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Lasting Love
By John Patrick Roche

There is a story to be told in my retirement community.
It is a story of love. It isn’t puppy love,
young love or the many-splendored love of years past.
It is lasting love: love over time. Not sexual,
but simply love of each other as partners.

Care is love. Care of what was, what is and what will come.
We walk slower now, can’t see as before,
and hold hands for warmth and support.

Aging is not uniform or equal. Time takes from each at its will and whim.
We pray first for the other partner to stay well, then ourself.

Our bodies slow differently:
Alzheimer’s disease steals bit by bit the light of knowledge. 
Nerve systems weaken and short-circuit, arteries clog.
One partner becomes the light, another helps recognition.

The story is the caregiver.
Care given daily, constantly, wearily shows lasting love.
“Until death do us part” is recalled while time flows onward.
Love becomes duty; honorable, enduring and necessary.

How does one tell the story of lasting love?
I tell it by admiring the spouse pushing a wheelchair,
providing mobility and togetherness,
by applauding those who read to the other with dimming sight,
and by praising those who explain, interpret and encourage loved ones
unable to remember their world.

Any lapses in the past are forgotten with today’s love;
a lasting love.




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