My Great Aunt Bette and Great Uncle Vincent have been married 66 years. She is like a grandmother to me, and they have always been my inspiration for a long-lived and devoted marriage. The above picture shows them at my wedding (almost 11 years ago!).
A few years ago, Aunt Bette descended into severe dementia and Alzheimer’s. Not wanting to be separated, they moved into assisted living together – Uncle Vincent in the regular housing, Aunt Bette in the Alzheimer’s wing. It’s been so sad to hear how she doesn’t know anyone, including him. A few weeks ago he contracted pneumonia, and has been very ill with it.
Yesterday, my mom sent this picture.
What a sweet moment! Can’t you just see the connection between the two of them?
But knowing the backstory, it becomes a little eerie. From my mom’s cousin’s Facebook account of how she got this picture:
“Something happened today that hasn’t happened in a very long time. While Chris and I were by dad’s bed, mom was standing at foot of bed just looking confused. Dad called “Bette, come here” and for a brief minute, she came and sat by dad and let him hold her hand! Dad has a hard time talking, but got those words out clearly! He even reached for her hand to kiss it! After this, she was back in her own world! Dad was so happy!”
So I saw the picture, read the story, and was picking up the phone to call my mom to say how sweet I thought it was…when the phone rang, and it was my mom.
Uncle Vincent had just died.
I think they were saying goodbye.
May we all live such long and loving lives. Remember to savor the sweet moments.