Part 4

That was Katrina’s last day at Kittens. (Her real name was actually Renee, as Ted found out soon afterwards.) Mary was very understanding about being essentially replaced, as Ted knew she would be. She could see the bond between the two of them. She agreed to teach Renee how to do everything Ted needed in his day to day life. Renee even got certified as a caretaker with Mary acting as her supervisor, freeing her up to take on more clients in different situations. Ted now had two incredible women in his life, and he was grateful.

Ted and Renee couldn’t have been happier together. Ted never stopped being amazed at how devoted she became to him. She never complained about taking care of him and he never again fell into self-pity about his condition. Ted eventually went back to work in his field, filled with confidence that he could do anything with her in his life and became even more successful than he had been prior to his accident. Renee was able to forget about her past as an exotic dancer and found complete fulfillment in caring for Ted. Whenever their eyes met, her heart was filled with the gratitude and love that shone from his gaze and she knew she was the reason for it.

Their sex life was magnificent, too, and both Ted and Renee came to realize that having a foundation of true love and devotion made it so.

Even though people with Ted’s condition cannot typically expect a long lifespan due to the other medical complications that eventually accompany or arise because of the paralysis, Ted lived to his late 50’s. As his caretaker, Renee came to understand that she would likely outlive him, and that she should prepare herself for losing him at a relatively early age. As he survived well past the age his doctors expected him to, Renee became convinced that her devotion to him was fueling his vigor for life. Eventually though, his spirit could no longer sustain life in a body nearly lifeless for almost 30 years, and complications from his condition claimed him.

Although devastated by his passing, Renee didn’t regret making the decision she did to be with him all those years earlier, not even for a moment. Her life had more meaning and joy than most, and she had him to thank. He never lost the look of love and gratitude for her, even at the last moments of his life. At his funeral, she knelt at his casket, kissed it softly, and whispered, “You’re free. I will always love you.”


Back to stories