My dad was probably 80 years old when we were sitting in a McDonald’s and he told me with tears in his eyes that he doesn’t remember his mother ever telling him that she loved him. My dad knew that she did but she had to be strong and tough to raise her six sons and one daughter on her own after her husband died from an infection at a young age.
My parents loved each other but were never very affectionate in public. My dad’s true love and affection for my mom was very real and evident to me after my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I was in awe of how much he loved and cared for her. He stepped up and started taking over daily routines that my mom used to do and he never complained and they laughed a lot together.
One of the daily routines that my dad took over for my mom was helping her get cleaned up and dressed in the morning. My dad was not into fashion so oftentimes we would have to send him back to his bedroom to put on a shirt that matched his pants. He would laugh and head back to his room to change his clothes. With that being said, he had to take charge of my mom’s clothing choices as well. Lucky for my mom she had quite a few matching outfits on hangars so it made it easier for my dad to pick out matching clothes.
At one point during the time that my dad cared for my mom she needed new slippers, so we bought some that looked like corduroy moccasins. She loved them because they were so warm and comfy. On Sunday mornings we usually met and sat with my parents at church. One Sunday I thought to myself, ‘I hope Mom doesn’t wear her slippers to church.’ When we got to church that morning, sure enough, my mom was wearing her slippers. I didn’t say a word to my dad because he was doing the best he could.
I am living a similar love story as my parents. Mark is definitely more skilled with helping me get ready for the day than my dad was with my mom, but I think the love is the same.
And luckily I still get to pick out my own clothes. And Mark’s, too.