Location: Azle, TX, United States
After 67 years of marriage, COVID-19 created an unsurvivable situation for my parents. Mom, recovering from a recent stroke, lived “independently” but newly separated from Dad, placed on hospice in the same facility. When lockdowns eliminated our support, we moved them to our home in Azle.
Upon arrival, dad weighed 106# at 6’1” and mom struggled to stand from a seated position. It was touch and go for a few weeks, but slowly they both saw recovery as a possibility. Newly reunited, I discovered my parents devotion to one another. Rarely were they separated more than a few feet. They moved as one unit canvassing the driveway, hallway, and dock with their walkers, often spooning one another as they slept.
I witnessed dad at his essence. He sought the sunshine, and was observant to the wonders of the world. He was immensely at peace being in mom’s presence. Mom was more complicated. She struggled to accept the confines of Covid and the inevitability of their future. She often shared that she feared being a burden and dreamed of returning to her former lifestyle. They gifted me a nearly a year to capture their story of love, fear, vulnerability, and intimacy with each other after what they believed was a terminal separation. Even in death, they chose to stay together.