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The full time caregiver ( Poem )

Updated on March 1, 2013
Mom and Dad Easter 2008
Mom and Dad Easter 2008

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.


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    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you Jaye, Yes he is a one in the million kind! He not only was a gem of a husband, he is also the best dad a girl could ask for! Their love was one of a kind and I'm grateful I was part of it! Thanks for the votes and the share!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 

      7 years ago from Deep South, USA

      What a beautiful and well-deserved tribute to your dad and his selfless caring for your mom. He is obviously one in a million! Though your mom endured much from her stroke, she was blessed to have a loving husband who honored his marriage vows, "till death us do part." They were both blessed to have a loving family.

      I must agree with Colin (epi) that giving care to a loved one during her or his last years with you is one of the best things you can do. It is a gift to the caregiver as well as the one who is cared for.

      Voted Up, Awesome and Beautiful



    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you mother, My father is an amazing man! He's been my hero!

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      What a beautiful poem. My respects to your dad. He's obviously a wonderful man. :)

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      I looked after my mum for the next 12 years after my dad died in 1992 before my mum passed away in 2004 and it was one of the best things I will ever do in this life so yes I have empathy, compassion and love for your beautiful words here.

      It also shows the wonderful daughter, human being and writer that you are.

      Thank you for your lovely comment on my new piece and that was such an interesting story you shared with my readers and I .

      I am sending you my sincere warmest wishes from Colin and his cats at lake erie time ontario canada 5:55pm

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      My father is awesome, he is my hero and yes he was very surprised by this poem, He said " I nailed it!" Strokes are horrible, it's like everyone in the family got struck by lightening! I contacted a woman who had written a book called "Into the blue," The author and her sister did most of the rehabilitation for their father on their own. She was very instrumental in helping us to teach my mother to talk again. Although she never regained her speech, she was happy, loved life and lived well, thanks to my dad! Thank you for the kind words!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hello wildove5, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful poem. Your father must be very proud. I facilitated a stroke recovery group some years ago, and know how challenging this is for the survivor and the caregiver. Fortunately we know much more now, and can avoid some of these really dreadful after-results. I send you my sincere best wishes. Your father looks like a really lovely man.

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you very much Eiddwen! I will return the favor!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      Oh this is so very beautiful and how beautiful creations so often blossom from sorrow.

      I now look forward to reading many more by you.


    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you! Kj!

    • kj force profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      wildover5..AWESOME..words from the heart...from beginning to end..what a beautiful message ...lovely tribute to your parents love...thanks for sharing such a personal thought...have a wonderful day...

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you for stopping by Mhatter!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      So sorry,yet this is a fine, moving and wonderful tribute, You should feel good for yourself. Thank you

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Thank you Billy, The way my fathers tells it moved me to write about it!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So very beautiful, and I'm sorry for you loss. This falls under the category of sweet melancholy. Well done my friend; you moved me with this one.

    • wildove5 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      I'm so sorry, it never gets easy, does it? Thanks for taking the time to stop by. God Bless.

    • ytsenoh profile image


      7 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Oh my, this does bring tears. My mother also had a stroke and my Dad was her caregiver. We lost Mom in 2001 and my dad followed in 2010. With your words, you bring your parents' love story to life. God bless your Dad for all he did to help your Mom. Thanks for sharing your parents' story. Best regards.


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