This past week, I led a memorial service for a woman who has had Alzheimers for about thirteen years, a mother of one, a published author, and a writer of several other novels that were not published and only rediscovered after her husband cleaned up their house before he moved into an assisted living facility. Her daughter designed and created a really beautiful photo montage of her mother’s life including pictures of her mother as an 8 year old girl on a pony in Montana. She is also involved in spiritual groups that light up my imagination like Dharma Punks.
Walking into the chapel at the funeral home, I was surprised when I saw that her body was present in a coffin. I always find that having the body present even in a sealed coffin adds a sobering dose of reality and poignancy to the service. Seeing her husband in the front row also added to the poignancy.
Now this is Faithfulness: three times a week no matter the weather, no matter his mood, he visited his wife and got very little obvious in return. No conversation, barely an acknowledgement, often his wife slept through the entire visit or opened her eyes for a few seconds.
Faithfulness — partners of people with Alzheimer’s have that one covered.