She put up a valiant fight against this horrible thing we call Alzheimer's. Of course, we knew who would win from the beginning, we did not know the time schedule.
I had not planned to be there at the end. But in late afternoon I decided to stay very late, maybe close to midnight if necessary. Daughter 1 was there with me and together we saw it happen.
The day before I could say: "Miriam I love you." She would answer in grunts. I could read what she was saying, we had a decent conversation. Yesterday there was no response at all.
Her breathing was labored, but she kept going. I went out of the room to call a friend and when I returned Daughter said; "mom is not breathing the same." I went to find the Aid who was in charge. She put her ear against miriam's chest and then went to get a stethoscope. When she came back and listened she just said: "She is gone."
The Aid, who is a wonderful woman who has seen and experienced much cried with us as we put the last details together.
We stayed until the funeral home people came and picked up her body.
This part is over and I am glad. Miriam did not need to suffer more, but now I am really alone and that grief will take a bit longer.
"I loved you Miriam. You were the light of my day and night."
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.