Last week (July 23rd) marked 30 years since I met my wife Joanne. The past two years of poor health have brought on alternating chaos, exhaustion, optimism, frustration and heartbreak. Neither of us could have imagined we would be where we are today: patient and caregiver, 24/7. Instead she and I were planning for a fairly early retirement, with a list of places to visit as traveling retirees. Unfortunately it didn’t happen that way for us.

Due to her condition she doesn't speak much anymore, but on July 23rd she said she wanted to go to the park and watch the boats (one of our earliest dates was spent sitting at a park on Lake St. Clair, talking for hours and watching all the different boats go by). So, we packed our Spartan hats and sunglasses into the beach bag she had made during a recent hospital stay and headed to Sterling State Park in Monroe County. To my pleasant surprise we had a lengthy conversation... we reminisced about the past three decades, and the favorite memories we each have of our children. Not one word was said about what could have been, or hopes and dreams that we will never see. We held hands the entire time, and she smiled more that day than she had in many, many months.

The hours passed too quickly. Soon we knew it was time to go, but neither was ready to leave... we had reached a place, a combined peace of mind that we haven't been to in a very long time. We didn't want to break this spell... we didn't want the clock to strike midnight.

It was a good day for her, and it meant everything to me. Some memories are truly forever... this is one afternoon I'll never forget.

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