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.”
“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.”
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