Before reading my story, please do some reading on Alzheimer’s disease and its stages of progression.
I saw a movie called the Notebook. It is about a beautiful woman in her 60’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, and who doesn’t recognize her husband anymore. The most beautiful part of the story is the undying love she gets from her husband, as well as his devotion and determination to remain in her presence, in the caring facility even though he’s perfectly healthy. He reads to her, helps her get dressed, brushes her hair, dances with her, walks with her, and when she goes to bed, he’s by her side.
Her husband would not leave her side because she had bouts of lucidity, and he didn’t want to miss those moments!
You May, did have those bouts of lucidity and moment of awakening; I remember vividly that Thursday at 1am when you started getting agitated and I didn’t understand what was happening to you, so to calm you down, I made you a soft cheese sandwich that you liked so much, and a cup of tea to soften the bite. We sat at the table, and you looked at me and said “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be a burden”.
We cried and hugged each other; We stayed up until the first hours of the morning, until you got tired and was able to fall back asleep. You were a blessing and I miss you.
You loved to dance, and we used to play your favorite French music by Edith Piaf. You’d swing your hips and wave your arms and sing along. You’d look at me and say “Je t’aime”. Those were the rare occasions when you’d come back to reality, but as soon as the music stopped, you’d disappear inside that outer shell, and turn almost lifeless. You must have felt so lonely and helpless.
May, I still don’t know if you did recognize me towards the end, when you lost your mobility and were staring at the ceiling most of the time. What thoughts were going through your head? Were you there with me? Did you hear my voice? could you feel my lips touching your forehead and my hands holding yours?
Why can’t any scientists, physicians, freaking god, or any superior power stop the suffering of people going through such pain? What’s the point of seeing someone die slowly in front of your eyes, and not have the power to save them or alleviate their pain?
I still can’t understand, and I didn’t at the time. I feel so guilty and unworthy of love, and I’ve had so many sleepless nights since then.
May, please talk to me. Tell me that everything we went through for 9 years, was meant to happen for a reason. Please convince me that all the pain we both endured, is somehow justified! that I’ll eventually discover some sort of wisdom in all this cruelty; please reach out to me and tell me that a celestial power or a so-called god is looking after you right now.
Today marks 13 years since you’ve been silent; If I can’t feel your love, nothing matters anymore. I have no desire for anything that the present or the future can offer.
Adieu Mon Ange.