One of the best descriptions of Alzheimer’s disease I’ve ever heard is that it is like a loose light bulb. Sometimes the base connects with the socket and there are moments of blazing light and clarity. At other times, the connection is severed and no light radiates.
In the last week or two, I’ve been feeling that my connection with J is similarly intermittent. Sometimes it is difficult to feel close with her when there is so little verbal communication. There is also the issue of time. I work fulltime, take care of all household needs and try to care for myself and tend my other relationships. This, of course, is in addition to caring for J. Particularly during the week, it can leave little time for meaningful interaction.
We are going away for a couple of days next week, and I am confident we will reconnect through the simple salve of spending time together. Out of our normal environment, we will check out museums and the zoo and visit family. We will be in the now and J will have things to say about what we are seeing and doing.
And I will continue to stay open to moments of connection. Just this morning, I asked J about her Thursday night dinner date. All she could tell me is that she “went to the place but we didn’t go there. We went to the other place.” I actually understood that she had not gone to the usual local pub where we often have dinner. Instead, she had gone to the newer barbecue place next door. A small victory perhaps, but for a brief moment we perfectly communicated again and basked in the light.