Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Pros and Cons (08/14/14)
- TITLE: Dancing Eyes~
By C D Swanson
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Family and friends wanted him to place her in the nursing home. They gave him all the pros of handing Mildred over to <i>professional</i> caregivers. The reasons cited echoed in his mind. <i>"You can't care for her the way a nursing home can. If you love her, you'll want what's best for her. You're getting on in years, how much longer do you think you can keep this up before you end up in a hospital bed?"</i>
She was ninety pounds and he loved every ounce of her petite body. She was his <i>bride</i> and <i>best friend.</i> From the moment they met it was instant love. Her long blonde hair has since been replaced by short white wispy hair. But her <i>dancing</i> blue eyes remained untouched by the years. The creases around her lively eyes only served to enhance her beauty.
Their conversation, although now limited since her stroke, and the words few, didn't change their interaction in the least. And, she could still hum perfectly. Her angelic voice still in range. She loved to listen to hymns and would sway back and forth, periodically raising blue-veined hands in the air while looking up.
His whole life had been about Mildred from the moment they said I do. They moved to the suburbs and raised three children. The house was filled with love, fun and respect for one another... most of all, with a mutual love of God.
He watched Mildred sip her apple juice. As he brushed back tendrils from her beautiful face, he had a flash back to younger days. When he'd come home from work and dance with her around the kitchen.
"Fred, how am I going to get supper on if I'm dancing with you? You silly goat. What will the kids think?"
"The kids will moan and groan as they always do. Supper can wait, this cannot. Shall we dance pumpkin?"
She would pretend she was annoyed, but she smiled the whole time in his arms while they waltzed around the huge kitchen.
He was pulled back abruptly from his reverie when apple juice splashed onto his pants. Mildred placed her hands over her mouth and began to sob.
"Sweetheart, it's okay. I needed a bath anyhow, you saved me the trouble. Let me get you some more. I love you." He kissed her forehead ever so tenderly.
While in the process of getting more apple juice the doorbell rang right on time,<i> Meals-On-Wheels</i> was never late.
"Hey Joe, come on in."
"Fred, how're ya doing today?" He waved to Mildred who stopped crying and was now smiling.
"Doing good Joe. Can't complain, can't complain. We've lived to see another day, and God has graced me yet again, to serve <i>Him,</i> and my beautiful bride. So it don't get no better than this, for sure."
"That's what I like to hear. Praise God. We got something good today, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie."
"Mildred's favorite. Thanks Joe."
"See you tomorrow Mildred, bye Fred."
"Mildred, we got meatloaf."
He looked at her and knew she'd had an accident and needed to be cleaned up. He wheeled her to the bathroom and began the process. All the while singing to her as she hummed along. Afterwards, he brought her to the kitchen where they ate their meal together. His back ached, and he was so tired...but he wasn't going to give in to demands and suggestions. Yes, this was one of the <i>cons</i> of keeping her at home. His body was breaking down daily and he didn't know how long he could keep up with this. He decided at that moment to look into employing a "local care-giver" to help with some of the household duties. That would free up his time to spend with Mildred, and concentrate on her alone. Yes, that was what he'd do...leave the details to a helper. He wanted to do more important things, like spend quality time with his beloved.
"Fred, I--I--I--loooove you." Her eyes danced more than ever as she reached out to touch his face.
"Mildred, my beautiful sweet bride, I will always love you."
The <i>"pros"</i> as to why she should stay at home would win every time...
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