Giving Care with Love

I’m Abbie Johnson Taylor, and I wrote this post.


Last week, I heard, on NPR, one of many reports about the sentencing hearing for the U.S. Army sergeant who went AWOL in the Middle East and was captured by the Taliban and held prisoner for five years before being released. During that day’s proceedings, Shannon, the wife of one of the soldiers injured while searching for the missing sergeant, said that her husband’s severe injuries impacted their interactions, and she felt more like a caregiver than a wife.


My heart goes out to Shannon and others in her situation. For six years, I cared for my late husband Bill, who suffered two strokes and became partially paralyzed. However, I showed him my love all the time, and he showed me his in return. After dressing him in the morning and transferring him to his wheelchair, I put my arms around his waist and held him for a moment, then kissed his cheek and positioned my cheek in front of his mouth so he could do the same, which he did. At mealtime after I put food in front of him or gave him his pills, I put my arm around his shoulder and kissed the top of his head. He often put his good arm around my waist, and we both held each other momentarily. Of course Shannon’s husband may not be able to return her affections, but he can surely feel hers, and at a time when he can do nothing else, it’s important for him to feel loved.


In My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, I explain other ways Bill and I showed love for each other during the years I cared for him at home. Through this book, I hope to reach out to Shannon and others who are caring for loved ones at home. If you’re in such a situation, you’re not alone. No doubt your community has a support group, and the Internet is full of blogs and other resources for caregivers. I hope Shannon and others can find a way to put love back in their relationships.




I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.





Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

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14 thoughts on “Giving Care with Love

  1. Wonderful blog post, Abbie. My heart goes out to Shannon and you. While Bergdahl was tortured by the Taliban, the sergeant did desert. I wonder how Shannon and her husband feel about the lenient sentence.


  2. I wondered the same Mike. It is a very hard situation for everyone all the way around. Life can be messy. Good post Abbie. Reminds me of the story of the man who visited his wife who had Alzheimers in a nursing home. She didn’t know him. Asked why he visited when she didn’t know him, he answers, “Because I know her.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keeping going in any one sided relationship has to be hard but I agree, Abbie, that because Bill maybe couldn’t voice his love he was ‘still in there’ and appreciated you helping him to express himself.


  4. What a lovely post! Few people have your stamina and love to share with someone you care about. We definitely hear about more people who are a bit upset having to give their time to a loved one. Sharing that keeping your love strong is a mighty part of the overall caregiver process gives hope to others struggling with the same problems. Thank you for posting this Abbie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post brought to mind an old saying, Where there is a will,there is a way. You were fortunate to find ways to show Bill how much you loved him. Hopefully your words will help others do the same. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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