Laughter layered with despair.

It’s likely that my husband’s dementia was festering years before I recognized it. What I called eccentricity was probably the early stages of the disease that wasn’t diagnosed until about five years ago.

In my mind I see the disease as a pan of lasagna: love, passion, sweetness, gentleness, caring, laughter, and kindness are layered with frustration, rage, shouting, fury, stubbornness, silence, tears, and despair.

When I started writing draft posts for this new blog, Peter asked what I was doing? “I have to submit something for my Writers’ Group to critique next week,” I said.

“Nothing going on this evening then?” he asked. It was a Monday.

“Only if you’ll go to campus with me.”

“What for?”

“To work. Remember, I’ve volunteered at the Hort Gardens for thirteen years? I haven’t gone at all this spring, but if you’d come…?” I could have said, but did not, “I haven’t gone because I’m afraid to leave you alone in the evening.”

“What do they have to eat?” he asked.

I spluttered. “N-nothing, it’s…” Then I saw his eyes crinkled with laughter.

“I’ve got to stop doing that,” he said. He always says I’ve got to stop doing that when he realizes I’ve taken his teasing seriously yet again.

“Don’t ever stop trying to make me laugh,” I warned.

He laughed again. He loves it when, as he puts it, I give as good as I get. Our banter probably sounds cruel to others, but it has always worked for us, and it works even better nowdays.

Header photo: Peter,  North Rim, Grand Canyon, September, 2011

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist. 



17 thoughts on “Laughter layered with despair.

  1. Your world isn’t funny but I love that you try to find humor in what could be nothing but sadness. Keep on writing and keeping on sharing. You rock!!

  2. It takes a special person to laugh through her tears. All of us who are following you are learning much about life and love and caring. Thanks for sharing, Judy. cj

  3. Judy, my hat’s off to you for the talented outlet you are using to keep your sanity and for laughing in the midst of it all.. I love your blog and the photo of you and Peter.

  4. It’s a profound strength that carries one through the most difficult times with grace and humor. Strength, grace & humor. These are your gifts. This is your love story, thank you for sharing it with us♡

  5. Whatever happens day by day you always need a sense of humour. Great you are both keeping yours when it is so hard.

    • Years ago there was a tv show called “One day at a time” about a single mom with two daughters about the ages of mine. I used “one day at a time” as my motto, and continue to use it still. Even more important now, probably. Thanks, Linda.

  6. Judy thank you for sharing yours and Peter’s story. There are too many people affected by this disease and your blog will help many caregivers. I love Peter’s sense of humor and the way you write it I can hear the conversation with a chuckle from this end!

Comments are closed.