(Picture taken in Santorini, Greece in 2011 where we got engaged)
My husband, Kim and I got married five years ago on May 1, 2015. We had been engaged since 2011 and my husband was very familiar with what I went through in caring for my Mom when she had Alzheimer’s disease. She died in 2012.
When we got married we said the old familiar wedding vows “for better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”. Virtually every couples says these vows, and my guess it is more ceremoniously rather than they really consider what these words truly mean and what they are committing to.
Kim is a great guy, but I think he got more than he bargained for when he married me. Who would have known that four years after we got married I would be diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s? He of course had an inkling this could happen because it does run in my family, but who thinks it is going to happen to them? Honestly, I spend a lot of time contemplating the fact that I am ruining his life with this diagnosis……..this burden. When I get sad and upset, he assures me that it’s going to be ok, he is going to be there for me until the end and that he loves me and is committed to me. I know this and believe it with my whole heart. But it doesn’t seem fair. He doesn’t deserve this burden. He says he knows without a doubt, that if the tables were turned I would do the same thing and take care of him the same way I did my Mom. He is 1000% correct. I would. I just don’t want him to have to do it and sacrifice some of the good quality years he has left taking care of me.
As my Mom’s disease progressed she used to tell me “Kell, just throw me in the garbage can, don’t worry about me….go on and live your life”. I used to get angry at her for how ludicrous this sounds. I know she didn’t literally mean “throw her in the garbage can” but she didn’t want me to feel burdened by taking care of her. I now know how she feels.
Please pray for my husband and I as we learn how to navigate this disease and figure out our way forward.