91-year-old Bill Barr and his wife Doris– age 93– have been married for 66 years. Over the decades, and despite horrible illness, Bill’s devotion to and love for his wife remain simply breathtaking.
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In 1998, Doris was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. For the next 15 years, Bill cared for Doris’s every need, every day. “Well, the minister said for better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health,” explained Bill in an interview with CBC News. “I meant it. And she meant it.”
Four years ago, Doris’s condition worsened, and she had to be moved into a facility better equipped to care for her. But Bill hasn’t stopped proving his love for his wife.
Every single day, Bill drives from his home to see Doris, bringing a packed lunch. He eats with her, tells her about their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, tells her stories about things they did together… Sometimes, he even sings to her.
During these visits, Bill does all the talking. For the past four years, Doris has almost ceased to communicate, but Bill says he’ll never stop his daily trip to see his wife. “Just to be near her,” he says. “Just when I go over to see her, we’re in a different world.”
“There was always a lot of love in their house. And between them as well.” Says Bill and Doris’s granddaughter. “My grandpa was always singing to her, dancing with her, and making her laugh.”
Bill still recalls first falling in love with his wife.
In 1948, he spotted Doris at a hockey game and crushed on her from a distance, eventually asking a friend to call her on his behalf. Finally, Bill worked up the courage to ask Doris to go to a movie with him. He still remembers where they were when he first held her hand: “Walking down Portage Avenue, and I reached for her hand, and it was there.” he recalls, smiling.
“And I haven’t let go since.”
Watch Bill care for his wife in the video below. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
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