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Remembering the man I fell in love with
lvcatlvr
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 9:46 AM
Joined: 5/7/2018
Posts: 147


He was the smartest person in the creative writing class, smarter even than the published poet who taught it. Everyone raved about the poetry he wrote, even the professor. He wasn't my usual type. I generally dated tall blonds with blue eyes, but he had the biggest, most soulful brown eyes. We were each assigned a poem to analyze and present to the class. While I was usually good at this, the poem I got was a modern, very perplexing poem. So, I asked the shy and brilliant brown eyed boy to help me, which he did. He intrigued me even more. I was with a friend in the student union, and he came in. I pointed to him and said, "He's my spring project. " It wasn't long after that when he invited me to a party. We were inseparable after that. It was February 1971. We spent our lives traveling, teaching, and raising two wonderful daughters in a national forest in a house we designed and helped build. We both were English teachers at high schools and later college. We read voraciously and discussed books, movies, politics, etc. He was my best friend. Now he can't read. He often thinks I'm a stranger and threatens to hurt me. Due to the drugs he takes, he barely speaks. But I must remember the man I loved. I still love him even though he is a stranger because he still often looks at me with those soulful brown eyes, and I remember....I remember.
Crushed
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 10:33 AM
Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 4667


I've told DW's story many times. First kissed her in 1972.   Brilliant, kind, wonderful and public spirited. A world leader in her Medical area.  Public servant. Great mother and all around "fun girl"  Now I feed her with a spoon and hope for a smile.

TayB4
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 12:19 PM
Joined: 8/8/2014
Posts: 815


Ivcatlvr, I like this thread. I hope it is ok to add our stories here. I met my DH when I was 27 and he was 24. He has always been a kind, hard working, giving man. It was not uncommon for him to work 60 plus hours a week, whether he was salaried or hourly. If anyone needed help with something, he was the first to offer.  When I was with him, I never opened a door. We rarely hired anyone, because he could fix just about anything. Now he is in a nursing home, and I brought adult pull ups to the staff last night for him.
Ed1937
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 1:00 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 1507


I was 18, and my wife was 16 when we met. She was a high school dropout. A year and a half later, we got married on Dec. 28, 1957.

She was a smart girl, even though she never finished high school. After we had several kids, she told me she always wanted to be a nurse, and she was going to see if she could get in to study at Indiana University NW. She was allowed to take a test for admission. She passed with flying colors, and graduated at the top of her class, as a registered nurse. She went on to work in a post-op environment for several years. Her highest ranking position was director of nursing. Not bad for a high school dropout!

She was an excellent mother, wife, cook, and my best friend. There's no doubt that I got the better end of the deal because she was the backbone of our family, and I snagged a winner. Now she does not know how to turn on the TV, but she is relatively easy to care for.


lvcatlvr
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 1:25 PM
Joined: 5/7/2018
Posts: 147


Please add your own experience to this thread. It helps to remember the person he or she was when we fell in love. I do believe that somewhere in the declining brain is something still left of that person.
dw743
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 1:27 PM
Joined: 11/13/2018
Posts: 96


After 55 years of marriage, DW started the downward Alz slide over the last few years. She's now is in MC after a year at home with care givers. My life has now been turned upside down by this, just like so many others here.

Just about to leave for the daily 40 mile drive in to help feed her lunch. A "good day" is if she can wake up and let me feed her. If a smile comes, it's a "great" day. No talking anymore, no walking. Not the girl I married, I don't know where she is.


Marie58
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 2:10 PM
Joined: 12/31/2018
Posts: 232


DH and I met 40 yrs ago at 23 and 21 yrs old. We married 2 yrs. later. 
Of course he was handsome! Tall, blonde, blue eyes. But also smart, outgoing, and had the best sense of humor! We traveled, did tons of outdoor activities together, raised 2 kids and now have 2 grandkids. He could do anything around the house and yard. He had lots of empathy for those who were less fortunate, donating lots of time, money and energy helping others through various organizations or quietly on his own. He was always the picture of health, worked out regularly in addition to our other activities. He played a big role in me becoming a Christian. He lived his faith every day. During greeting time in church, he would go to the back rows to greet people who were new, or the older people that tended to sit back there. When we went on road trips, which was often, we talked non-stop. We just always had something to talk about. He was kind, funny, loving, loyal, smart, fun, the life of the party. I doubt he ever had an enemy, everyone loved him. He was my best friend.

Now he talks in single words. I do everything for him. I can sometimes get him to laugh but that is getting to be less and less. I, too, try to remember the good times but some days it is so hard. It seems so distant. I will always love him!


