Love is patient, love is kind, love lasts forever.
An elderly couple revisits their relationship after the husband experiences a debilitating stroke. How will the change in physical abilities and expectations affect their relationship?
A short story from our Candlelight romance line.
He couldn’t move his arm. His trusty right hand was almost useless. The same hand he used to feed himself, the same hand he used to brush his teeth, comb his hair, and get dressed with every morning. The one he used to do everything in his life. And now it lay lifeless next to him. A wall standing between him and the woman he had married so many years ago.
A stroke had taken his hand away. It had taken his speech. It had taken his active life and sent him to dwell in a dark and lonely place. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy at the rehab hospital had mended a good portion of his body, but lying next to her, unable to reach out, unable to touch her, hurt him more than any of the tests or procedures the therapists or the doctors had put his body through.
The clock ticked each second that passed, but sleep would not come. He stared at the ceiling. This was his house, the place he couldn’t wait to get back to from the hospital, but now that he was home, everything was different. Shadows played around the bedroom, but sleep would not come. All of his daily activities were so much harder now, requiring so much more work. At the end of the day, he was exhausted, his body ached, but nothing would calm his restless spirit. His mind raced in many directions, but he couldn’t control the thoughts that kept him awake. He tried to roll over to see if sleep would find him in a new position. Sleeping on his side had worked in the hospital.
He rocked his body back and forth, just like the therapists had shown him in therapy. He found the strength and momentum to roll and came up onto his side. He teetered for a few seconds, but remained in his new position.
His wife sensed his struggle and turned to face him. She was always alert, ready to help as the need arose. “Having trouble sleeping?” she asked. “I can get you a pain pill. Maybe that will help you sleep.”
“Mo,” he mumbled from his partially paralyzed mouth. A small trail of drool rolled down his cheek. His right hand tried to catch it, but it was still too weak and uncoordinated to complete the task.
Her hand darted out from underneath the covers and wiped it away without a facial tissue, using only her bare skin.
He pulled away as if burnt by her touch.