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There Will Be Tears: Love in the Age of Alzheimer's
I thought of Munro's story when reading John Simon's moving L.A. times piece entitled "My Turn: Loved Formed in Alzheimer's Crucible." The essay is a sweet tribute to the woman Simons fell in love with late in life, only to lose her to the fog of Alzheimer's. He recalls the fun they shared— "We had the time of our lives dancing with each other." Then Simons realizes that his lady love Dorothy is beginning to show signs of Alzheimer's, that maybe even some the zaniness he was intrigued by could have been early symptoms. He told me via email that he wrote this essay "to show that not all Alzheimer's experiences are horror stories. Dorothy never turned into a monster in spite of her constant wandering and other behavior problems. She always was loving and kind, and she always seemed to recognize me. Caregiving was a big job, but I never felt overwhelmed by it. The happiest period of my life when I had this real live woman to care for."
And now that she is in an assisted living facility, Simons writes that he is the one who is suffering. "She seems content in her dream world of dementia, while every day I am reminded of how much I have lost now that she has left my side." Isn't that always one of love's challenges, when due to some circumstance we start to live in different worlds from our lovers?
Read the whole piece here, and don't miss Simon's wonderful bio line!
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