Thursday, February 17, 2005

True Love

In the spirit of Valentines Day, I couldn't think of a more appropriate post. I recently returned from Winnipeg, where I had visited my relatives after 17 years of being apart. In those 17 much has changed.

In the last 8 or 9, my great aunt Shirley has been afflicted by Alzhiemers. My uncle Morris, has, in many ways already lost his life partner. He lovingly vists her at the home she is in. He has arranged her family photos around her, brings her flowers and does her make-up and hair each day. There are little notes around the room : " Be sure to brush Shirly's teeth after meals", Be sure to put Shirly's underarm deoderant on after dressing", " Please be sure to lie Shirly on her back with a pillow tucked behind her head". He makes absolutely sure that the love of his life is taken care of and that no one forgets that she was once a vibrant woman.

Shirley was one of six sisters. She met Morris when she was 16. THey fell in love and married after the war. He was a trumpet player and his brother Bill teh sax and clarinet player. They played with the likes of Benny Goodman, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., and the Winipeg Symphony Orchestra...and many more of the Big Band names of the time. THe regularly played a tthe Fort Gary. I can picture Shirley tapping her toes and lighting up the room with her vivacious smile. It hardly seems right to let her light go dim the way it is.

Morris still takes her by the hands, while she is seated in her wheelchair, and sways them together with his, as if to be dancing together. I felt I have truely witnessed true love - the kind that will transcend who we are now. It was a beautiful Valentines gift.

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