2008-02-02 / Editorials & Letters

'The mind fails, the body fails, but true love never fails'


I've served as a volunteer for the Ohio Department of Aging for 18 months. Visiting Licking County health care facilities exposed me to many personal situations. This one is particularly touching and appropriate for Valentine's Day.

The tones of the accordion caught my attention and drew me to the dining room. Fascinated, I slowly opened the double doors and looked in. A large group of elderly residents was gathered obviously enjoying a reverie of old favorites from decades past. Having visited this nursing home often, many of the faces were familiar to me. Men and women on the shaded side of life seizing this bright spot in there day as a chance to raise their spirits. Some performed an awkward dance, most seated by choice or necessity, tapping a toe or finger to the accordion's rhythm.

Of most interest to me was a couple I believed to be octogenarians and shall call George and Clara. He in a wheelchair apparently oblivious to the surroundings, she intent upon his comfort. Her hand upon his, tapping to the music, hoping to raise his awareness but without success. The accordion played and the female singer soothed the lyrics to "I Love You Truly." Clara gazed into his eyes perhaps seeking a link with earlier days of their wedding, first child or raising a family. No response was forthcoming. Love and caring obvious in Clara's eyes seemed mixed with sadness and pain. Her once strong and vibrant hero had now faded only to memory.

As I closed the doors behind me I thought, "The mind fails, the body fails, but true love never fails."

Lou Maresca Harbor Hills

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