Over twenty years ago, I befriended a woman whose children lived out of state. I was paying back for the fact that Ralph's mom was able to live at home because of all the help she received from friends and neighbors and church. And a few paid helpers.
Pat had Parkinson's Disease and just needed a gal pal. I would visit once a week. Fortunately, she lived just a mile away. After a bit, we got together as a foursome and the men hit it off as much as we did. The best part? Kate had "local" grandparents who ooooohed and aaaaahed over her. Their condo had a pool and every week in the summer, she could bring a friend. GrPat and GrGeorge provided snacks and sodas. We oldsters would chat while the girls played.
In the beginning, she could accompany me out and about. I bought a minivan with leather seats so she could use a step stool then slide right in. We had great fun! Shoe shopping and she would have me "hide" the shoes at my house and sneak them over when GrGeorge was away. Need I tell you she was the Imelda of the neighborhood????
As her disease progressed, she went to care homes a few times. They would build up her strength and she would be well enough to come home. Until it was permanent. I continued my once a week. Her every loving husband went EVERY DAY. For several years. EVERY DAY.
We celebrated so many holidays together. I'm just missing her and Ralph today as I plan Thanksgiving.
And worry about GrGeorge who is being moved to assisted living today at age 95.