wings and things

My second home

on July 28, 2014


In my last post, I wrote a bit about how, instead of taking Anthony out for drives or bringing him home for the day, I have begun to make myself home in his room in the nursing home. For those who don’t know, Ants has advanced Parkinson’s disease with encroaching dementia, advanced prostate cancer and several other conditions. He is 78 and has been in the nursing home for nearly two and a half years. I have already blogged about the heartbreak of that mutual decision, and written about the ongoing ups and downs since then.

Several weeks ago, I realized that I had to stop getting Anthony up and out, and back home, and visiting friends and relatives, and going to restaurants etc. because I could no longer lift him in and out of the car, wheelchair etc. Well I could actually, but the physical strain and emotional stress of all of this maneuvering was taxing for both of us, and Ming too of course.

You see, all of the above jobs were infused with a panicky anxiety. Will the pills work today? What if I can’t get Ants to the toilet in time? Will he try to walk around the farm/restaurant and fall again? What if I have to get the ambulance out to the farm? Will he be too cold and insist that every heater is on? Will Ming cope? Will I cope? Will Anthony cope with going back to the nursing home after being out and about? Will there be more tears than we have already cried?

So, almost as an experiment I guess, I began to spend more time in the nursing home, something I couldn’t have done even a year ago – too boring, too sad, too scary, too confined, too uncertain – I hated it. But gradually, over many weeks now, this has become the norm and the fact that I am spending several hours a day with Ants in the nursing home means that he is no longer so desperate to come home and often, by late afternoon, he thinks he is home.

I keep long-lasting stuff, wine and snacks in one of Anthony’s cupboards, bring a favourite food every day (blue cheese, chocolate, olives etc.) and sometimes it’s a little bit like a party. If the heater isn’t on, I turn it on, put a blanket on Anthony’s legs and do up his jacket up (he is always cold). Then I turn the television on to whatever our program is for the day (Master Chef, Midsomer Murders, Neighours). During the commercial breaks, I mute the TV so we can talk but lately Ants is having a bit of trouble with speech so I have to help a bit. Yesterday he couldn’t get the sentence he wanted to say out so I told him I could read his mind and not to worry. And I can read his mind.

But then his words came out:

ANTS: You make me nervous, Jules.
ME: Why?
ANTS: I’ve fallen in love with you again.
ME: Hell, Ants, we’ve already done that!

82 responses to “My second home

  1. I am in love with you and Anthonys devotion and love.

  2. You’re truly an inspiration.

  3. susanpoozan says:

    What a lovely thing for him to say.

  4. Rhonda says:

    I can’t help but smile and cry at the same time. Your love for each other warms my heart like little else my friend. xoxoxo

  5. I am so happy for you that you have made this your second home and you have found contentment in that. 🙂

  6. ksbeth says:

    oh so wonderful and what a great quote from him. ) i’m glad it is becoming his home, a place where he can feel secure and calm and have those he loves come to call )

  7. Ahh how beautiful. A Love Story extraordinaire! Hugs to both of you. ❤
    Diana xo

  8. Colline says:

    This is good for both of you – you are spending time together and falling in love again. Beautiful.

  9. bulldog says:

    Inspirational post Jules…. as for the falling in love all over again… how brilliant….

  10. you seem so much more at peace and the fact that your romance is alive is wonderful

  11. You have clearly made the best decision for both of you. This next phase in your relationship has already brought you some joyful moments. My thoughts are with you.

  12. Terry says:

    I told you months ago that you would be the one who would find a way to adapt to Ants illness and you have. You are doing a fabulous job. I know that you have to be tired and I imagine there are things at home that need tended to, but what you are doing now is something you will never get back nor do again, making memories and loving Ants. God bless

  13. How wonderfully sweet! I haven’t watched many episodes of Master Chef, but it is definitely a hit here in the States. The contestants are so brave to go on t.v, I get so nervous for them!

    • jmgoyder says:

      I became addicted to the show during the ‘finals’ – mainly because I was in the nursing home trying to pass the time with a very sleepy Anthony a few weeks ago!

  14. janeslog says:

    Good. He’ll start to feel at home with you around. Some items from home help a lot as well like an ornament, a clock and the family cat. Only kidding about the cat!

    Did you watch the Triathlon at Strathclyde Park on Thursday and Saturday? The lovely weather would have cheered you both up.

    The games are cheering us up in Glasgow.

  15. Oh how I loved what Ants said to you! That was so heart-warming… and soul-touching! You are special! ❤

  16. tersiaburger says:

    My precious friend – yours is the true Love Story. Much love!!

    • jmgoyder says:

      Tersia, I have been reading but not commenting on your posts – but only because of being in nursing home so many hours per day + I don’t think I have anything wise to say to help with the grief – sending love, Jx

  17. tootlepedal says:

    A delightful present to you from him.

  18. artfulanxiety says:

    That’s so sweet 🙂

  19. Tiny says:

    How beautiful. You have found a way to make life more comforting for both of you and that is very precious. That is love.

  20. Vicki says:

    No wonder you love Anthony so much – he says the most precious and caring phrases.

    Yours has to be one of the most beautiful love stories ever told.

    Keep it up ‘Juliet’.


  21. I am glad you are settling into a new routine of visiting him and staying for a few hours it is good that there is a tv in is room not all nursing homes have that

  22. When I read your accounts, I feel I know you. Want to come for coffee? 🙂

  23. A very moving post, Julie. Hugs to you both. 🙂

  24. niasunset says:

    So beautiful dear Julie… Blessing and Happiness to you both, Thanks and Love, nia

    • jmgoyder says:

      Beautiful Nia – I have been feeling so guilty for having lost touch but have been so busy and hardly blogging at all atm!
      Every morning, after I get up, I make the bed and ;put your pillows on mine so that the bed looks like a picture. I send you love, Julie

  25. My Heartsong says:

    It is nice to hear from you again and to see Anthony and a bit of Ming as well.The efforts you put out certainly do come back in miraculous ways.Just lovely to hear.:)

  26. mimijk says:

    I think we all are a bit in love with you and Ants, Jules…

  27. Incredibly beautiful and inspiring love story!

    So glad you are able to share it with us now and again. Hope Ming is doing well also.

  28. Judith Post says:

    You two are simply lovely. Never thought about it, but Anthony can experience the rush of first love over and over again now. He can have the best of both worlds–new love and abiding love. You give him that.

  29. Trisha says:

    So very touching!

  30. FlaHam says:

    Julie, This part of your post has made all of the pain and suffering worth while.

    ANTS: You make me nervous, Jules.
    ME: Why?
    ANTS: I’ve fallen in love with you again.
    ME: Hell, Ants, we’ve already done that!

    I am so envious of what you have, that strength of love, that level of caring. It is truly wonderful. Take care, Bill

  31. Although that was only 12 posts, they were pretty long, but it was good to catch up with you, Anthony, and Ming. Continuing to send positive thoughts and good vibrations across the waves from here in San Diego.

  32. I love your love story!

  33. Lynda says:

    Dear Julie,

    I came visiting today to check in and see how you are doing. I really miss you. (I understand how swamped you are.)

    Sending you love and prayers,

  34. Ann Koplow says:

    Thanks for all the love you give us.

  35. lensgirl53 says:

    I love the love of your love.

  36. viveka says:

    Julie, somebody has said that .. to have a happy marriage means that you have to fall in love time after time .. with the same person. I love Ant’s words, so beautiful .. and of course you should have said .. let’s fall in love again and again .. time after time. *smile I just love your love story, even if it’s a tough reality those days, but you have such fantastic love as your foundation. Congratulations.

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