Portrait of two marriages

Monday, February 6, 2006

The Sunday New York Times (Feb. 5) featured a long, detailed story about two brothers with Type I (“juvenile”) diabetes who have lived to 90 and 85, respectively. At the very end of the article about these two remarkable men who have beaten the odds, we read this:

They also give much of the credit for their longevity to their wives, who helped them stick to the regimen and saved them from low-blood-sugar episodes. Robert’s wife of 58 years, Ruth, is a nurse. “She probably knows more about diabetes than anybody I know,” he said.

Gerald’s wife, Mildred, died in 2002, after 62 years of marriage, but even as she was dying, he said, she kept the habit of checking his skin during the night for the profuse sweat that might signal low blood sugar. “One time when she had basically been bedridden for weeks, she found the strength to get up and go to the kitchen, and she poured orange juice and brought it back and made me drink it,” he said.

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