Everyone who sees dementia up close knows that it’s a truly heartbreaking illness.Dementia might not take away your physical health, but it robs people of their memories. In many ways, that isjust as painful as a loss.
However, people who have loved ones with dementia also learn to see the beautiful moments in the illness.
That’s exactly what we saw with
the elderly couple who fell even more in love with his wife after Alzheimer’s struck.
We see it every day with the families and friends who know exactly how to support the people in their lives with dementia.
Oftentimes, dementia takes away memories, but the core personality is still there in some form. It’s beautiful to see an elderly couple fight through the fog of memory loss to bring out that core spark of personality.
One spectacular example of this story comes to us via the
Humans Of New York Facebook page. They interviewed an elderly man late last year about his wife’s dementia.
His beautiful words about their love story nearly brought us to tears. Read them in full below.
The post was published on the Human’s of New York Facebook page late last year.
The sweet words in the post touched many hearts, and hundreds of thousands of people shared, liked, and commented on the post to reflect the power of the message.
The post includes the words of the elderly husband, who has a beautiful perspective on his wife’s illness and their long marriage.
The post reads:
I was nineteen. She was sixteen. Our dates were normally on Sunday.
We didnt do much of anything. We were conservative. I was a farmer. We werent those swinging type people.
But every date was a little more cuddly. Then she took me to her senior prom. It was just ten miles from herein Richmond.
I was the only one there without a tuxedo. All those city folks didnt know what to make of me.
I cant tell you when we fell in love. I cant even tell you when I asked her to marry me. It was just natural. I think we were just sitting in the car and I gave her the ring.
I don’t have many big moments to share.
We were simple people.
They were all happy days.
We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in Branson, Missouri.
On the drive home, she kept telling me that we were going the wrong way. She was very insistent.
I didnt fight her. I kept letting her turn around because I knew that eventually wed hit the main road back to Michigan.
I knew then.
Her father had dementia. And so did his father.
So I knew what was happening.
Soon she started forgetting names.
When it started getting really bad, she wanted to walk away.
She was always trying to leave the house. Id have to lie in front of the door to keep her from going.
One morning I woke up and I couldnt find her. I freaked out: Where did she go? Where did she go?
I ran outside and it was totally dark. Down the road there was a streetlight.
And I could barely see hercrossing the road. I ran and I got her.
But she fought me.
She didnt want to come back home.
I miss that we cant go out and dance. Or visit other people.
We used to volunteer at the senior center every Wednesday. Shed play the piano, and Id turn the pages for her.
The hymns were some of the last things she remembered. Music was her life.
But one day she wouldnt play anymore. And I told the staff that theyd need to find someone else.
So we stay here now.
But I dont see this as a curse.
Its an honor.
This is what the Lord has given me to do.
She has served this family her entire life. And now its my turn to serve her.
I might not have her mentally.
But I have her.
I can still make her smile. I can make bubbly noises, and blow on her, and shell smile.
Every morning well sit in this chair and well cuddle until noon. I rock this lady more than I rock my grandchildren.
She likes to slip her hand under my shirt to feel my skin.
And she still likes to kiss. Every once in awhile shell reach up and give me a kiss.
Sometimes she starts yakking. She doesnt say actual words. And it doesn’t make any sense.
But I never tell her to be quiet, because its better than nothing at all.
If this beautiful and heartbreaking story had you close to tears,
SHAREfor every devoted and loving couple you know!
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