White Crane
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 2:51 PM
Joined: 2/27/2017
Posts: 43


Thank you so much Ivcatlvr for posting this.  I've been reminiscing lately about my DH when he was younger and free of Alz.  We married when I was 21 and he was 27.  I had two sons from a previous marriage and he raised them as his own.  We had two more children and now have five grandchildren.  He was always on the go and loved being outside working in the yard or out bird watching.  He was (and sometimes still is) an expert on bird identification but has forgotten so much.  He loved to camp and fish and hunt mushrooms in the spring.  We traveled each year and sometimes a few times a year.  We birded in Costa Rica and all over the US.  He was an artist and could paint, draw, carve, you name it he could do it.  We have some lovely pictures he drew and an incredible chess set he hand carved.  Each piece a work of art.  He was always fun loving and never met a stranger.  Now he doesn't do any of those thing.  He hasn't painted or drawn anything in a long time.  And he only gets to go birding when a birding friend takes him...there is only one friend who takes the time to do this...so sad.  He still knows me but has trouble remembering our grandchildren.  We are still together after 52 years and I love him so much.  Some days are so hard and I wonder how I will get through another day.  Then he tells me he loves me and I keep going.  God gets me through day by do...in His strength is how I survive.
Mrs. O
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 2:26 AM
Joined: 8/1/2017
Posts: 296


Good thread lvcatlvr. Experiences in the past few years have been so intense that I sometimes fear that they will obscure my memory of who DH really was. I must never let these difficulties outweigh my love for the man I married. Full of energy... the life of the party...always laughing. Now the only thing that makes him laugh are reruns of The Three Stooges. I play them not only for his pleasure, but for the pleasure it brings me, to see him laugh again.
Laurention
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 8:16 AM
Joined: 11/4/2014
Posts: 346


My DW dropped out of High School, and we married in 1973 (for that age old reason ) . DW was 17 at the time.

She embraced motherhood, while taking correspondence courses to complete High school.  In 1975 she took a job as a bank teller.  DW took every course that the bank offered, and passed with honours . I can recall her doing University Level courses on her own time, all the while looking after two kids ( I worked night shifts)

DW worked her way up the ladder . The bank offered more courses, and generally a promotion was usually the reward.

By late 2008 DW was a senior Bank Manager in charge of 5 branches.

Somewhere around early 2010, she found herself struggling at work??

Eight days after her 61st birthday I placed her in long term care.  

Today she can't speak, is confined to a wheel chair, and needs 24/7 care.

 Such a horrible disease !!!

Stay strong, all of you.

   Mike 


Dreamer Lost
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 8:52 AM
Joined: 3/7/2019
Posts: 262


DH and I met in graduate school in a statistics course. He caught my eye the minute I walked into class and I made a beeline to sit in the desk next to him.  He always remembered that day also (before ALZ), along with the outfit I had on.  I always joked with him that I was smarter than him, as I made an A in the class and he made a B.  But really, I was just a better test taker.  I even used to call him to help me with homework at times. LOL. Couldn't get him to ask me out till the end of the semester as he was working so much. Then we got engaged in 6 months and married in another 6 months.  He went on to get a Ph.D., me a master's degree.  I typed his dissertation in the computer lab of the college (back in the day before home computers, haha). He worked over 60 hours a week and climbed his way up the corporate ladder of a large agriculture company, traveling around the world while I stayed at home with the 3 kids working part time or not working at all (we moved around some each time he got a promotion).  I used to joke with the kids, I was the smarter one as I got to stay at home while DH spoiled me, pampered me and lavished me with gifts.  Even with his working so much, he still made it to all of the kids sports games (and there were many),  concerts and plays and never missed a birthday or anniversary. He was strong in his Catholic faith and never missed mass on the weekend even when traveling he would try to find a church to attend in other countries.  Oh, the stories he could tell about his trips. I loved listening to him, and he was an avid story teller.  He could always make me laugh.  As the kids finally grew up and started leaving the nest, I got to start traveling with him a little and loved it.  I started dreaming of all the other places we would go.  Then EOAD at age 57.  DH is now stage 6, barely continent and just turned 61.
GA-Mom
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 4:11 PM
Joined: 2/17/2017
Posts: 58


I met DH in college at a small pub where all the students went. A girlfriend introduced us. I thought he was the most handsome man I had ever met, with that chiseled jaw, dark hair, and green eyes. We started dating the summer of 1973, graduated in 1974 and sort of went our separate ways, but writing to each other and even squeezed in a visit. He proposed in 1976 and we were married in spring of 1977. He was 28 and I was 24. He was a coach and teacher most of his career. We have two wonderful grown daughters. He was always my rock. He could do so much around the house. Now he is still continent and fairly outgoing. No longer drives. Could not live on his own. He would forget to eat or take his meds. When he hugs me and tells me he loves me, I look past his shoulder and tears come to my eyes when I think of the future. I wish some physical ailment would take him quickly instead of this long slow decline. For now, I try to make each day count.