30 Minutes of Wonderful
I met my husband when I was 47. He was a 59 year old widower. He asked me out 3 times over 8 months before I accepted, and I only accepted that time to gently explain to him that I did not want to date someone that I worked with. That one invitation to a drink (he did not drink alcohol) led into dinner which turned in to a 6 hour “intense interview”, a kiss goodnight and a very quiet “I love you” as he turned and walked to his car after walking me to mine. On a date not long after he turned up the song “Making Memories Of Us” on the car radio and told me, “this is our song!”
We were married 3 months later, each of us in the second half’s of our lives we knew what we were looking for and wanted and found it in each other. BLISS!! Or so we thought. Six months later he was diagnosed to be in the very, very beginning stage of dementia. Par for the course, he was at first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
I am a “mama bear” and became very protective of him. I read, I researched, I learned, I prayed. There was never any question in my mind as to what I was going to do. I was going to walk right beside him no matter what. So much so that I would be absolutely astonished every time someone would say to me, “It’s really good of you to stick with him”. What? Did I just hear that right? And again? My immediate thought every time was, “who wouldn’t? Who would walk away when the person you are head over heels in love with needs you the most? What kind of a person does that?” My response was always the same, quoted right out of Steel Magnolia’s when Shelby tells her mother, “I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special”.
Well, I got almost 10 years of wonderful that now seems like 30 minutes. And he was far more than wonderful! What a man! Best husband ever! The connection and love we shared was everything I had ever dreamed about. All we had to do was look each other in the eye and we knew what each other was thinking. I’ve never had that kind of connection with anyone in my life. It will be a miracle if it ever happens again.
He sent me roses in the first couple of weeks of dating. The card simply read, “You are my miracle”. I still have that card. I didn’t realize it yet but he was my miracle too.
Our battle with Lewy was both won and lost.
We fought hard. We fought the disease itself, we fought primal screaming from the wrong drugs, I fought Dr’s, and “care” homes and others and halfway through I discovered Lewy was masquerading as Alzheimer’s. I kept telling everyone, “he doesn’t act like everything I’ve read about Alzheimer’s”. Once that battle was won and medications adjusted, the screaming was relieved but his body could no longer stand, walk, or feed himself and not speak as well which of course over time became hardly ever as the nature of the demon goes. But that’s what misdiagnosis can do. Wrong medications = irreversible damage. I had no idea what Lewy Body Dementia was. Lewy what? It is SO vital important to not just dismiss all dementia as Alzheimer’s which so many do. Even neurologists told us that Alzheimer’s is an “umbrella term”. Hard lesson learned. EDUCATE. EDUCATE. EDUCATE!!
I miss the days of sunshine and laughter. I miss his wisdom, intellect and deep conversations. I miss him. I miss US.
Sep 06, 2019