The full time caregiver ( Poem )
This ones for you dad.
My mother suffered a massive stroke in 2005 that left her partially paralyzed and unable to speak. For the next seven years my father took on the sole responsibility of caring for her. They moved to Florida a year after her stroke where it would be easier for her to recover. My father is the strongest man I know, he never complained nor regretted a moment he spent caring for her. The following is a poem of their love story. Unfortunately my mother passed away a month before their 50th wedding anniversary.
The full time caregiver;
It started with a dance
way back when,
in a hall for the areas military men.
I first saw her laughing with friends by the wall,
a petite little thing, not very tall.
Her hair was as dark as the skies out at sea,
her laughter was sweet music, playing just for me.
I asked her to dance to the first slow song,
she nodded and smiled as I lead her along.
We laughed and we glided our way through the crowd,
with her in my arms, true love I knew I had found.
We talked and we danced for the rest of that night,
I knew I would never let this woman out of my sight.
Yet to my ship and my duties I was called to return,
The scent of her, lost; I terribly yearned.
Then with her first letter I finally received,
a promise to wait for my return and next leave.
For months out at sea and long hard days,
memories of her laughter danced through the suns haze.
I’d make her cards and love letters everyday of the week,
numbering them in perfect order until we could speak.
When my ship finally returned back to her shore,
a long cab ride and I arrived at her door.
We courted and danced for a few more years,
back out to sea, I wiped at my tears.
I returned to her with a ring in my hand,
asked to forever let me be her husband.
We married in a courthouse during a winter storm,
Her parents as witnesses had come along.
Years have passed, and our three children have grown,
life was not always kind to us, yet a beautiful love story we have sewn.
When I promised to love you forever, it wasn’t a joke,
I think you finally realized this after your stroke.
I’d wake you early to start our day,
bathe you in lavender scents and sometimes play.
I’d fix your brace so you could stand and walk,
Oh how I wished you could still talk.
Your words where lost in the road block of swelling caused in your brain,
yet words were not needed, your love for me had remained.
You sang me songs that made no sense,
We giggled when others listened without taking offense.
We’d drive to the winery or the local good will,
exploring and talking getting our fill.
At night I would undress you and fetch your night gown,
lift you in my arms and help you lie down.
You’d find my hand and squeeze it real hard,
then start saying prayers for me and talking to god.
You worried too much that god would take me first,
or I’d become ill, and that would be worse.
Who would brush your teeth or cut up your food,
cheer you up when in a sad mood.
Who would bathe you and give you your meds,
these were the things that ran through your head.
But God had listened to all of your prayers,
yet for me this was my worst fear.
He took you first and set you free,
I wasn’t the caregiver, now that I can see.
You were the one who took care of me.