I had started working on another post a couple of days ago.
It was about decision making, the idea of analysis paralysis, and some reflections as a result of Seth Godin’s recent blog post on when to reconsider decisions.
But then, I found this article in the NY Times: The Vanishing Mind: When Illness Makes a Spouse a Stranger
And I cried.
The article discusses frontotemporal dementia, or Pick’s Disease, a rare form of dementia (loss of brain function, often connected to memory loss) coupled with brain atrophy in the frontal lobes.
What’s so striking is that the article not only describes the difficulty individuals have in dealing with the disease (changes in personality, loss of speech or memory and other functions) and the fact that there is no known cure, but also how the lives of those close to the ill are impacted.
The main couple described in the article is Mr. and Mrs. French: Mr. French with Pick’s Disease, and Mrs. French the spouse and caretaker. The interactions between the Frenches are completely tear-jerking – how he quietly accepts his disease and supports her care giving choices even when she’s wracked with guilt or uncertainty, and how she spends hours with him in his nursing home room, just to be with him.
While I find the French’s story incredibly moving, it makes me realize two things:
1) how much I love Dan and those closest to me, and how I wish to never be parted from them
2) how much Dan and those closest to me have had to deal with these last couple of years as I’ve faced and come to terms with a chronic injury
I could wax poetic about how life is precious and how important it is to treasure what you have, but instead I want to say this:
To Dan and all whom I love,
If something, anything, happens such that I’m unable to reach you, know you, or feel you in any way, please know this:
I love you.
Please know that I take every sliver of a shinning moment that we spend together – whether joyful, peaceful, angry, or unstable – and I keep them close to my heart in a little place that I retreat to when the world goes sour.
And if I’m somehow unable or simply not myself, then I trust you to do what you need to do for me, for you, and for anyone else involved.
I am grateful for all that you are, will be, and have been, and I hope to always have the honor and pleasure of continuing this journey with you for as long as I’m able.
Thank you for being you. And again, I love you.