There are four of us.
Before our husbands became ill or disabled we were wives and mothers, working at home raising kids, cooking meals, planting gardens, doing the shopping and laundry like other women in our neighborhoods. Some of us held outside jobs as well.
What we all have in common is we love our guys and we try to make their lives as meaningful and normal as they were before they had to be confined to round the clock care.
We all went through the nightmare of trying to explain to our life partners why they could no longer drive and why at this late stage in our marriages we were now in control of the checkbook and the car keys. It is never easy for any of us when we see the macho man of our dreams for the past 40, 50 or 60 years reduced to the guy in a wheelchair.
As they see it, they are desperately making an attempt to hold onto what little is left of a normal lifestyle. There’s a lot of humor involved in keeping the spirits up in both spouses, no matter which one of us is bedridden or wheelchair bound and living in a healthcare facility. We talk about the good times we had and we still worry about our kids and grandkids. We laugh as we compare the good old days with what’s going on today with all those candidates running for president in 2016.
There is also sadness. One of the wives lost her beloved mate of 50-plus years last week. We all mourn for our dear friend and the thought crosses our minds: “It could have been one of us.”
But it wasn’t.