Lately, to the current Love of my life, I say “Yes! Yes, I’m with you. Forever. I love you.” We hug, we kiss, we hold hands. We look one another in the eye for minutes at a time. Real minutes, not the phoney “moment of silence” that lasts 10 seconds in public. No, this is intimate. Real, face-to-face, close, lots of touching. Yes. Love and kisses.
If you don’t have to put up with me in real life, don’t know my predictable weekly life, this is where you can guess a bit… is my love perhaps my live-with mom or my loyal canine? Mother and I aren’t the huggy types. My dog does “hold hands;” that’s one of her tricks. It’s not the dog, despite her tricks. So where am I getting this top-quality warm fuzzy love? Not from kids, although I know they are often good at it. Not from a man, oddly enough, given my libido lately.
I do love my dog, as does my Love. The dog and my sweetie are mad about one another. I’ve blogged about them before. (July 16, Sleeping Naked, Petting in the Back Seat). The three of us get together three times a week, several hours at a time. I visit my Love at the Alzheimer care facility where she lives. I arrive about a half hour before lunch is served. Usually we begin with a game of hide and seek, where I traverse the two sets of matching courtyard style hallways, and the two courtyards, and the backyard, looking for her. She’s always walking, unless she’s asleep. She’s often grumpy, muttering odd little not-exactly-words sounds. I can find her with my ears.
We walk together. I listen to her mood; I reflect and temper it by repeating my lines. “I’m your friend. I love you. I’m so happy to see you.” This is all completely true. She’s a year younger than my mother. I met her about four years ago. She was a good conversationalist then, with memory problems and fascinating cognitive quirks. She lived in a house in the forest with her daughter, a dear friend of mine. The dog and I visited several times a week; the long walks were dog heaven. Thus began the dog-love story. I told my doctor about our regular walks; he said “you better keep that friend; she’s good for your heart.” In more ways than one.
At lunch, I help her with the silverware, with getting most of the food to her mouth. I save her from eating the cloth napkins. We talk. I say “Yes, you’re right, whatever you want, I love you.” She says “Really?” and “I love you.” Her eyes say much more. She touches my face and rubs food in my hair. I say “You’re wonderful. Yes! I agree. We’ll do it together. I love you!” We kiss. Sweet smiles. After lunch, dog walking love; all happy.
Well, who wouldn’t be happy? “Yes… love…” all day? Wow!
Turns out, this message is great for people without Alzheimers’ too.