Recovery and Emerging LIFE - The Follow Up - an Alzheimer Journey

Yesterday when I walked into Jerry’s new home, I stood in the foyer by the reception desk.   Immediately upon seeing me, the staff said, “He’s in there!” and pointed to the window that looked into the activity room. I peeked in and there I saw Jerry, smiling and dancing with a group of women all around him.  He was grinning from ear to ear, spinning the doe-y eyed ladies around. Have your ever ridden the Texas Cyclone?  It’s probably the oldest wooden roller coaster in the United States, has none of those fancy padded holsters to hold you in.....just a seat for two with a little bar that comes down over your legs.  Jerry and I road that coaster years ago when we lived in Texas.  He loved it.  I HATED IT!  Just when you thought you were  “safe” from the deathly downfall, you come around the curve and down you go again, leaving your sanity up top behind you.  That’s the way these two months have been.

It’s been two months and eight days.  Never, have I doubted that this was the right decision for Jerry.  However, there have been unquenchable  moments of  tears.   It was like being in a cocoon,  trying to break out, but no amount of pretending and positive attitude took away the underlying sadness.  I’ve been to see our grandkids twice and witnessed the birth of our fifth boy.  Beautiful times but without my soulmate to share them with.

Today, I think, I realized that we have broken through.  Seeing Jerry so happy and well adjusted pumped up my heart again.  The dance therapist saw me peeking through the window and waved for me to come in.  When I walked through the door, Jerry did his usual cry and wrapped his arms around me.  Then, we were urged to dance together.  "Eye contact!  Look into his eyes!"  she said.  “Touch and music are two things that remain in tact.”  So, there we were, like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, dancing in the middle of the circle while the other residents looked on.  “Awe.” they sighed.

By the time I left, the group was boarding a bus to get ice cream.  The local ice cream parlor takes orders ahead of time and when the bus arrives, they bring it out to the bus and serve everyone.  Jerry and I helped wheel everyone out, no one was going to be left out.  Jerry was the last one on, but before placing his foot on the step, he looked over at me, walked over and kissed me goodbye, then turned to get on the bus.  I said, “I’ll be back soon.  I love you.”  He responded, with a secure, “Ok.”

So, this morning, Montana and I walked with a spring in our step.  In fact, I noticed I even jogged a little bit.  (A VERY LITTLE BIT.)  She actually was pulling me while she ran after the geese and I bounced along behind her in my rubbery crocks.  Recovering and  feeling new life emerging,  I think we’re going to make it.  It’s been 69 days....but who’s counting.