It’s not just about his wedding ring

February 23, 2018 § 7 Comments

I thought that the next blog post would be about my heart break when the Director of Memory Care handed me his wedding ring. It was recovered from under his bed in the morning. She thought it would be lost, best if I took it home. I felt that she was giving me back a part of myself that I had lovingly given away and wasn’t supposed to ever have back.

Then I found an extra set of house keys, tarnished and worn. I held them in my hands and knew they were his keys. Probably left on the dining table, their usual spot, the day he moved to the facility.

Simple things, symbols of how much my loved one has lost. Connections to a marriage and the freedom to come and go from home. Dementia erases everything that was part of your life as you once lived it and leaves you only with the present moment. I try to prepare myself for the time when he does not know who I am. Tears. My vulnerability makes me toughen up.

Now he struggles to make words. I hate telling him that I don’t understand, to try again. His speechlessness is devastating to me for I long to have a conversation with the man I married twelve years ago. My sweet husband moves on to the next indecipherable phrase.

Tonight after his dinner, I tried to turn on a TV show to watch together snuggling in an oversized chair in the privacy of his room but he’s distracted. He leans over and kisses my forehead as always. I ask him if my hair gets in his mouth. He says “sometimes,” the word comes out clear as a bell and he kisses my bangs again. “I love you,” he says, words he still shares ten thousand times. I look into his big blue eyes and tell him “forever.”

§ 7 Responses to It’s not just about his wedding ring

  • Ann G says:

    Thank You for sharing 💜

  • Suzanne says:

    I’ve been thinking about both of you—please let me know if you need anything.

  • TANYA BODZIN says:

    I know what you are feeling. My heart goes out to you. Came back from Florida on Tuesday and went to Stee on Wednesday. there was no recognition of who I am. I showed him a photo of his cousins. No recognition. showed him a photo of me and my girlfriend. He didn’t recognize me in the photo either. I pointed to me and asked if that person was a keeper.
    He replied yes. she is a keeper. made my visit all worth while.
    Hang in there. The worst is yet to come.. hugs, Tanya

    • Ruth Altheim says:

      OMG Tanya …. love lives on in our hearts. I’ve learned something about recognition but I don’t know what it means. I showed Steve a close up photograph of himself (a selfie on my phone) and he could not tell it was his face. This is why, I think: the brain’s process of pulling up a memory is broken so your dear husband cannot pull up a memory image to use as a comparison to the one you hold in front of him! Just as my husband cannot make any comparisons, beef vs. chicken, good vs. best, asking him to identify a face, even his own, is a comparison to the one his memory that he can no longer access. OK, I am preparing myself for the day when he does not know me but when I kiss him, will it be OK? hugs to you too, Ruth

  • So beautifully and honestly written. I still have tears in my eyes.

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