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People ask me if I miss how my husband was before Alzheimer's. Family, friends, total strangers ask me this personal question and depending on daily circumstances or how well I slept the night before or if I perceive the asking is genuine and might be helpful to them, here is what I say:

There are dark times when I cannot cross the divide between my reality and his. They ask if I feel it's not fair and that answer is no. Living is full of good and bad events that just are part of being human. He cannot control the inevitable loss of dying brain cells any more than he can control the weather.

People ask if he knows there is currently no cure in sight. That's a difficult and fluctuating awareness and most of the time, he is currently hopeful. I am honest to a point, meaning I explain his behavior or confusion to him as a biological process, much like being born and dying. I tell him Alzheimer's is a disease, but that it does not change my love for him.

I know other spouses and family members who are bitter, in denial, or want to blame something or someone. (In my case, his family blames me, despite two blood relatives on both sides of his family having Alzheimer's.)

We lived our dream; we stayed married and had two sons together. Both of us had other more exotic experiences in our separate pasts and wanted a simple, quiet life together. For the most part, we achieved that dream and now, it's just a different dream for as long as it lasts.

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