If you went to your favorite encyclopedia, and looked up Florence Nightingale, you would notice they changed the picture to John’s wife.
For anonymity purposes, I will refer to John’s wife as K.
I can speak from experience when I talk about caregivers, my wife is my caregiver, and no one does it better. And John would have told you K was the best. I’ll call it a tie.
K accepted me from day one, and because she did, so did John. K and I had a number of aside conversations, always about John, and how to deal with him that particular day. John had an agenda, knowing he was dying, he had things that had to be done while he was able.
K and John had this wonderful relationship; not just husband and wife, but teammates in everything they did. They were smart early in that they worked out some minor signals to help them communicate later on. One of the signals they picked, was the wink. John & K were told by their doctors that as time went by, John’s memory and cognition would desert him at times; so the wink was to let K know that John was in the now. The wink will be discussed more in later episodes.
Another job of K’s was to be a traffic cop in the house. From early on in out relationship, I had to get used to the fact that many family and friends of John wanted some of his time. For me to set an appointment to talk with John only meant that was when I was coming over. However, getting there and actually getting to visit with John were two totally unrelated concepts.
On average, there were approximately 6 people at the house at any given time. But I didn’t mind, for one thing, they all accepted me, and even gave me the name BOBFROMCHURCH.
Sometimes K would call me to either come over or talk to John on the phone if he was agitated. She knew that if I was there in person, he would go to sleep; it I talked to him on the phone, within a couple of minutes he was yawning and ready to sleep. K and the extended family became my friends, and even though it’s been sometime since I have seen any of them, I still think about them every now and again.
Next time, John and I are going to give the camper and the SUV a bath. You won’t believe what happened.