/ Story: Nina Finds Strength & Remains Strong / Story: Nina Finds Strength & Remains Strong

I am 50 years old. My husband is 61 and was detected with Alzheimer’s at the age of 55. We have been married 30 years. I work full time for the VA. He is progressing quickly. My daughter was only 15 years old when he was diagnosed. She really has a hard time dealing with it, so much she just wants to stay away. It is really hard to watch someones mind go and there is nothing you can do about it. All the memories so deep in the mind are gone. I cry myself to sleep a lot of nights. The feelings of being trapped, the wanting to get away, the wanting to do things because I am still young. Some days I wish I could just escape, work on the book I am writing and just be pampered. When you work full time, go home to be a caregiver it doesn’t leave any time for yourself.He actually would be better in a home but when I see tears in his eyes and stating he wants to stay with me, I just cant. So with all the stress I will not run away. I will keep him home till I absolutely cannot take care of him because no one knows him or understands him like I do. With his progression I believe he will be in a home within 6 months. I wish I could take 6 months off to be with him but just buying a new home I cannot. I had to sell the home I really loved because of the upkeep,I could not do it all alone. He built our home and he worked so hard to make it special.This is something I wrote before I moved:

Almost time to move- As I take one more walk, one more look, memories are so many. The 6 inch pine trees, now 30 feet tall. The weeping willows swaying in the breeze. The dry pond that never got filled. The gardens of flowers of roses, mums, hibiscus and zinnias to name a few. The garden plans I had but never finished. We had names for every garden. The memories of my daughter growing up here. Her riding down the hill in a wagon in the summer to the sledding in the winter. Riding the ATV with her lab following her. Her pet squirrel. Her first birthday party, her Halloween parties to her graduation. The memories of all our annual parties for 13 years. The campfires, the peacefulness. The returning of the hummingbirds, wrens and finches in the spring to the chipmunks gathering food in the fall. The hard work my husband did to build this home for his family and my mother. As I finish my walk with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I am surely going to miss this place. Its kind of bitter sweet. bitter to know the reason I am leaving isn’t because I want to and sweet because of all the memories that will be cherished. As this chapter closes, the next chapter opens in my life hoping I can do somethings that are new. The end.

My strength is what I have to keep and My strength is through my writing, my talking, my tears. My strength is through the music I listen to and through and anyone who will listen. The words I use,the thoughts I have and the dreams I keep embedded in my soul all give me strength. We have to keep fighting for cures for all these diseases… Diabetes…MS…Cancer…Alzheimer’s and the list goes on. I wish there were more people like Bret because he keeps fighting for everyone…Thanks Bret. The photo I am sending is a little get away that I had with my daughter in Chicago June 3 to see the Rolling Stones.

– Nina


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