A Rare Conversation

Despite a few issues I wish Kate hadn’t experienced, the past week has been a good one. There is one moment that stands out . We were seated on the sofa in the family room. I think I mentioned our 57th anniversary that is coming up on May 31. We talked about the good times we’ve had together and how fortunate we have been.

I don’t remember her exact words, but she expressed appreciation for my taking care of her. She went on to talk about the problem she has and that I had helped her get through it. She never mentioned Alzheimer’s, but the way she talked it sounded like she understood she has a serious problem. She conveyed that she thought she was getting better and might get over it. It has been clear to me for a long time that she is aware she has a problem, but the tone of this particular conversation was different. In other conversations she has appeared disturbed. This time she seemed more resigned and accepting of her situation.

I told her that no matter what may happen that she could depend on me to be with her. We shared our thinking that everyone faces trials and that our relationship would be a source of strength for us.

Kate has said almost nothing about her Alzheimer’s since the first few weeks or months following the diagnosis over nine years ago. Except for my accepting the role of planner, we have put our emphasis on living in the moment. I believe that has paid many dividends in the years since. As someone who is more open about my life, I have wished many times that we could have had periodic conversations like this very brief one. Even this one was a bit oblique. At this point, she doesn’t know the real problem or what lies ahead, but it was the clearest sign of her recognition that “something” is wrong, that she is grateful for my help, and that, together, we will make the best of it. We are in complete agreement.

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