Little Things with Great Love
– by Marygrace Lomboy –
I was asked to visit a recent widow who was in her late 80’s and was receiving hospice care for end stage lung cancer. Last month, she and her husband had just celebrated their wedding anniversary and one week later, he passed away in his sleep. She said she missed him so much, pointing to his empty chair that he used to sit on beside her everyday.
She was filled with sadness and anxiety about how she was still trying to live on her own with hired caregivers. Her sadness was palpable. I asked her about her marriage and how they made it work for 65 years. She told me that it always wasn’t perfect, but they continued to work at it through the years. They raised 5 children and had 14 grandchildren and God was the center of their lives. She said what is really most important is that they truly took care of each other. Her husband was also very frail and had severe cardiac and back issues.
She was on oxygen to help with breathing and had very limited capacity to care for herself. She would sleep every night in the recliner because it was easier for her to breath sitting up and he would sleep in the next room in their bed. She said that she always complained of being cold and in the middle of the night her feet would turn ice cold. She told me that every night her husband would wake up about 2:30 in the morning, shuffle into the TV room with his cane and a flash light where she was sleeping, and make sure that she still had her socks on her feet and the blankets were wrapped around her. If her socks fell off, he would pull up a stool and slowly put them back on her feet while she was sleeping. He would kiss her on the cheek then shuffle back into his bed.
She got a tear in her eye and said “He took such good care of me”…
That’s love – better than any diamonds, flowers or promises… it’s caring in action. So simple, so small, but true caring with great love.