This post was written for last weekend's Spiritual Sunday, but the sign up program was not working, so I am entering this post this weekend. It is an example of true love and commitment in the face of adversity, just like God's love for us.
It was another morning, just like all the other mornings that had taken place over the last seven and a half years. Chet and Elaine had just finished their usual breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, a roll, and of course, coffee. They were making their way to the living room as they were expecting the Covington's over for a brief time of chatting and catching up on the things that went on since their last get together.
Let's go back to four hours earlier that morning, just to help you understand the significance of the event that was about to take place on this particular morning.
Chet was up at his usual time, 4:30 a.m. He stretched his lanky arms as he walked down the hallway to the kitchen where the coffee pot sat waiting. Chet had carefully laid out 2 cups along with the creamer and sugar bowls. He poured himself a cup of coffee and filled the creamer making sure it was ready. He made his way back to the bathroom to complete his morning shower routine, but Chet never put on the clothes he intended to wear for the day. He put on a long sleeved cotton robe that zipped up the front. After his last sip of his first cup of coffee, he reached for the latex gloves from the box lying on the top shelf. Chet was ready to start the day with his beautiful bride of 53 years.
Entering Elaine's room had become somewhat bittersweet for Chet. But he faithfully went through the steps of a regimen that only love could withstand. Elaine was awake but not quite aware of Chet's presence. He softly called out her name so as not to startle her. "Elaine, sweetheart, it's me, Chet."
With only movement of her arms and no reply, Chet went over and began removing the soiled nightgown that had caught the overflow of the disposable undergarment. This was a particularly rough night for Elaine as her bowels seemed to work overtime and the entire bed was covered with the foul waste, as were her hands and face. Chet sponged off what he could and got her to the shower.
There, he gently washed her gaunt, wrinkled body until she was fresh and clean. After he patted her dry with the softest of towels he saved for her use, he helped her to the seat where he could get her dressed. She wasn't combatant this morning as she was some mornings. Chet was greatful for that. He picked out the light blue dress with the little purple flowers because he knew that was Elaine's favorite dress to wear when she was socializing. After he put on her fresh disposable undergarment and the rest of those regular "women's things" Chet slipped on that dress on Elaine, stepped back and gazed at her as if she were a lovely painting. He said to her, "Elaine, you look so beautiful today. As beautiful as ever."
By now, Chet had learned how to fix Elaine's hair much the way she had fixed it herself. She was always one for simplicity, so it was not difficult to replicate. Never, never, never, would Elaine be seen by others without her make up on. That was just something she felt very strongly about. So, Chet set about to powder her nose and chin, topped with a hint of blush. A little mascara and a stroke or two on the eyebrows. Chet whispered that he still had the most beautiful bride in the world.
Elaine sat in her wheelchair, while Chet sang her favorite song, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," and began cleaning up the night's mess. He sang and whistled the tune. Every once in a while, he would call out to Elaine and tell her how much he loved her. Chet did this even though his only response was a glassy stare. When the bedroom was once again ready for another night, and he was properly dressed himself, Chet took Elaine strolling down the hall singing and humming bringing her to the kitchen table. Elaine sat motionless while Chet made them breakfast.
They made their way into the living room that was all dusted and proper. Chet helped Elaine out of the wheelchair and into her favorite stuffed living room chair near the sofa. About that time, the doorbell rang. It was the Covington's who had come to visit. Opening the door, Chet smiled and invited their long time friends into the room. Mr. Covington began the conversation and said to Chet, "Well, Chet, my friend, how has the good Lord been treating you?"
Chet gave a genuine grin and replied, "Oh, the good Lord has surely blessed us with another beautiful day to be together and spend time with friends." So they wiled away the hour with musings and news as they had so many times over the years.
- Bobbi J. Craigmyle, Psy.D.
"Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God." 1 John 4:7
"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
"Now the three of these remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate." John 19:4-6
Please visit Spiritual Sundays and open your heart to the wonderful words and music of praise and worship. You'll be glad you did.