How do you celebrate your 34th wedding anniversary with someone who has lost his memories to Alzheimer’s and by his own words says, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”?
I’m still here, but yet I’m gone
I don’t play guitar or sing my songs
They never defined who I am
The man that loves you ’til the end
You’re the last person I will love
You’re the last face I will recall
And best of all, I’m not gonna miss you
I’m not gonna miss you
I’m never gonna hold you like I did
Or say I love you to the kids
You’re never gonna see it in my eyes
It’s not gonna hurt me when you cry
I’m never gonna know what you go through
All the things I say or do
All the hurt and all the pain
One thing selfishly remains
I’m not gonna miss you
You certainly cannot ask, “Remember when we first met?” or “Do you know how many years it’s been?” You can’t very well have an intimate, candlelight dinner and then make love to someone who no longer knows who your are. I find myself recalling the words of our good friend Roger Miller:
Am I all alone? Or is it just me?
Memories are supposed to be something you savor and enjoy together, but for those of us losing a spouse to dementia, memories can be painful because they remind us of everything we’ve lost. We have to get beyond that. We need to enjoy our memories because that’s what life is made of. Inspired by a line in our daughter Ashley’s song “Remembering” – I’ll do the remembering. I have decided to spend the day embracing good memories.
My day began with a call from Ashley and her friend Amanda who are currently in Venice, Italy, wishing me a “Happy Anniverary.” She always leaves the “s” out because our three children baked us a cake one year and wrote “Happy Anniverary” on it, accidentally leaving the “s” out. This brought roaring laughter to all of us and has now become a family tradition. That was just four years ago.
Then I started going through old cards and letters that Glen had written to me over the years, and came across this one that he had written in lieu of a card for our 25th anniversary. I probably treasure this above everything he’s ever given me!
Forgive me for my faults
Words cannot convey how I feel about you. You are my light to this world. You are my world. Wow – 25 – seems like yesterday. Thank you for giving me 3 wonderful children. Thank you for being my light in the world. You are the most wonderful woman and a dear – dear – friend, my lover, my hope, my light. I love you, I love you, I love you. Thank you for being my friend. Your loving husband, You are the best! I will try harder.
I love you,
34 years is a monumental testament to love, faith, selflessness, and commitment. I will always celebrate the life and love I’ve shared with my husband and I will continue to do the remembering for us!
As I write this now, the day is still young. I intend to share our favorite Sprinkles Cupcake with Glen this afternoon.
To all of you with an Anniversary this month, I wish you a Happy Anniverary!