My parents were married for nearly four decades. They weren’t anything like Romeo and Juliet. Since I was a child I figured out that the love I watched in romantic movies didn’t exist between my mother and father.In his last years on planet earth my father got sick, severely sick. He had to stay in bed and to use a wheel chair even to go to the bathroom or to shower. My mother made herself in charge of moving him from the bed to the chair and vice versa, which happened several times a day. And this lasted for years. During this period I witnessed my mother ageing. Her ophthalmologist in a check up advised her to stop lifting my father by herself as he was heavy and carrying heavy things was putting her retina under a serious risk.
Weeks, months and years passed and my mother kept carrying my father herself. Daily. One day I questioned why doesn’t she hire a nurse for this task when we were financially capable and why risking her sight. My mother explained how my father, as a famous and well respected surgeon, felt embarrassed to have a nurse helping him in the bathroom or showering him. And as his wife she would never put her husband under such emotional pain or to let him feel embarrassed in his late years.
She kept doing this task till he passed away. In those years my mother transformed from a beautiful lady into an old one. Looking at her face I saw wrinkles and traces which I respected, admired and treasured. They reflected one of the longest and most challenging walks in her journey. And I wondered, if my mother didn’t feel these sparks of love towards my father, why did she do what she had done? And would she have done anything more if she was a Juliet living a love story in her marriage?
My mother’s walk taught me how to be a human being. How to have compassion. How to be patient. How to persist. How a person stands for his values on daily basis. How to be loyal. She taught me how a great wife should act. From this walk I learned how marriage is something sacred and how the vows couples give should be lived forever. Every time I look at my mother’s wrinkles that appeared during these hard times I remember my father, her walk and my inner voice whispers that my mother had set very high standards for marriage that not anyone can be up to.
Read the intro to this series of articles at: