For the last few years, my step-son, Marshall Jr, has purchased a gift for me from his Dad for Valentine’s Day. Since Marshall Sr. is unable to do this himself, he’s helped his father remember me with a token of our love.
This year, in addition to a sweet, little video, I received a beautiful silver bracelet with a heart that reads, “Memories Matter.” Marshall does not remember much of our 23 years together, but he hasn’t forgotten that he loves me. He often says that he wants to do something nice for me. My response is that he does. Every day he tells me he loves me. I hold those I love yous deep in my heart.
But it also is consoling to have a gift to cherish. I will wear the bracelet and remember that, in spite of Alzheimer’s, my husband loves me. The disease robbed his memories of our decades together—but not mine—and not his love for me.
Whether our loved ones continue to live at home or in a home, our marital energies and assets must flow in their direction. We spouses of people with Alzheimer’s receive little in return for the years, often decades, of 24/7 care. For most of us, it’s been a very long time since they could give us the customary flowers, candy, or jewelry of such holidays.
I am very grateful to Marshall Jr for his thoughtfulness. His kindness warms my heart, and the gift and video are greatly appreciated.
You still have time to do this for someone before the next holiday or anniversary. If one of your parents or friend’s spouses has Alzheimer’s, please consider helping them show their love for their partner. You will be giving a tremendous gift to both of them.