When we are young and in love, even though we promise “in sickness and in health,” it doesn’t occur to us that when we age, the “in sickness” clause might kick in requiring one of us to become a caretaker, perhaps for years.
Luckily for us, Peter’s Parkinson’s Disease, now twelve years past diagnosis, has progressed slowly and he has been diligent about doing what he could to keep it at bay. And he is appreciative of all that I do for him.
About two years ago, I took over all of our driving. Peter is a great co-pilot and excellent company, but I no longer get to file my fingernails on the way to somewhere. I do all the heavy lifting (thanks to my compulsive weight-program, that’s not too difficult). And more.
Last week I had planned to meet my former hairdresser. I hadn’t seen Kelly in months, and we agreed to meet at a mall about half-way between our homes. All details were confirmed.
In the morning Peter’s phone wasn’t working. The glass had shattered (we think from sitting down with his phone and keys in the same pocket) and the phone wouldn’t work at all. There was no way that I would leave him alone without a working phone. I texted Kelly and broke our plans.
Instead, I spent a good part of the morning getting his phone repaired. Was I disappointed? Yes. Did I let it get me down? No.
That’s what we caretakers do.