Saturday 7 AM Melbourne.
It has now been three years since I have had a decent conversation with my wife. Over four years since we last went out for a meal together and longer still since she last made a cup of coffee or cooked a meal for me. There was a time when I yearn for those moments when we could talk to each other on nothing more than just to tell each other that we love each other. I miss the Greek meals that my wife used to cook for me and more than anything else I wanted to hear my wife complain to me that it was hot or cold, that she needed to get herself some hair colour to tint her hair black again and that she wanted me to get some Figs because they were in season and that she wanted some. For you see my wife's dementia has taken all these things that she could once do, away from her....and I have since learnt to live without these things that most of you take for granted.
Imagine your wife not being able to tell you if she wanted to have a drink, if her drink was too hot or her meal was not to her liking? I remember last Winter when we took her in her wheelchair to the Park nearby to see a Light exhibition in the evening...we were there for about an hour or so and it got too cold for me and so we decided to go home....imagine my horror when we got home to find her feet ice cold as I was taking her shoes off...and yet she was unable to tell me that her feet was cold....and I spend many precious minutes rubbing her feet and then wrapping her in layers of blankets to warm her up! Since then, many times each day in Winter and on cold days, I will always touch her feet to make sure that she is comfortably warm...and this I do even while she is asleep to make sure that all is well with her.
And that is my main worry these days.
I do not worry that I have to do everything for her as that has now become the way I choose to live my life....what I worry about is if she is thirsty, hungry, comfortable or in pain. I worry if the meal I am giving her is to her liking, if she had had enough sleep for the night and if anything at all is troubling her. Now I have to do her thinking for her. Now I have to live her life for her in each and every way and for every day....and in a way, after almost half a century of being together, we are one in each and every way. And for that I am grateful. I love my wife.
It is now almost 7.30 AM...there is the laundry to be done, the kitchen to be tidied, the cat to be fed and lunch for my wife to be planned for. I already know what I will have for lunch and dinner....I had put some chicken wings and mild curry paste in the slow cooker and it has been well cooked and marinated overnight...and that I will have for lunch, dinner and maybe, if there are still leftovers....a Malaysian breakfast on Sunday of rice and curry....and so another day dawns on our life and still, life is good.