The headstone has been selected. Pink Vermont granite with name, dates of birth and death, and the inscription, “Love people and tell them so.” The unveiling will take place in September.
It has been a long journey from the first time J didn’t remember a dinner engagement with close friends to diagnosis to day care to home care to assisted living to memory care, hospice and death.
I started this blog four years ago to give myself a place to express my thoughts and feelings as I traveled through Alzheimer’s World with J, our family and our friends. I also hoped to help and connect with other Alzheimer’s spouses for whom there are still precious few resources.
As time and new experiences have separated me from J’s illness and death, I have posted here less and less. My transition from wife to widow is complete. While J always will be part of me, my life has continued and my time in Alzheimer’s World has ended. It is time to wrap up this blog.
I am fortunate that I was usually able to find growth, love and even humor caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease. I hope I am at least a bit more patient and compassionate than before (although I still need occasional help in the compassion department and more frequent help in the patience department).
In this season of rebirth, where in the Jewish tradition we leave the narrow place (Egypt, slavery….) for the expanse, my heart is full. I remain close with my children. I will soon own a home of my own. I have a wonderful new partner who I love truly, madly, deeply and who loves me. I look forward to continuing to build our life together. This is what J would have wanted. Indeed, I am certain she didn’t leave me or our children until she felt we were ready to go on and truly live without her.
Thanks to all the readers who journeyed with me. If you have a spouse or other family member or friend suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, I hope you find support and some comfort along the way. I hope you come out on the other end at least fully intact and perhaps wiser and stronger.
Ken yehi ratzon. Let it be so.