This is a love story about a man and a woman and their daughter.
I will call him Prince Charming even though he looks nothing like the stereotype. He is short, red haired, stout and has the happiest face I've ever seen.
I will call her The Fair Maiden even though she is older now, her fair maidenish-ness has pretty much gone the way of grey hair and wrinkles, but luckily, most of the wrinkles are from smiling and laughing and loving her large family and everyone else she brushed up against in her life.
The daughter I will call The Librarian because she is the librarian for our church. She is optomistic and cheerful and knows where every picture, piece of chalk and vidoe is in the library. If you need it, she can find it.
Prince Charming and The Fair Maiden have been married a long time. The kids are grown and gone except for The Librarian, who never married--at least not yet--she stayed home and ran a preschool out of their home. In fact Her Excellency of Mousehole attended The Librarian's preschool for two years when she was a little girl.
The Fair Maiden started to forget things. Prince Charming had his own problems, he had arthritis so bad he had to wear a neck brace so he could hold his head up. The Fair Maiden became disoriented and had other problems that led them to seek medical help. She was misdiagnosed and by the time she received medication that could help slow the progress of the disease, Alzheimer's had its tenacious grip on her and it was too late.
Prince Charming and The Librarian took care of her. She got worse. Prince Charming and The Librarian needed an extra hand to take care of her needs and so another daughter came several times a day to help. The Fair Maiden forgot many things, even how to walk or to sit up in a chair without support, but she never forgot Prince Charming.
Then, one day, Prince Charming missed a step in the house and fell backwards. He was taken to the hospital. He had broken five ribs, shattered his scapula and punched a nice sized hole in his head, which led to internal bleeding. Was he concerned for himself? With every painful breath. And why? Because it meant he wasn't going to be there to take care of his Fair Maiden.
A day and a half later he was home again. His arm is was in a sling and taped to his body. A bandage was on his head. He wouldn't even talk about surgery, just grited his teeth and endued the pain. He was home to take care of His Fair Maiden.
I talked to The Librarian by phone yesterday? "Will you have to move your mom to a care facility?" I asked.
"Oh, no," she said so fast that I knew nothing would keep her and her dad from taking care of her mom. They will take care of her with their last dying breath and be happy to do it.
Will there be a happy ending for Prince Charming and The Fair Maiden? Yes, but not in this life. They have been married for time and all eternity and their eternity is going to be something to behold. They will have a glorious life together. They will walk hand and hand and dance on the grass and sing songs they learned in childhood. She will remember the names of every great-grandchild and he will hold his head up high.They will be the happiest people in God's Kingdom and the Librarian will be there too, cheering them on and laughing and dancing too, maybe with her own Prince Charming.