My mom is slowly fading away from us, a little bit each day. She is barely able to walk anymore, the oxygen levels are very low and she is falling asleep between steps. Her days are spent in misery waiting to be freed from this life and to be ushered into the glory of presence of the Lord.

Tonight mom had a huge mental slip. She totally lost her grip on this reality and began to talk nonsense and act in a bizarre manner while dad and I sat in the living room with her. It was one weird moment I tell you! As her brain continues to suffer from a lack of oxygen I guess we can expect more of these things, but tonight, the first time…it was bad.

As I followed my mom slowly (s-l-o-w-l-y)down the hallway to their room, my dad went into the room in which they watch tv. I heard him singing softly under his breath, “Oh how we danced, on the night we were wed…” an old waltz that I vividly remember them dancing to each year on their anniversary. I recall it being played on their 40th, 50th, and perhaps they danced alone on their 60th too after our celebration dinner. They danced beautifully together and until a little more than a year ago, they danced several times a week. It was their joy and something they so loved doing together. I heard my dad’s voice crack as he softly sang to himself, watching the girl of his dreams, his beautiful bride of 62 years slowly make her way past him. She no longer resembles the woman he married, nor the mom I knew.

Her “dancing partner” now is her walker, and she is lost to us all, trapped in a body that is dying.

I thought about how much life has changed in this past year, and once again I can scarcely believe all that has happened. When I think of this from my dad’s perspective it about breaks my heart. I am losing a mom, he is losing the woman he has spent every day and night with for over 60 years. As with so many of their generation dad is the strong and silent type who reserved his affections for her alone. We always knew he loved us because mom told us he did. But with mom, he was different… He said he is losing his “pal.” The woman that my dad loved is gone, our mom is gone…all that remains is a shell.

When she leaves us physically it will be the completion of the cycle for in that moment, she will be once again dancing and my dad, and I and my brother and sisters and our families will be left with a huge and gaping hole in our hearts and lives.

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