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With a joke back outside

With a joke back outside

I am very grateful for the beautiful life together with my husband Gilbert, despite the serious setbacks we have known. He was very social and athletic, was in all kinds of clubs and loved to go out to eat. When he began to suffer with his health, he always put away how he felt. He was never in pain he said. Everyone began to notice that he kept his peignoir on more in the house or stayed in bed longer. But that was supposedly normal as you got older, he was too proud to admit there were real health problems. I have often felt angry that he put that away specifically so as not to worry me. At one point he was so weakened he couldn't get outside without a walker. We went to Mass every Sunday, but his legs were so bad he couldn't walk with us. To go with a walker, he was too proud. In time, I went to church alone. Until one time he called out, "Wait, I'm going with you, with the walker!" I thought, what the hell, but was glad he went along. When we arrived at the church, he went straight to the dean and asked where he could park with his walker and where to pay for a parking ticket. Being able to make such a farce took something off him and allowed him to come to terms with his new situation.

Jeanne Heyse

Gilbert Vandewalle


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