When you are caring for someone who needs help with dressing, showering and using the toilet, you reach an entirely new level of intimacy in your relationship. As Alex were in the shower together yesterday and he was instructing me on how he wanted me to wash the spaces in between his toes, I realized how incredibly difficult it must be him to need so much help.

Some of the tasks we do for those who can’t care for themselves aren’t very pleasant. No one could blame you if you were feeling turned off by some of sights and smells of the messes you have to clean up every day. I think the only thing harder than doing this for someone I love would be needing for someone to do it for me.

Caregiving takes us to places we never expected to go. When we are in a relationship with a person who cannot do much for him/herself, we learn that love isn’t always romantic and intimacy isn’t always sexy. It’s in these moments that our character is tested and we are allowed to experience the depth of our capacity to love and care for one another. We also learn the importance of having a sense of humor. A friend sent us a series of photos with the tag line “Animals Who Accidentally Saw You Naked”. Alex and I had a good laugh pretending that the photos had been taken when the animals were watching me help Alex with his shower.