The year 2020 is coming to an end and why not end it with a story that will evoke all the warm fuzzy feelings to remind us that even in our toughest times, there are things we can marvel at. Yet at the same time also give us strength and resolve to demand that we expect better from 2021 in so many ways.
Charlie LeDuff is a Pulitzer award-winning writer, T.V. personality, and podcast host of the No BS News Hour with Charlie LeDuff and he wrote a story yesterday at Deadline Detroit that is a reminder of the best in humanity.
Grab a tissue.
From Deadline Detroit…
The girl on the other side of the glass is everything to the boy standing outside.
He stands there every afternoon, dreaming of touching her hand and smelling her hair, having to content himself with simply seeing her.
Frank Nothaft, 83, comes each day to the nursing home window to be near his wife Nicole. “I’d be so lost without her,” he confided.
He has come every day since May, when visitors were banned due to Covid-19. From 2 o’clock until sunset. Rain or shine. Swelter or snow. There sits Frank, even while Nicky sleeps. The couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary through that window. And Christmas. And now New Year’s Eve.
Nicole suffers from dementia. At 80 years old, she is at a point in life where memories have lost meaning, and familiar faces have become strangers.
Click on the Deadline Detroit link in a moment and read the rest of this excellent piece of work of Charlie just taking the time of allowing a story to be told.
Now as a caregiver myself to a parent with dementia, I know of the daily struggles of those that have to do the job of caring for a loved one in both COVID and non-COVID times. This story of Frank going every day to see his bride through a window since he was forbidden to visit her inside is the simplest yet most noble thing I have read in a long while.
Who would blame him for skipping a couple of days a week to just recharge his battery? How many of us would sit in the freezing cold or rain on any day let alone EVERDAY to visit someone who might not have even given us a look of remembrance in weeks?
I’m sorry to say I don’t think many.
In a world where we fully expect the people whom we elect to not keep their word and lie to our faces, here we have one man who is keeping his vow to his wife of continuing on with her in sickness and in health. COVID-19 and state officials have thrown obstacles in this couple’s way but they vowed to stay together, and they are. Even if it is just for a shorter amount of time each day through a glass window.
Reading this story is a great way to end the dumpster fire of the year that 2020 has been on a positive note. Yet we better prepare to hold the feet to the fire of politicians who allow unaccountable faceless bureaucrats to make rules that are based on cloudy and faulty reasoning that they have never been forced to release and explain. Growing old is hard enough without throwing barriers of any kind in between people like Frank and Nicole.
Most people vow to make every New Year better than the last. If we are serious about putting the disasters of 2020 behind us, we might start with the novel idea to stop treating people like lab rats to be run through a maze and more like people who can be dealt with in a fair and compassionate manner.
That would make the coming year much better than the last.
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Finally, I hope you had a very Merry CHRISTmas and will have a Blessed New Year.