I feel as though a corner has been turned, a milestone, touchstone, an acceptance of what I'm doing on this planet and why. Hard to explain but it involved a leap of faith in the present in order to protect and make our house safe for the next three to five years. I've had a mental list of assorted things that needed to be fixed or replaced, some of which in the past either I or my husband would do as homeowners.

I learned a lot from Super Storm Sandy while also dealing with my mother's declining health and my husband's comorbidity. I cannot say I've handled everything with grace or a happy heart, but looking back, I feel I did the best I could most of the time. Which is not to say I haven't made mistakes or lost my temper or alienated family members. I call it circling the wagons.

While all life ends in physical death, there's a particular grieving that happens with Alzheimer's because the person with the disease gradually or in bursts becomes more and more dependent. Some days, some hours, some minutes, this is tolerable, poignant, sad, silly, numbing, frightening, and difficult to share except with others who are going through the same thing.

The reason I write about some of my experiences is in the hope other people might feel less alone, recognize symptoms sooner, or try some of the things I've done or am doing that work for awhile. I'm very selective regarding what I write because I want my husband to feel loved and safe above all. He is pretty much past the stage where he understands my day when he is at The Adult Day Center. He knows I write about our life, but he no longer seems to care, the last writing he liked was Fields of gold because he thought the music was beautiful. I read it aloud to him several times and he wept, then kissed me.

So, on to practical matters, I have replaced the dishwasher with help from my son-in-law and now have committed a substantial amount of money for someone else to fix our old house problems during the month of June; spackling, painting and powerwashing and hopefully a fence that will enclose the property, should my husband begin wandering in the future.

This has prompted me to throw away some things, recycle more things my husband saved in the basement he no longer spends time in, plus look into selling over forty antique aquariums from his first marriage as well as decide how to sell his lifelong model railroad collection. I do this alone when he is sleeping and I can't sleep.

The things he has saved tell the story of his life, of which almost half has been spent with me. I am taking my time because sometimes the process is so brutal and I want to honor that he did so much good during some very hard times. Despite the past and current troubles with his family, he deserves dignity and I've finally been able to deal with doing that before he is no longer the man I married 29 years ago. Before he forgets who I am.