"Morning Out"

Marjorie’s granddaughter called one day to tell me that her grandma is becoming exhausted. I went to their home to discover a soft-spoken woman with her gentle husband, a WWII veteran. It was clear to me that she loves him deeply. While he has been a wonderful husband and father as well as a reliable provider, she has been caring for him in one manner or another since his first war injury back in 1943.

As I sat there, Earl tried to divert attention from the fact that he suffers from dementia, frequently looking to Marjorie to fill in the words that wouldn’t come, and to confirm his recollection of events. They told me the story of their courtship, wedding, marriage and family. They are very proud of their sons and grandchildren, and overall, it has been a good life. But Earl didn’t want to have someone else around him without Marjorie.

I was at their home several times, talking to Earl about his remarkable experiences and trying to break through his resistance. I finally convinced him to come to our Morning Out program, where he would meet another WWII vet, and they could tell their old war stories for as long as they wanted. Marjorie could come, too. On one visit, I brought with me one of our most well received volunteers, Howard. Howard convinced Earl to come to Morning Out, and offered to pick him up on the way, since they live very near to each other. Earl agreed, and at the first meeting, Earl was re-connected to his family’s minister from years and years ago. They talked and talked, they sang together, and both of these old gentlemen felt that something very nice had happened to them. Their wives have even had the opportunity to have lunch together a time or two.

Marjorie says that the break she gets every week is entirely refreshing to her, and believes that this will make it easier for her to care for her husband at home longer. Our Senior Companion volunteers and I were very pleased to be a part of making something like this happen.

-Peg Kirsch Lee