My mother Beverly loves her sweets, especially chocolate. When I was growing up, she wouldn’t buy just one candy bar, she’d buy the whole box and she wasn’t one for sharing. You see, it was bad for our health. But for her, it was salvation at the end of a weary day dealing with eight darling children.
It was heartbreaking. The moment he saw his wife, John would begin pleading with her to take him home. He had dementia and was living in a memory care facility. His wife visited him every single day. Listening to his repeated pleas to go home left her feeling guilt-ridden and exhausted.
During an 18-month period in the mid-90s, Arleen DeNutte and her husband lost all four of their parents. Together, with the help of other family members, they became loving caregivers for each parent during their final illnesses, one after the other. None of the experiences was easy. In fact, Arleen says they often felt overwhelmed, “but we were able to fulfill their wishes to stay home and I’ll always be grateful we could do it. I have memories I’ll never let go of.”