Some people remember every little detail about your life. They’ve known you since before you knew yourself and take pride in all of your accomplishments. There is a man at my church that fits this description, I’ll call him Mr. FS. Whenever I see him out in public somewhere, he is quick to brag to people that he came to the hospital the day I was born. And ever since I can remember, he always gives me a big hug and kiss on the cheek every Sunday in church. Every Sunday.
Mr. FS is over the age of 80, although I don’t know his exact age. He is still married to his wife. He has shown me the meaning of true love and ’til death do us part. His wife’s health and memory have declined due to Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s gotten to the point where she needs full-time care. They moved her into a nursing home. And guess what? He moved there with her. She’s in one room and his room connects.
Although they’ve been there over a year, I just recently realized how deep his love is. In the nursing home, they stay in the Alzheimer’s wing. So Mr. FS literally spends all of his time around people that don’t remember much of what’s happening. Could you imagine living a life where you’re the only one that knows your name? Although they have church at the nursing home, he still brings his wife to church every Sunday. They sit in the same front pew and he still gives me a wide grin, hug and kiss.
I started to realize not only how dedicated Mr. FS was to his wife, but I also realized how sad he must be. So, I scheduled a dinner date with him at the nursing home. I HATE nursing homes with a passion, but felt it was the least I could do to make his day. And he was overjoyed! I was able to witness a man so in love with his wife that he never wants to leave her side – regardless of her condition. He pushed her down the hallways with such pride as if it were a first date. I also better understood the reason they kept coming to our church instead of the church offered at the nursing home. Their service had mostly people unable to care for themselves. Coming to our church was his one opportunity (with his wife) for a sense of normalcy.
I pray that we all find true, genuine love. Here’s to that person that will be there through thick or thin and is willing to protect us until the end. As much as I still hate nursing homes, I’ll keep having dates with Mr. and Mrs. FS. Although I’m not his wife, he has supported me in everything I’ve done so now it’s my turn. If I can bring even the smallest amount of normalcy or light to his day, I want to do it! Each time I see that twinkle in his eye, I know how much he appreciates it. Mr. FS thanks for being you!