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How Do I Love Thee? September 28, 2009

Posted by Bill in health, Personal.
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Would I be okay if my husband had an affair with someone else? Most definitely not! That’s the quick, easy answer, however, it appears that things are not always that easy.

In the movie Away from Her, Julie Christie plays an Alzheimers patient who falls in love with another patient. Her grief stricken husband tries to reunite them after her new beau is taken away.

To be honest, I don’t know how well I would be able to deal with it if Bill were to become ill with Alzheimers or dementia and were then to find comfort with another woman. Rationally, I understand that it would be part of the disease process and that it would not be a rejection of me or of the love we’ve shared for almost thirty years. Emotionally, however, I don’t know how I would be able to deal with it.

Sandra Day O’Connor left the Supreme Court in 2006 to care for her husband after he was diagnosed with Alzheimers, and she eventually had to give her blessing to his love affair with another resident in the nursing home.

I’ve never really felt comfortable with the idea of another woman loving my husband; I thought that if something were to happen to me, I would not be one of those selfless wives who tells her husband it’s okay to find someone else. I’d be more like Lazar Wolf’s wife in Fiddler on the Roof, you know, the crazed ghost who comes back from the dead in a made-up dream to keep Tevye’s daughter from marrying her husband.

I never thought of how I would deal with such an issue if I were still alive. With Alzheimers diagnoses on the rise, more people will be dealing with this issue in the years to come. Do I love Bill enough to let him find pleasure with someone else? Hopefully I’ll never have to find out.





Love Moments September 12, 2009

Posted by Bill in Audio Books, Books, Memories, Mystery Books, Personal.
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I’m listening to Step on a Crack by James Patterson on audio. I’m enjoying the book- I almost always enjoy James Patterson. It’s a pretty good thriller about a group of celebrities that are taken hostage and held for ransom in a New York church a couple of days before Christmas. The main character is New York City Detective Michael Bennett, who unwittingly finds himself cast as the Hostage Negotiator at a time when he is dealing with his own personal tragedy- his wife and the mother of his ten children is in the hospital dying of cancer.

It is the scenes of Bennett with his wife and children that I find the most compelling as he tries to grasp the reality that his wife is dying and that he will soon have to face life without her. Her death is not some distant specter in the future- it is here. It is now, and any time he leaves her it is entirely too possible that he may never see her again.

As he is thinking about his life with her, his memory returns not to the milestone moments such as their wedding or when he proposed to her, but to the memories of times they spent together doing what were, to them ordinary things, but were done in such a way as to define their relationship with each other.

(Oh man, I started this blog intending to write about one thing, but I see it is heading somewhere else. Okay, Guess I’ll see what happens with it- but I’ll probably have to change the title.)

Bennett remembers how, in the early days of their marriage, he and Maeve would go on junk food runs to the grocery store and would come home and watch old movies and eat junk food. He reminds his wife of this when he smuggles a cheeseburger into her hospital room and they sit and watch an old movie.

When Bill and I were first married, I was still in school and we had no money. (Of course, we have no money now, even though we’ve been married almost 30 years, however I’m not in school anymore. ) Since we only had one car, he would run home at lunch, pick me up and drop me off at my workplace, then come back at the end of the day and hang around waiting for me to get off work so we could ride home together.  On the way home we would stop at McDonald’s and go through the drive through and buy ice cream cones. At the time, McDonald’s sold them for five cents each so for ten cents, Bill and I would have our dessert– and depending how close to payday it was, our evening meal.

Those are love moments– times that a couple shares together that are special to them and that would not have the same meaning for anybody else.  Most couples have lots of love moments because those are what build the framework of the relationship. When we were dating, Bill and I used to go to the Denny’s by my apartment and order french fries and a chocolate shake. We had the same waitress every time, and she always thought that was the weirdest thing to order, but it made perfect sense to us (and still does actually!)

So I can really identify with the Bennett character in Patterson’s book because I can see that Patterson, too, understands the concept of love moments. Occasionally Bill and I relive those love moments by running through the drive through at McDonald’s and ordering ice cream cones. Although they cost more than a nickel now, they are still a pretty good bargain– and nowadays they come dipped in chocolate too!