Thursday, February 16, 2012
A Valentine's Story
It is sometimes so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle that you forget to take the time to stop and realize what is important in life.
This past year has been a difficult year for my family but yesterday, we celebrated something that was very important and certainly something that makes you stop and take into account what is important in life.
I suppose no story is complete without a little history so I will provide a little back-story here.
Sixty-five years ago, my in-laws Vince, now 90 years old; and Catherine, now 88 years old; decided to marry. They had wanted to get married on Valentine's Day. At the time, the Catholic Church would not marry anyone on a Friday and Valentine's Day was on a Friday that year. Realizing that the wedding was more important than the date itself, they married on Saturday the 15th.
Last year my mother-in-law was placed in a nursing home for Alzheimer patients after having suffered a blood clot and other medical problems. It simply was no longer possible to care for her at home. The last year has certainly been difficult for everyone, but watching my father-in-law see the love of his life slowly slipping away has perhaps been the most difficult part of it all.
We don't know how much longer she will remember everyone as her memory has already slipped further into the past with each and every passing day. One thing that never changed, is her love for Vince.
Yesterday was their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary. With the help of the tremendous staff of Concordia of Fox Chapel, we were able to help them re-new their vows. From the beautiful voice of Steve Tori who sang all the old favorites of Frank Sinatra, Etta James, and many more, to the flowers that Kelli made especially for us and all the decorations and little details that the staff provided or helped with, it was a day to remember.
It was a memorable and magical day filled with trepidation and tears in so many ways. Anyone who has dealt with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's knows that each day is full of unexpected things.
God certainly smiled on us all yesterday as she was so full of life, her memory was sharp, and she enjoyed the day to the fullest.
It has been such a distinct honor to be part of this family for the last 30 years and to share in this celebration of love that has endured so much.
In closing, I would like to toast Vince and Catherine "virtually" once again for a love that has lasted for so long.