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One of the movies that was nominated this year for Best Picture of the Year was the French film, “Amour.” Although it did not win for best picture, it did win for Best Foreign Film last Sunday at the Oscar’s.

Amour was about an older, retired couple who had been married for many years. I don’t think they could even remember a time when they weren’t together. They had raised a family together, grown old together and remained each other’s best friend over this time. The love they felt for each was apparent in everything they did, the way they talked to each other, their secret smiles, their tone of voice. Their love was palpable and so beautiful to watch.

As it is in life, at some point, it is inevitable that one will have to care for the other….”in sickness and in health”. I don’t think anyone ever really likes to dwell on that for long because there is always so much else to do, life gets too busy. Until one day when it happens….Anne suffered a series of debilitating strokes in the movie and became more and more incapacitated. She depended more each day on her husband for her every need. She was embarrassed and humbled by being in such a position. Her husband, who understood her feelings just by looking at her, was so kind and so aware of helping her keep her dignity throughout her decline. He was so sensitive to her feelings and her needs and became her round the clock caregiver, which is often a thankless and tough job. His love for her was so great that he wanted to make this part of her life as easy as possible. It was so moving, so tender to witness this in the film, yet very hard to watch. Death and dying are never easy. Life sometimes is not all roses. Many people’s reaction to the movie was “how terribly depressing” it was. I think it is a hard thing to watch two people who love each, deal with sickness and death. But that is what we will all face someday….it is part of life. It seems so indicative of our society today…..we only want to see the good stuff, nothing bad…too depressing. UNTIL, it happens to you! Then, oh my goodness, this is awful…what do I do? No one prepared me for this…..but love has a way of making things manageable and ultimately okay.

When Dick had his stroke, the whole family pulled together to help him get better. I was honored and privileged to be his caregiver. It was really tough some days, but I loved him so much it didn’t matter. I was with him through all of it, the ups and downs and ultimately to the end. I love him for allowing me to be part of his life in that way. The movie, Amour, brought back all of those memories for me. The couple in the movie showed the world what one person in love will do for the other. I am so glad that I saw this film and I thank those involved in making it for the beautiful message of love. I remembered Dick and those difficult times almost 11 years ago. I carry them in my heart and have now been able to quietly turn the page. Love never dies….we will always have it in our hearts.

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