How about Love?

Regular readers know I have a hard time when friends and acquaintances ask a certain question about J (who has Alzheimer’s disease). Well-meaning people often ask, “Does she still recognize you?” I understand that, for the person asking the question, it’s a way to gauge how far gone J is. For me, however, it’s painful and, at this point, there are better questions.

As I’ve written in previous blog posts, there’s no way I can really know if J recognizes me or not. She’s aphasic for the most part, unable to put a coherent group of words together. Occasionally she says my name, but I’m not sure she associates the name with me. Which is more painful: That she doesn’t know who I am despite our 30-plus years together, or she does know who I am and still has some concept of what she has lost?

These are hard questions for me to answer, so let me offer some alternates for anyone who wants to ask how someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia is doing.

Is she happy when she sees you?

Does she still love dogs?

Does she still like to walk?

Does she still express love?

The answer to all these questions is “Yes.” And I’d add: “J’s doing fine.”


Last night at the Tony Awards, the Parkland High School students sang a very inspiring song called “Seasons of Love” from the musical, Rent. These lyrics helped remind me what’s important and that J’s doing fine.

“525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure,

measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In

inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes – how do you

measure a year in the life?

How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love.”

Despite J’s continuing decline, she still measures in love. That’s how I gauge how she’s doing. May we all gauge one another the same way.

2 thoughts on “How about Love?”

  1. Thank you for sharing. Had chills watching. Our son married a wonderful woman this weekend. So fortunate to have those moments of love reverberating through our lives. Blessings on J, you and your family.


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