Sally of the WordPress Blog entitled Hot Dogs and Marmalade has dedicated the month of January, 2014, to remembering our loved ones suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. She invited me to participate, even though my loved one has passed on. Sally presents specific questions for each day of the month. The prompt for January 4 is this:
4. Where do you live in respect to your loved one with dementia? Do they live with you? Do you live with them? Are you far away? Or just around the corner? How often do you see them?
Johannes died on October 16, 2012. We were always together, because he was my husband. I was glad that he didn’t have to suffer Alzheimer’s disease alone. Even when he ceased to remember who I was, he trusted me and seemed to understand that he depended on my love and care. I became his 24-hour caregiver in January of the year 2008. Johannes never became combative or angry. He was blessed with a quiet spirit, the same sweet manner that he had before he was sick.
A massive stroke complicated the last fifteen months of Johannes’ life, causing him to be paralyzed completely on one side, and taking away his ability to speak. I could only move him from his bed with the aid of a hydraulic lift. Those last months of his life were the hardest on both of us. I was able to care for him at home, with the help of Hospice staff.
Johannes was a good man, a loving husband, for sixteen years. He married me shortly after the death of my former husband, Bill, who had died of cancer in July of 1996. My memories of Johannes are all good ones. We may have had occasional moments of disagreement, like every couple does, but I don’t remember them. I remember the consistently loving husband that blessed me the last sixteen years of his life.