on an overcast day
rays of the man I knew
peek through the clouds
leaving me longing for more.
This poem sums up how we feel while living with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Like a tease, we are shown moments of lucidity that briefly allow us to think all is well.
Periodically, our loved one knows us, remembers our many adventures and shared life. Such moments quickly vanish and become less frequent as the disease progresses.
I wrote this poem for the opening page of my book, Navigating Alzheimer’s. My husband, Marshall, showed symptoms of Alzheimer’s during the last 15 years of our marriage. The heartache of witnessing the decline of his health and memories of our lives together continuously diminishing, in addition to the demands of around-the-clock caregiving, took its toll on my own mental and physical health. However, I learned while caring for him that loving and accepting him where he was at each point in time in the illness was important. Since, as of this writing, there is no way to reverse the disease, symptoms are progressive. Although today may be sad and difficult, tomorrow will likely be worse.
Live in the moment, enjoy the moment, alongside your loved one, wherever that takes you.
***Learn more about managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, as well as my experience, in the books The Alzheimer’s Spouse and Navigating Alzheimer’s. And please, if you have read either of these books, write a short review on Amazon.