Dear Friends and Family,
Here is the latest post from Barbara Webb, whose husband has Alzheimer’s Disease. This one made me laugh out loud. I’m so grateful my dear friend had this wonderful opportunity to enjoy an evening out with her husband.
“There has been a lot of stress in our lives lately, so both Al & I were looking forward to going to the Alzheimer’s fundraiser, Making Memories. We went last year and had such a good time. And when we realized that this year they were going to have a band and there would be dancing, we were especially pleased. Al & I have always loved dancing, so this sounded like an opportunity to have some fun and let loose.
“Getting ready to go to the fundraiser was a slow, arduous process trying to get both Al & myself ready. Al asked three times what to wear even though we had it set out on the bed. He put those clothes away once and then asked again what to wear. On the drive to meet our friends who we were going with, he asked me where we were going and who we were going with, not once but twice.
“Although Al is still able to be very sociable, I did wonder if this might be more than he could handle. Would he be able to hold a conversation with not only our friends, but with people he didn’t know or wouldn’t remember previously meeting? I think all caregivers have the same thoughts – wanting to have our loved ones remain independent, but also not wanting to put them in situations that will embarrass them or be beyond their abilities.
“So after saying a little prayer, with much trepidation, we forged forward. And what a great experience. It was like being on a date with the love of my life. Even when he was speaking to people he didn’t remember or had not met before, the conversation and his sense of humor charmed them. At one point he was talking with one of our tablemates to the extent that I was totally left out and they were having a great discussion. I was never happier to be ignored.
“But the best part of the evening for me was the dancing. Teepa Snow stated in a talk we attended once that music was one of the last things a person with Alzheimer’s loses and we proved her right. Neither Al nor I are great dancers but we have such fun on the dance floor. And this time was no different. We danced fast with the same rhythm and enthusiasm as ever to the point that my feet wanted out of my shoes! Our slow dances were still romantic with Al quietly singing in my ear. I felt young, sexy and pretty. Just like years gone by. And I think Al felt the same way.
“So, as much as our lives have changed over the past four years, we realize not everything has changed (at least not yet). And we both vowed to enjoy more evenings out like last night – more time to enjoy each other, more time to have fun and appreciate our life together.
“So, if you know of a good place to dance and cut loose, let me know. We’ll be there!!!”
Making Memories is a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association, held each year in Louisville, Lexington and Evansville. This year, the local chapter changed it up a bit to add dancing and live music. Clearly, Barbara and Al enjoyed the evening!