Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Affair to Remember

It's my third week at the alzheimers residency, and A LOT of interesting and very very funny things have happened but this story has been the pinnacle of all experiences so far, and every time I tell it to someone I get very different reactions...so here goes.

Apparently the whole wedding/being married to another resident idea is not a new one in the home. There are women who think that some of the other men that live there are their husbands and vice versa, it gets tricky sometimes when family comes to visit but I think that most people understand its just the disease.

So I was talking to one of the managers and she tells me about another couple who wanted to get married to each other at the home. After a few weeks of the two of them talking about it the manager thought it would be cute and harmless to have a little fake "wedding." So she went to the Goodwill and bought a wedding dress, had a nurse stand in as the priest, and all the other residents sat in as guests.

It went off smashingly well, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, people were happy, the manager felt accomplished that she had been able to provide a small token of joy for this woman and man and then 2 hours later...


Apparently the "wife" had mouthed off to the "husband" and he didn't like it, so he looked her in the eye and said, "You're my wife now, you're gonna behave" and then hit her in the face...

You can imagine my surprise as she's telling me this and I'm getting starry eyed about this love story only to be abruptly jerked back into reality.

Of course this leads to a lot of paper work and counseling and families getting involved and lessons learned but I'm more surprised by this:

After all this time, after the disease has taken away this mans memory and all the things associated with it he still after all this time has the idea ingrained into his mind that once he's married to a woman he can hit her; that it's tolerable.

This brought up many of my mother's lessons in my head, saying things like, "be careful who you marry, and make sure to date a long time, because people can sometimes surprise you after marriage. Sometimes if you don't give people enough time to show their true colors it might be too late..."

According to this she might just be right.

So the moral of the story, mom's might be right and don't meddle in other people's affairs, you might just have a lot of paperwork to fill out after all is said and done.

Sorry, I don't know who the picture is by.


  1. wow. I don't even know what to say. I guess it makes sense that those kinds of world views would stay with you throughout the disease. It's just too bad the woman didn't find out sooner! And at least it wasn't a legit marriage.

  2. oh dear, yes, I've heard many stories like this. For a while, we thought that my grandfather would be best in a home with his Alzheimers... but that was a mistake. Every woman there fought over him, he was essentially bait! And he had no idea what was going on....

  3. oh mylanta! i had no idea - thats crazy. and sad:(

  4. What a story! My mother always said you never really know someone until you marry them and in a lot of ways I think that's true. Sure, I knew a lot about my husband before, but there are always surprises.

  5. WOW! What a sweet story with such a sad ending. Thankfully, it wasn't an official wedding.

  6. What a crazy story.. I kinda had a funny feeling about the "mock" wedding when I read that line.. As Shannon said, thank goodness it wasn't a real wedding!