From child to caregiver: Making the tough decisions

BARRY’S BAY – Vivian Getz spent most of her life helping others.

She and her husband John raised two boys, Robert and Allan, in Killaloe. When she wasn’t earning some money for the family by working at a restaurant and a lodge, she was ‘the’ on-call lady to sing at every wedding and funeral, no matter the denomination.

“Because of the financial restraints in our childhood, we didn’t have Disneyland but we always had tons of love,” her son Allan said. “It didn’t matter if we didn’t have the perks.”

John passed away in 1995 at the age of 83. He was 18 years Vivian’s senior, which was a bit taboo at the time the couple got married, but it was a marriage that lasted throughout the years.

Vivian had always been the caring mother throughout the decades.

“When she touched you, you knew everything was going to be okay no matter how bad things could have been,” Allan said. “It was magical.”

Things changed around 2008, when Vivian started forgetting things.

“There were signs,” Allan recalled. “I slowly realized that if a pipe burst in the house, I knew she wouldn’t know where to shut the pump off anymore. She boiled a pot dry on the stove once. There were just subtle red signs.”

Get your May 10, 2017 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full article.