

Your story reminded me of the last time Judi and I ate at Wolfie's, the wonderful delicatessen that was in Miami Beach for almost fifty years: It was a melancholy meal to begin with, because it was the last day the restaurant was to be open. It was in 2002, and the man who had founded and run it had just died, and his sons had sold the place out so it could be flattened and a high-rise condo could be built on the spot. But at the table next to us they seated a very elderly woman and man. The man clearly had Alzheimers. Just as clearly, they had been there many, many times. The waitress didn't even offer them menus.

"I want spaghetti," the old man told the waitress.

"Honey," said the old woman gently, "you don't like spaghetti."

"I want spaghetti," the old man said, petulantly.

"Bring him spaghetti," the old woman said to the waitress, "and meatloaf. I'll have soup."

"I don't like meatloaf!" the old man said as the waitress left.

"I ordered you spaghetti," the old woman said soothingly.

"Good!" said the old man.

Wolfie's was a New York-style deli, with the pickles and cole slaw on every table.

"I want a pickle," said the old man.

"Honey," said the woman, "you don't like pickles."

"I want a pickle!"

The old woman handed him a pickle. He took a bite, made a face, and dropped the pickle bite out of his mouth. The old woman was ready with a napkin and caught it.

"That's awful!" he said.

"You don't like pickles," she said quietly, taking the rest of it from his hand.

Their food arrived. The waitress put the soup in front of the woman, the spaghetti in front of the man, and the meatloaf on the other side of the table. The old woman watched expectantly. The old man took some spaghetti on his fork, and, trailing long strands behind, lifted it to his mouth. He put the fork in his mouth, then made a face and spit the spaghetti back onto his plate.

"This is awful!"

"You don't like spaghetti," said the old woman gently, and she switched plates with the meatloaf.

"Try this."

"I don't like meatloaf."

"Here, just try a bite," she said, and she fed him a bite. He chewed it.

"This is pretty good!"

"Meatloaf is your favorite."

The old man picked up his fork and dug in. The old woman ate her soup, but she watched him constantly and cleaned up -- usually anticipated -- little accidents that he kept having.

Judi and I watched without saying a word. After they left, Judi said to me, "She was so gentle and patient! And who knows how many years he's been like that, and how many more he may be?"

And all I could say was, "She must love him very much."

12:32 PM  
Blogger wen said...

ohhh that is such a wonderful story. thanks so much for sharing it. it's definitely a keeper. (made me tear up at work.)

11:16 AM  

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