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Better Than A Hallmark

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 5:18, NIV

Steve Daniel of Jacksonville, Florida must surely rejoice in Mary, his wife. We know beyond doubt that she adores and celebrates him, for all we have to do is to look at her actions.

Early on-set Alzheimer's beset Steve and Mary made the difficult decision to place him in the memory center of an assisted living while she worked to provide for his care. He thrived there, enjoying the relationships he had with others and looking forward to her visiting every evening as she helped him get ready for bed. Every evening, without fail, until coronavirus struck and visitors were prohibited from entering the facility.

They tried window visits, but Steve, not understanding why his beloved wife couldn't come inside, simply cried. As the days went by, his condition worsened and he lost weight. Mary offered to get a therapy dog or serve as a volunteer, but the facility couldn't accommodate her request. Days drug on and became weeks and months.

All that changed July 3. Mary got a new part-time job, in addition to her full-time one. Someone from the corporate office for Rockcastle Assisted Living and Memory Care offered her a position as a dishwasher. She leapt at it, and now, in addition to scrubbing a whole lot of dishes, she legally sees Steve each night and she's giving the $40 a week she makes to other caregivers, just to help them know how much they're appreciated.

Mary described their first encounter after 114 days apart. "He was teary-eyed," she said. "He touched my face, even with my mask on." Those tears, that tender touch, echo the writer of Proverbs as he described a wife of noble character - Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Proverbs 31:29

That's a better love story than any Hallmark movie. Even if it doesn't snow in Jacksonville, Florida in July.

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