At my Alzhiemer’s support group today, a woman who has been caring for her husband for several years shared the most touching, intimate moment. He’s been “gone” for quite some time now, and had a brilliant moment of clarity this last week. He woke up one morning and said “I don’t remember anything.” “I don’t know where I am, how I got here, what’s going on. Who’s been taking care of me?” “Has it been you?” She told him that it had, and he asked if it had really gotten to her, driven her crazy. She said that it hadn’t, but of course, it gets to all of us, very much, but we learn to deal. He also said, “Do you get tired of me telling you that I love you all the time?” She told him that no, she did not. She told us that yes, she did get tired of it, especially when she was trying to get him to go to bed, but that she would never have told him so.
They cried a bit and laughed, too. Then he went right back to where he was, and when he woke up the next morning he got ready to go to to a job he hasn’t been able to do in a very long time. She related this experience with the most calm sense of acceptance, one I can only hope to achieve, in time.
I was moved to silent tears when she told us what had happened. And to think, I almost curled up on the couch, in my exhaustion, this morning, but remembered that the group took place on Thursday mornings. It’s an oasis, filled with hope, love and encouragement. We might not be able to change what’s happening to these people that we love, but we can lean on each other and provide shelter in the storm.