At night, Elizabeth Richard would often hold her husband’s hand when he was eating and sometimes she would even feed him with the spoon, but there were occasions, she called these his good nights, when he was able to manage on his own. She could tell by the shaky way Tom passed his hand over the top of his head, straightening what little was left of his thin brown hair, that this would not be one of those.
Regis was hounding another contestant into second guessing himself on TV, while Tom arched the spoon up and placed it into his mouth, took it out, and carefully moved his jaw. It was only soup, what his doctors advised to keep his mouth-work minimal. Soup, what he had eaten little other than since his Parkinson’s reached this stage of advancement. But soup was still a challenge, enough to keep them both busy.
There had been a time when they sat in the dining room and ate steak for dinner, talking, when she and Tom would never have watched a program like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, but now there was a real need for voices in their small house, and they’d become less choosy. Especially at night, when the house was quietest, they treated the TV as if it were a long-lost friend, sitting rapt in front of it, letting it make their conversation.