Last Monday I visited Bob and took him a milk shake. He loves sweets and after we'd shuffled about a bit and he'd finished the last drop of shake, we were walking back toward his wing. He struggled trying to say something. " I want ..." He forgot and focused on something else. Then "I want ..." And at last he got out "I ... want ... to live ..." My guilty self filled the blank ___ "with you" and redirected the conversation.
Yesterday I visited Bob and took him a piece of my birthday cake. Again he was so happy and loved every bite. Then it was ice cream time at the home and he got cookie dough ice cream which I fed him. Almost finished, he again began "I want ..." and at last made it to "I want to live ... here" finishing with a big smile.
It dawned on me: he wants to live wherever but with me feeding him sweets. That seems like a happy place.
As we move close to the one year anniversary (seems way too jolly a word) for Bob's moving into a care facility, I've come to realize how much of our time was spent in conversation. We'd sit and talk in the mornings with our coffee; for years the alarm went off at 4:30 and we sipped and chatted for an hour before getting ready for the day. Weather good? We'd sit out on the porch or deck, sip a glass of wine, and talk. Time to go for a walk, we could walk (and sometimes argue) our way through a good three miles. No one else can talk with me like Bob could.