CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) — A 90-year-old Michigan man dressed up as Santa and brought Christmas to a local nursing home so his wife of six decades could celebrate the holidays.
Don West was at his wife’s bedside as a guitarist strummed along during a holiday party at Golden Days II Adult Foster Care in Charlotte. His 86-year-old wife, Jackie, has been living at the home since she suffered her first stroke last year.
“I know there’s going to be an end to it. I know that. And I’m prepared for that because I’ve had good times right now,” Don West told the Lansing State Journal. “Every day, I can tell her I love her, and she knows I’m talking and she responds. We communicate with hands and eyes.”
Her health initially improved, but another stroke stalled her recovery and she must now eat through a feeding tube. He notes that his met his wife at a dance.
“I just fell in love right there,” Don West said. “Never fell out of love since then.”
And they maintain the tradition.
“I still dance with her. She’ll be laying in bed, and I say to her, ‘Jackie, now you and I are going to pretend we’re dancing.’ And I put my arms around her, and she grabs me right here,” he said, pointing to his shirt near the top buttons.
Don West hasn’t missed a day visiting his wife and plans to spend an even longer visit with her on Christmas Day.
“We’ve had a great life,” he said. “And it’s still going yet.”