Love Lives Forever...
January 22, 2014
Santa Paula News
By Sandy Morse, RN
Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice
In the picturesque town of Camarillo, on a lovely tree lined street, is a special place. A place where the frail elderly, who now need help, can live out their remaining years while being cared for by loving caregivers. Mali’s Place is a “board and care” home and is a fine example of residential care facilities, a place for those who can no longer live by themselves.
And in this home is a special lady, Miss Violet, who at 94 years old, is truly angelic, beautiful and elegant. I noticed Miss Violet right away, sitting in her wheelchair with a sweet smile, gazing off in the distance while hugging a portrait. When I approached, she reached for my hand and I then asked her who she was hugging. Her blue eyes began to sparkle and in barely a whisper she said, “my sweetheart” and thus began her story ... a love story.
Violet lived at Mali’s Place for 3 years, and as life evolves, health issues and age began to take its toll. Violet started to decline and wasn’t eating. But then something magical happened ..... Violet met Dr. William.
Dr. William (not his real name) also lived at Mali’s place and like Violet, he was also in a state of decline, and was being cared for by Livingston Hospice. We will never know the full intensity of what these folks felt when their eyes met, but the spark was obviously quite spectacular! From that first gaze, both Violet and Dr. William were inseparable and the electricity was felt by all. Both families and staff supported this new love and as the two love birds cooed and snuggled, an amazing thing occurred .... Both Violet and Dr. William began to rally! Yes, Violet no longer was confined to her bed, began to eat again, and the color returned to her face, which now had a constant glow. And Dr. William stood taller, enjoyed a hearty appetite and also had that constant glow!
For those happy months, love gave both Violet and William a gift, not only of happiness but also of life ..... love reversed their progressive decline, which no amount of medicine could have done! Sadly, Dr. William did pass away several months later and Violet received grief counseling from Livingston Hospice. She continues to find comfort in cherishing those sweet memories but her bright blue eyes did tear up when she told me, “his love is still in my heart and lives with me forever” ....
Violet is now failing and Livingston Hospice is there for her, as they were for Dr. William. Violet’s hospice nurse says talks about her “sweetheart” bring a peaceful smile and far away gaze ... yes, love does live forever and will accompany Violet on her last journey.
As we approach this Valentine’s Day, pause a little and know that LOVE is truly what makes the world go round. LOVE has the power to heal and does in fact, last forever.