Oscar Carter makes the same drive to the exact same date every day. The 75-year-old still gets butterflies when he pulls into Mustang Creek Estates Retirement Community in Frisco.
"My wife's name is Bessie Carter. She's an educator, a musician and a loving person," Carter said.
Carter's date is at the memory care center at Mustang Creek. His wife Bessie was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2013. The disease progressed quickly and now Bessie requires around the clock care.
"I come in the morning and we walk, we have lunch together and we sing and pray. I just want her to know she will never be alone," Carter said.
The couple married nearly 52 years ago after meeting at college in North Carolina. Oscar says they were friends first, bonding over their shared love for God, music and education.
"I've always respected the person she is," Carter said.
Bessie and Oscar both had distinguished careers as teachers and traveled the world together. They raised a two beautiful children who are now grown and life in the Dallas area.
"The doctor said once this disease progressed it would be best if we moved down here to be near our kids," Carter said.
Staff at Mustang Creek say Bessie lights up when Oscar walks into the room. The disease has mostly taken away her ability to talk, but she holds Oscar's hand and has a sense of calm.
"She knows I'm here," Carter said.
Oscar says he's sharing he and his wife's love story for two reasons. First he wants young people to understand that love is more than a word. The former pastor says love is about "showing up" especially when the going gets tough.
"I am here because of my love and care for this incredible woman who has given me so much," Carter said.
He also wants to raise awareness about Alzheimer's and the impact it has on caregivers. Carter says he's lucky to have family nearby and caring professionals at Mustang Creek, but many people don't have that kind of support.
As for Oscar, you know exactly where to find him this Valentines.
"I will be on a date right here with my wife Bessie Carter. There is no where else for me to be," Carter said.
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