Marie S. - Life With a Different Beginning

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You know that day when you plan your life. You will get married, have some children, travel, and grow old together. He laughs about it that he will be chasing you around with his cane in the nursing home. Then one day you wake up and the doctor is telling you that the one you love has Alzheimer. To start making plans with how and when life is going to end. He is young by the standard of what people call old age...only 60 years young. You try to spend some quality time together, take a trip, take some walks, because you know that there is no new beginning to this disease they call Alzhiemer. You sit and cry together, if you are lucky you start planning for the end of His life. You talk about what He wants and how he wants to live out the rest of his life. So then the journey begins. First, it is that he forgets where he layed something down. Then it is how do you get somewhere or what was that person's name. As his wife, I look at our finances and realize that I can retire with my husband and take care of him. I am one of the lucky ones...if you call it that. So a different way of life begins, getting up when he does to make sure my husband's day goes as smoothly as possible for him. He is beginning to forget how to use the bathroom, so you have him start wearing Depends...so sad. Playing cards and games is no longer in the picture, because it gets to confusing for him and it gets so frustrating that he walks away. He loved to play games and loved to laugh when I got frustrated, now he justs looks right through me...like who are you. Four years has passed, twenty-four hour care and now it is time to decide where he is going to stay. My husband now wanders 15-20 times a day and it has taken a toll on my mind. There is so much I want to do for my husband, but now it has become a safety issue for him and sometimes for myself. I cry by myself and wonder how all this is going to end. Well we all know the story on that one.........  No Cure for this disease, no stopping what it does to our love ones, the pain that it takes on the family and friends is sometime so hard. That the ones that he loved so much can't handle it, so they walk away. A few draw closer and want to help, but don't even know how or what to do. So the story hasn't ended, but our life together under the same roof has. We celebrated our 40th anniversary last year and he didn't even know my name. Many tears has fallen over the pass four years and many more will come. So I am trying, but not to good at this, trying to start a new life without my husband under the same roof with me. Still commeted to his care in a different way. Once in awhile I see the sparkel in his eyes, that he still knows me. Still waiting and knowing that this disease will one day take his life. Not knowing how I will handle this, because already we have experienced a different death. The death of his memories of his life, the laughter of his spirit, and the joy of his love for his family and friends. We will miss his smile, his laughter, and his joy of singing. You know there is an ending to a story, well I don't know how to end this. Because there was so much more we planned to do and now I must do it alone without him.

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