With his wonderful wife by his side, one Pennsylvanian husband led a long and fulfilling life. But everything changed when she was given a dementia diagnosis. He took care of her without complaining while they adjusted to their new routines.
Mary Jane Gacono was the love of Carl Gacono’s life. Together, they raised six kids and created a lot of memories. They had no idea that their relationship would change, but it did.
Mary Jane struggled with dementia for more than ten years, and her loving husband never left her side. Although it wasn’t easy every day, he tried his best. It was touching to see Carl guiding his wife through life in such a kind way.
The Generous Husband Acted More
In 1950, Carl and Mary Jane exchanged vows to remain faithful to one another in sickness and in health. Mary Jane was the breadwinner of their family for many years, but when she fell ill, her husband took over as caregiver.
Becky Gacono, their daughter, had a great deal of pride in her father. On the Facebook page “Our journey through our mom’s dementia,” she discussed their difficult and uplifting experiences.
He always gave his wife the very best.
Carl was two years older than his beloved wife, but that didn’t stop him from going above and beyond for her.He had spent his entire life raising children and spending time with their 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, so he was equipped for the journey.
Carl made sure that Mary Jane maintained her schedule in spite of the fact that it was exhausting and painful for him to watch his wife forget about him. Their doctors suggested that keeping Mary Jane on a routine would be beneficial for her because it would assist to stimulate her memory. As a result, Mary Jane’s attentive husband adhered to a daily program.
Their Delightful Routine of the Morning
It was quite upsetting to watch Mary Jane lose her memory, but Carl was able to keep his wife happy and smiling thanks to the little things. He was really pleased with himself for the endearing morning ritual that he shared with his spouse.
He washed her glasses, kept her jewelry beside the sink, and assisted her with putting it on. Additionally, the husband assisted his wife in getting dressed, and he took the time to walk her through each item of clothing while doing so. He detailed:
“I always tell her she has two earrings, she has two necklaces, and she has a watch and a separate bracelet on there. So I say she has ‘2, 2, and 2. Tomorrow she might say, ‘Where’s my third necklace?’ And I would say to her — ‘it’s 2, 2, 2. Remember?'”
It was a labor of love.
Their daughter Becky was in awe of her father’s commitment and passion, and the acts of service that he performed were a genuine labor of love for them. When it came time for Becky to talk about her father in 2018, she couldn’t help but shout his praises.
Carl cheerfully took on a challenge that most people would avoid, and he succeeded in completing it. The daughter stated that:
“[My mom] dedicated her life to loving him and supporting him in all his dreams and being successful. I do think he feels that now it’s his turn. It is unconditional love, without a doubt … He has just been amazing through all this; they’ve always been madly in love with each other.“
He Wouldn’t Change a Thing
Even though there were many tough and exhausting days, the best treatment was laughter. When the Gacono family was joyful, Mary Jane was noticeably happier.
Her husband and children were satisfied even if she did not recognize them because she knew they were people who loved her. It had rubbed off on her.
Carl was proud to care for his wife and wouldn’t change a thing about his life. They had a wonderful marriage, and if given the chance, he would say “I do” once more without hesitation.
The couple adhered to their marriage vows
Becky was aware that things did not turn out the way her parents had hoped or anticipated. But she is appreciative of the example they provided and their commitment to their vows. She added:
“They take walks. They laugh. They love. They wake up to a new adventure every day. It is not what I hoped or dreamed for them, but I think in the end, they still have each other, and for them – it is enough.”
People all throughout the world are still inspired and warmed by the story of Carl Gacono and Mary Jane. Even though they are both no longer with us, their legacy of love endures.