Fifty-six years ago today, my father walked me down the aisle to meet the love of my life at the altar. I imagined a lifetime of joy, but what followed was even more joyous than I could have imagined. Sure, like everyone we had ups and downs, good times and not-so-good times, but we always had love and laughter.
When we went through pre-marital counseling, the priest warned me that I would probably have to take care of my husband when he was old since he was thirteen and a half years my senior. And I did care for Jack for several years at the end of his life when he suffered with Alzheimer’s. But before that, he had to care for me when I had a stroke at the hands of a chiropractor at age forty-five. Both of us considered it a privilege to be able to care for the other, as we were always each other’s biggest cheerleaders and supporters.
Someone asked me recently, “Are you married?” I answered, “Yes, although my husband has been in heaven for ten years.” I still find myself wanting to tell Jack something or ask him a question. I frequently quote witty things he said. He was a remarkable man, and I’m not alone in believing he was my most unforgettable character. Our life was good before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; it was good after he was diagnosed.