We had dinner with Dad again last night. Jeanne and I are going to try to make this a regular Friday night thing – date night with Dad. The dining room, which is named Josephine’s Kitchen, was fairly crowded, and we ended up sitting at a large table with an older couple. They were almost finished their meal when we sat down, but they stayed almost as long as we did, chatting with us as they ate dessert and we had our meal.
The wife asked us if we were new to the Assisted Living facility. We explained that Dad had been there since January, but that he lived in the secure area known as “The Neighborhood”. I asked her how long they had been there, and she explained that her husband had moved in last summer after a brief hospital stay and subsequent rehab. In the beginning, she had visited him frequently, but after about 6 months, she decided that as long as he still knew her, she wanted to spend as much time with him as possible. So she moved in too.
Although she didn’t provide any details, it seemed he had some dementia, possibly the result of a stroke. But she clearly loved him – was devoted to him – and watching them made me realize that I am glad I have Jeanne in my life. I believe that if either of us was in that situation, we would both do what she did – love our partner enough to give up our own independence to be able to spend as much time together as possible. What a beautiful thing to do for someone!