Thursday, July 30, 2009

Growing old together

I was assigned an interesting project at work last week...

There is this elderly couple (he is 94 and she is 86), who have been donating to the University for years and years. They even agreed to donate their house and land to the school once they felt they were ready to move to an assisted living facility. Well they let us know that that time had come, so I was assigned to research all of the assisted living facilities in Idaho Falls to find what would be the best one for them. It was an interesting experience to say the least.

The homes ranged from smelly hospital looking places to ones that looked more like resorts. One was so nice, in fact, that it has a gourmet chef/ice sculptor, its own travel agency, and even a Wii. I kid you not, there was an adorable little couple playing wii bowling in the lobby!

Well today Stephanie (my boss) and I went out to Arco, which is where the couple lives, to let them know what we thought would be most comfortable for them.

It was so sad.

We sat with them in their kitchen and literally watched them cry at the thought of leaving their home. Since the husband is so old and uses a walker he can't do much around the house and so his wife does everything, including gardening, canning apples and picking raspberries, and taking care of all of his medical needs. [ and yes, she is 86!] She asked him to explain what he wanted in a new place and as the tears rolled down his face he said, "Its not what I want, its what you need." He has lived in Arco for 90 years and as much as he just wants to stay in his home, he knows that his wife can't do it all any more and that a move would be the best thing for her. And all the wife wanted was for him to be happy and comfortable. They both just wanted what was best for the other person.

It was very touching, they love each other so much. It really made me think of my marriage and appreciate all of the things Chris does in my behalf, and for our little family.

So here is to growing old together.


roadtrip said...

I love this story- thank you so much for sharing it. Although I'm not married or even seeing anyone, its things like this that makes me hope one day I will find a man who is has devoted as him. How amazing are they?! Thanks Tara! Miss you!!

The McBride Family said...

Fantastic story!!

Allison said...

That is so sweet. Glad you had a fun/good experience with it!

Dana and Chase said...

oh that was such a sweet story! we miss you guys when you coming down!