Saturday, February 14, 2015

Reflections on Valentines' Day

This is my first Valentines Day in 15 years without my husband. About half of our over 14 years of marriage to my Sweetheart, was involved with Mixed Dementia. He knew me to the end, although he didn't recognize those who did not see him often. 

The first Valentines Day before I moved to the Tampa area to marry him, I was the envy of teachers at my school in Miami. He sent me a dozen roses to the school. Then we married and moved to our home in Plant City within the first year of our marriage. That first Valentines Day in our home he had an automatic garage door opener installed so I could park my car in the garage while he parked his outside. That garage is now ready for a garage sale today, Valentines Day 2015. Another widow from Grief & Share is helping me and we will go to dinner after the sale.

I did write an Eulogy for him on this blog HERE. I was thinking this week about other praise for him. Despite his handicap he exhibited great contentment. He loved me, our life, our home, his car, and our dog Ziggy who was always by his side when he was home which was most of the time. 

Now godliness with contentment
is great gain.   1 Timothy 6:6

When I first married him, he had such ambition. He had one and a half jobs and I would miss him. Then when he needed to retire and I had retired, but needed to bring in more income, he accepted my leaving the house to substitute teach or to teach an occasional class for DUI offenders.  Always it was great to get back together, and he never wandered as many Alzheimer's patients do. 

As he went downhill, his daughter thought of a nursing home I could bring him to and his doctor faxed the application to that nursing home. My heart was broken; fortunately our insurance did not take that nursing home and he never was put in a nursing home.  So glad I could have him home all his days. Hospice came in and helped me with his last days as I chronicled HERE

One of the last things I said to him was, "I will be okay." It was the second time I became a widow, and at 70 I feel "okay" but I miss him. The LORD has been so gracious to me and I have wonderful memories. 

Valentines Day in 2013


  1. Love this sweet photo. Thanks for your thoughts on this 1st Valentines alone. I will celebrate Valentines by sharing a chocolate mocha yogurt with Gary tonight. Today is our granddaughter's 10th birthday so while the caregiver is here, I will go to her BD tea party. I'm not alone yet, but it feels that way. Life goes on, and must be lived. Gary would not want me despairing, and you are a good example. as you move forward. We will be "okay," because God is enough, though we do miss them so.

    1. Laurie, thanks for writing. A Valentines Day anyway you cut it when Alzheimer's is involved is bitter sweet. With our faith we can be okay, even though we may be down at times. I am so glad you have your granddaughter's birthday celebration today. Enjoy!

  2. Nice picture of the two of you. I honestly can't remember what I wrote in my other comment, but hoping today is not too hard on you.


    1. Yes, I like that picture also--taken at Ikea in Tampa. My hubby would sit and watch people there and I would check back with him. He never wandered when we were out, but didn't want to go all over a store.

      The other widow and myself had a wonderful day. It was a great strategy to spend the day together talking and going out to dinner.

      It turns out she also had been a caregiver for her husband and she is a "snowbird" who winters here and then goes home to Tennessee. She will not be that far from me in Huntsville. These are baby steps in forging a new life as a widow.

  3. Sweet memories. I pray the Lord showered you with His love filled blessings through out your day.

    1. Yes, He did and I was so involved with meeting this new friend I met at Grief & Share. We freely talked about our husbands all day and she loved the sea food restaurant I suggested.