Whirli: Help wanted.

R.L. Hindman has made sure his wife, O’Neal, had almost anything she wanted throughout their 68 years of marriage.
She never asked for much, he says, but he brought home money through the years – lots of it – and encouraged her to buy clothes she liked. He took her dancing. And he added rooms on to their Sherwood home so it would be roomy enough for them and their eight children.
Now, O’Neal has a hard time getting around … and she forgets things. She used to spend hours turning their front lawn into a lush garden, but she can’t do that anymore. R.L., a 90-year-old cancer survivor, doesn’t want her to feel disappointed or to be confused by a lack of flowers outside the big picture window in their living room, so he plants mums and pretty annuals himself and lets her think she did the gardening.
He gets tears in his eyes as he talks about how doctors and even family members tell him he should move O’Neal to a nursing home.
“This is her home,” he says. “This is what she knows. How could I do that?”
He has never shied away from hard work, but he trouble keeping up with her needs now so he’s reaching out for help.
“I want someone who needs me as bad as I need them,” he explains.
More specifically, he’s looking for someone who needs a home and a hand in exchange for help caring for his wife. Maybe, he says, there’s a single mom out there who could use room and board for her family and someone to help feed and clothe her children.
“I can do that,” he says. “We raised eight kids – there’s everything and anything right here that a family could need.”
He cares for his wife all on his own right now, but he gets tired and he sometimes feels like he’s losing patience with the woman he says he hasn’t argued with one time in their 68 years of marriage.
“She can have anything in the world she wants to eat,” he says. “I just want to make sure she gets something to eat. I want someone who will help bathe her and dress her and do her hair every day. If they’ll do a little housecleaning, a little laundry, a little cooking on the side, that’s icing on the cake. But what I really want is someone who will help me take care of my wife.”
Their four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is within walking distance of an elementary school and a stop for buses that go to and from other schools.
He would require that anyone planning to live in his house have a background check, and he says he would be happy to submit to one himself.
In addition to housing, food and clothing, R.L. has lots of advice, parenting and otherwise, and plenty of entertaining stories to offer.
I’m interested in what you guys think – is this a good deal for someone? Do you know of anyone who might want to help him?

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4 Responses to Whirli: Help wanted.

  1. Heidi says:

    What a sweet guy! I really hope he finds someone.

  2. abailey says:

    Gosh, that’s incredibly sweet. Could you get this story into the newspaper to get more exposure?

  3. chooder says:

    That is one of the sweetest stories of marriage I have heard. I wish I could help, but with a full time teaching job and a family I could not do that. I do live in Sherwood and love to garden. I would be happy to help with planting flowers, and raking leaves to help out. Moody Mom knows how to get in touch with me.

  4. kdishongh says:

    Carole, thanks so much for your comment and for your sweet, generous offer. I will pass it on to the Hindmans.

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