Life is good right now.
This past weekend we celebrated my parents’ 50th anniversary. 50 years is a long time and I have to tip my hat to both of my parents. Longevity just seems so elusive in today’s relationships. I am approaching the 22 year mark with my husband and I’ll be honest, every day isn’t a walk in the park. I must say in my parents’ case, however, that adding in physical and mental deterioration have to add an entirely different level of complexity.
You know how in our culture, when we hear that someone has been married 50 or 60 years, it’s customary to give a round of applause? Watching my parents experience all the changes and still manage to be in love somehow has made me really see more clearly. I get it! My mother, in her bouts of clarity, loves my dad unconditionally. This is a fact. Her every worry and concern is about his welfare. Although she no longer is able to do his cooking and ironing etc., due to her demented state, she still has him at the top of her priority list.
Anyways, I’m off on a tangent. Let me tell you guys about this magnificent anniversary soiree. I do believe that it was even more joyous because the entire family banded together to make it extraordinary. We rented out a hall in Scottsdale. It was on a beautiful golf course and the decor, the food, the music…everything was beautiful.
My parents renewed their vows and somehow, my mother stayed in the present. Leading up to the event, she asked repeatedly where we were going and what were we celebrating and when I would remind her that it was her anniversary, the joy that illuminated her face was priceless. Again, this is why I say their love is real. It seems to penetrate this nasty disease that is attempting to chip away at my parents’ relationship. My dad I did get a little tired with that bad knee and all, but they even danced to a couple of songs.
The pictures are already added to mom’s memory room. You guys remember…the one that I created to help keep mom’s memories. I’ve found that the quicker I get them up, they seem to be great conversation pieces and it helps to keep her calm and engaged. Not to mention, she is able to recall certain fragments. She did not remember the anniversary party the next day but when we took her into the memory room, she was able to recall putting on the dress from the photo.
I could be reaching a bit. Tailoring my own recollections to make myself feel better. Her doctor did share that mom will try to “hide” her disease. Essentially, she will freestyle or guess along so that the person on the end other end of the conversation does not realize that she doesn’t remember. I’d like to believe that she truly remembers but then again I am trying desperately to hold onto the way things were. I am not ready to let go.