We took dinner over to my wife's parents and their caregivers tonight. I can see how frail the parents are. I don't know that either could survive a serious bout of some debilitating illness. Without the caregivers, Karin and Elias, they would have to go into a nursing home.
It's not a happy occasion to visit. We do our best to fake it and pretend to be happy, but I know that we are concerned about them and their downward spiral physically. During dinner, my mother-in-law had the "1000 yard stare". She ate very little. She made a comment that she didn't feel wanted. I don't know where that came from, but we assured her that she was wanted, and we were glad to be with her.
Later, she, Karin and I played catch with a small rubber ball that lights up when it is thrown. She seemed to get into that and has a good throwing arm! We played catch for about 30 minutes which had her smiling and laughing. Such a simple thing, yet it livened her up and worked some muscles. I may have to stop by just to play catch with my mother-in-law!
This couple has been married for a very long time. Their long life together makes me think about what happens when people who have been together for so long lose their mate. Animals certainly grieve. Many mate for life. My mother did not want to be with another man. She said that she did not have the heart to love another because all the love had been spent on my father.
It is hard for me to imagine what life would be like without my C. So for the most part, I don't allow that thought process to go far. But it is hard when one sees life partners coming to the end of their time together. It is something that those who love others deeply have to face. I am reminded once again just how precious each day is.