Special Moments Followed by Melancholy

A week ago this past Friday we went to a 5:30 movie (Anna Jesseina) and then to Casa Bella dinner. Everything was perfect. We got our usual dinner, splitting a Veal Piccata, a bottle of wine and white chocolate cheese cake for dessert. Every part of the meal was great as well as our conversation. All of this is to say that we continue to have many special moments – I suspect more than most couples.

For some reason the next day I was feeling kind of melancholy. In the car I listened to music that has been special to us. That would include a song from the movie, Same Time Next Year and another from the television series, ”Family Ties.” It was hard to keep my mind off of the fact that the special times we have together are limited and grow fewer each day. Mind you, it wasn’t that Kate did something to remind me of this; it was simply the joy of good times together that made me think of the limited time we have.

This past week we went to Lubbock to be with Kevin’s family for Christmas. This was a special time. During the trip there were reminders of Kate’s decline in memory. For example, she indicated she wanted to go to the Astrodome. I decided that the easiest way to work that into our schedule would be for us to do it on Friday morning, the day we were leaving. Each day, however, she would ask about going to the Astrodome, and I would tell her we would do it on Friday. On Thursday night, we said our good-byes to Kevin and his family after dinner at the Macaroni Grill. It was clear that the reason for doing so was that we would not see them the next morning. When she got up Friday morning, she worked on the computer for a while, and I mentioned that we would want to leave on the early side to get to the Astrodome. She took her shower, dressed, and got ready to leave; however, she hadn’t packed her things. When I mentioned this, she asked if we were leaving today. I told her yes; so despite numerous mentions of when we were returning and her writing it on her calendar, she still did not remember that this is the day we were to return.

Looking on the bright side once again, it is good that it is the short-term memories that are the biggest problem because most of our functioning depends on longer-term memory. This would not be true if she were in a position of responsibility either as a volunteer at the library or if she were still working in the school system. I am even beginning to be concerned about some of her volunteer work with PEO and our neighborhood association.

Another interesting side-effect of her Alzheimer’s is that she looks more kindly on most people. She is more complimentary of me than at any point in our marriage. She often talks about how bright I am. She says similar things about other people. I think this is because so many things are difficult for her that she is impressed when she sees others doing what she cannot do.