Living with conditions of Alzheimer’s for nearly 10 years has changed the trajectory of their plans for retirement; well, all of life really. And it seems to me one mission remains, caring for and loving each other. Likely, it was the mission. And now I get to witness, to be a part of it. As they are. Not at all like they were, but transparent out of necessity and with proclamations of love to each other at a frequency that I don’t remember as a child. Make no mistake, it’s a roller coaster ride between scary free falls into the unknown and exhilarating turns of lucidity, making what’s said or revealed all the more poignant. Two such moments follow.
Today she was present to sunshine, music floating through the house, pecan pancakes with real maple syrup, his voice and her hand in his. After an a rest, under her breath she offered “I want you to come with me”. I felt the “click” as invisible elastic heart-strings flexibly snapped into place, binding them as one.
Later, as I said my goodbyes, I asked if she was anticipating a good week. No response. Without focus that I can see, she peers out the picture window at the snow. March snow. When will it ever melt snow. “Maybe?” I suggest. With a wry smile and her lips barely moving she replies “Maybe, baby.” “Maybe, baby” reverberates and rides waves of joy. “Maybe, baby” informs us she knows we never know.
And that that’s it–that we may be, baby.