They shared many meals and many memories

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My wife Joan loved to sew quilts. Seems like a quilt always sat on the sewing machine, or on her lap— where she stitched in the final touches.

Her sewing machine sat on the kitchen table, a place where she worked for hours piecing quilts together—square by square. She loved that spot because the sunlight beamed into the window.

Joan’s quilting crew from church worked tirelessly and donated quilts all over the world. My wife took pride in giving back to a world in need of more kindness.

Joan loved being a mother to our two daughters—and a grandmother and great grandmother.

These are just a few happy memories I share…

Joan was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2014. Sadly, I lost my beautiful wife of 55 years in May 2015. I miss her more than I can say.

After her diagnosis, I settled into a caregiving routine. I walked her to and from the bathroom. I cleaned her up. Then I walked her back to the bed and helped her crawl back in.

Eventually she needed a wheelchair. So I wheeled her into the bathroom.

When she couldn’t get out of the bed—I provided bedside care—from feeding and bathing Joan to brushing her hair.

When I bathed Joan at her bedside, I started with soap and water. But eventually a visiting nurse suggested I switch to Sage brand Deodorant Comfort Bath® disposable cloths. I’m glad I switched because using the disposable cloths are more convenient.

I also used Sage’s Microclimate Body Pads. The absorbent pads protected the mattress if she woke up wet—so it saved me from constantly washing bed linens. Plus, it helped Joan stay more comfortable.

Eventually Joan lost her appetite. At times she refused breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That worried me.

We both liked frozen TV dinners. But she’d lose interest—so I tried many brands. When Joan refused to eat them, I decided to split mine with he, that did the trick—it’s how I finally got her to start eating again.

When you’ve spent an entire lifetime with someone, you want the best for them. And you’ll do just about anything for them. Being a caregiver just becomes part of who you are; it’s a natural course of life and it becomes cherished time spent together. Especially when you realize time’s running out—like an hourglass losing grains of sand.

I know I gave my wife the best care I could have given—and I know she appreciated it. The kids and I all miss Joan so very much. 

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