We met today after not seeing each other for almost a year. She was subdued and hesitant, and I waited for a pause in the conversation so I could ask her about what I was perceiving.
She told me of her brother, just a few years older than her, and how he’s been caring for his wife for the past few years after she had a series of massive strokes. Her sole caregiver, he has dedicated all of his energies to taking care of the lady he’d once courted, married, fathered children with, and built a home for.
But just a few weeks ago, he showed up at her door, wanting and needing to talk. Over coffee, the story came out. Cancer, a bad one. Advanced and probably inoperable, at least in a way that might matter. They cried together and asked all the questions that we ask when our true solitude in this quiet air becomes clear.
When we met today, she had just come from her brother’s house. He is too weak to do much for his wife, and so they lie in their bed next to each other, him talking quietly to her and comforting her, and her offering her soft maternal hand to the only man who has ever touched her.
Read the rest (and in my opinion, best part) of this reflection here.