He was kept alive on a ventilator for respiratory failure for years.He was also suffering from dementia with no voluntary function.I met him and felt heart broken for his wife,who was visiting him,rain or shine,every day.She was changing his clothes,talking to him and talking to us on his behalf.I saw that she was keeping cartoon channels on TV for him.One day I asked her about him,as I knew him then only as a name with a medical history.I had no knowledge about him as a person,I wanted to know his voice,his opinion,his wants,his passions.
How was he when he was him,I asked.
He was a loving person.I love him,she replied and then start flipping TV to a cartoon channel.
All her routines;washing,cleaning,nurturing look like of a mother,protecting her precious bundle of joy.I could see a wife in love,I saw her hoping against a situation with no hope.
As I watched her caring for her husband,as months turning into years,I wondered how chronic diseases take toll on loved ones.I saw an interesting reality as I noticed when wives become mothers and husbands become fathers.