Dad said he would slow down and quit traveling so much once Mom could no longer take care of herself. She had Parkinson’s and the disease progressively ate away at her mobility and agility…but not her sense of humor or her spirit. They were in their early 80’s but he was still in demand as a preacher and he loved nothing more than to hop on a plane and jet off to some location to inspire all who heard him. If you ever heard him, you never forgot him. But he loved Mom more. He did stop his traveling and tirelessly devoted himself to caring for his bride of over sixty years.
Before bedtime he would remove his hearing aids rendering him basically deaf. There was no way he could hear Mom’s soft voice in the middle of the night asking assistance to get up to go to the bathroom, or help rolling over. So dad came up with a profound act of love.
He went out and bought a small rope and cut it to about six feet. He tied one end of the rope to the railing of Mom’s hospital style bed they had moved into their bedroom. Nightly, he would tie the other end to his wrist before going to sleep. When Mom needed him she would tug on the rope, waking him so he could get up and help her.
Dad lived love in action as her daily care took a toll on his own health. She became his focus. I told him those last few years were his finest. I told him I was more proud of how he loved and cared for Mom than any of the significant accomplishments of his life. His actions spoke volumes as he, more than any man I know, practiced what he preached.