Monday, May 4, 2009

Not An Option

Someone asked me today if it was difficult dealing with a spouse with dementia.

As anyone who has dealt with a parent, a spouse, or even a friend with dementia would answer, "YES".

I'm not a martyr. I'm a wife with memories. Let me share some of those with you.

I remember a patient young trooper with a seventeen year old bride who drove but, did not have a driver's license.

I remember a young man who liked to eat who had a wife who couldn't cook....but would.

I remember a young father who held his pregnant wife's hair out of her face while she threw up time after time.

I remember the patience of a man trying to deal with a wife who couldn't manage money and got his butt in a financial crack because, back then, the wife just wasn't responsible for such.

I remember the strong pilot/investigator who could fly anything, and who was so good at his job he got Christmas cards from Huntsville, trying to deal with a wife hospitalized with severe depression over the loss of their unborn son.

I remember the relief on a soaked husband/father's face when, after driving through a hurricane with the windows blown out of his car, finally found his family safe and sound in a shelter.

I remember a scared father and grandfather delivering his grandson on his daughter's bathroom floor. Then, not letting his wife, or anyone else, go in until he had cleaned up the room.

I remember a caring man who encouraged his wife to try new things and backed her in every hair brained idea known to man.

I remember a husband giving a travel poster of Austria to his wife for their 30th anniversary as a way of telling her they were going to Vienna. On their second anniversary he had asked where in the world she would most like to visit. Then promising that would be her gift for their 30th anniversary. Then keeping that promise.

I remember a man telling his wife, who without asking him, had just put a set of new tires on a struggling adult child's car, "all I want is a full tank of gas in my motorcycle and a buck fifty in my pocket and you can have the rest". And meaning it.

There are too many memories to write here but, this is what you both do when you're in love. You have a commitment to each other. Each obstacle and each heartache is another opportunity for that marriage to strengthen.

You see when you truly love each other, divorce is not an option. Neither is failing to take care of one another.

My greatest regret is that I can not show this to my husband because of his inability to comprehend.

Don't wait....share your feelings with each other now while you still can.

I love you honey.

Jan Elliott

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