Thursday, October 17, 2013
I thought I was angry. I was. I thought I was done. I was. What I didn't expect was the force of love, the strength of our tie, the longing for what we were. He is still here, but these waves of grief feel new and are huge. Perhaps it is the daily grind relief I get from my new helper; maybe it is the sudden intense interaction I am getting from all the palliative care workers who have been in and out of our house. Whatever it is, I am freer to feel the loss and to appreciate this man...not for what the witch Alzheimer's has left behind so far, but for the positive beam of love that my husband has directed at me for 50 years. I looked into his lost, dear, familiar face after dinner tonight and the anger melted away. I took him gently into an embrace. He clung to me, lost still and shaky, but there, as he always has been. Tonight, from the fog of dementia and the stumbling steps of Parkinson's, he returned from his bed to tell me that he loved me. He loves me. He can't put on shoes, and he can't brush his teeth, and he can't wipe his bottom, but his love for me is still evident to him. The lessons here are gigantic. I haven't figured them all out, let alone mastered anything, but they are clear to me. Love is everything. I guess it always has been.