This has to be the most moving thing I have read in a while. Growing old is one of my fears too, and I fear turning senile and dependent, more than anything else. The fear would be much subsided if one has a companion to grow old with. I think it is almost magical the way couples grow old. After decades of living together, the tensions and frictions emerge, but they tide over that to be loving to and caring for each other. I think that is pretty amazing from where I am; I sometimes fear I may shudder companionship over time. Stories like these though enforce faith in the human capacity for love. Read this for instance:
“… Her blindness and recent memory troubles have made her deeply dependent. Without him, I suspect, she would probably be in a nursing home. He helps her dress. He administers her medicines. He makes her breakfast and lunch. He takes her on walks and to doctors’ appointments. “She is my purpose now,” he said. Bella doesn’t always like his way of doing things. “We argue constantly—we’re at each other about a lot of things,” Felix said. “But we’re also very forgiving.” ”
The last line, I think, is beautiful and inspiring, while yet painting such a realistic picture of how things would be. They have fights, but they forgive. They grow tired of each other, but he does not leave her side.
I have seen a similar thing happen with my doddappa (mom’s brother-in-law) and doddamma (mom’s sister). She was afflicted with severe bouts of dementia and was unable to take care of herself. Even to have a conversation with her would take a lot of my efforts. But, my doddappa would take her of like a parent – dressing her up, cooking for her, holding her hand and walking her and being by her side almost all the time. He did this for years, till to the day she died. Seeing this would always leave me amazed at his immense affection and love he had for his wife.
I wish everyone a dose of this magic!