Nearly 10 years ago, devoted wife and mother Mary Jane Gacono was diagnosed with dementia. Over the past decade, her husband, Carl, has been her constant nurse and companion, ensuring that his wife eats, takes her medication and is otherwise cared for and protected.
On occasion, Carl has to leave Mary Jane in the hands of his capable adult children, each of whom has also spent countless hours looking after their mom. However, when it comes to the constant, hands-on care-taking, Carl is the person Mary Jane relies on, so when he recently had a doctor’s appointment, Carl wanted to make sure that his daughter Becky understood exactly what needed to be done to keep his wife feeling safe and secure.
According to a story that Becky posted on Love What Matters, Carl spent over 10 minutes explaining to Becky every step of his wife’s morning routine, even pointing out which bracelet she likes to wear on each wrist, saying, “Don’t forget the bracelet with the heart goes on the left with her watch. The other two bracelets go on the right.” He made sure his daughter knew which jewelry pieces clip on and which were to be placed over his wife’s head.
Carl took his daughter to the bedroom where he showed her the clothes he laid out for Mary Jane, including undergarments and soft Minnie Mouse socks. He anxiously made sure that his daughter knew every step of Mary Jane’s morning routine before he finally left the house for his doctor’s appointment.
Becky’s story, which is just one chapter in her online chronicles of her mother’s dementia, went viral as it touched the hearts of so many people who were inspired by the unconditional love Carl has for his ailing wife.
Becky was equally blown away by her father’s enduring love for her mother, saying that the act of showering and dressing her mom left her wiped out. She writes: “I’m exhausted. Is it time for you to lay down for a rest mom? Oh, wait — that would be me that’s ready to lay down. I am wondering how my 88-year-old dad does this every morning.”
What an inspiring message about true love and selflessness. We should all be so lucky to have love like that in our lives, whether it comes from our partners, our children or our friends.