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Expert Blog

I Miss...

March 6, 2015

Jim is in the middle phases of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I know there is much more to come as far as his declines, but there are still so many things about him I miss, now, in this stage of the game.

I miss those things that are part of having a spouse. I long for so many nuances that made Jim, Jim. My Jim. My chosen partner for life.

I miss his ability to fix things around the house; put up a ceiling fan, change an electrical socket, paint a room, start a fire, and hang blinds. He was always very handy and helpful at home. Now he puts the recycling in the trash bin and the trash in the recycling bin. He cannot read or follow directions and he would not know where to begin with a simple project. He is unable to even fill the bird feeders. Just a few years ago he helped the kids build a “fort” which is now makeshift storage in our backyard.

I miss him being able to run to the store for me when I am in the middle of preparing a meal and realize I am out of a crucial ingredient. Or being able to help with taking the kids to and from activities. Or taking the wheel when I have had a drink or two. I miss being in the passenger seat (literally and figuratively).

I miss his help with disciplining the kids. Although I have always been the tougher parent, it was nice to have someone else to keep tabs on them and keep them in line. Asking for the hundredth time to clean their rooms would sound better coming from someone else once in a while.

I miss discussing life with him; kids, friends, news, plans, thoughts, feelings, weather, life decisions…all of it. I find my self just skipping the conversation now. I know he won’t be able to input much and at times the more I tell him the more confused he becomes. So our home is much quieter. Silence is lonely.

I miss the excitement of planning Christmas and birthday gifts. We used to hire a babysitter, grab the dozen toy catalogs we had received in the mail and go sit at a restaurant pouring over them to decide what each child would want. It was a fun time and it was nice to work together. Now he doesn’t seem to notice when we are in the middle of a holiday season or celebrating a special occasion.

I miss that togetherness. I miss holding his hand and feeling his arms, strongly hugging me to him. I miss his touch and his smell and the comfort of his embrace.

I miss his help in the yard. He has mangled many plants. He has taken apart the weed whacker and lawn mower. He has no idea what is a weed and what is a flower. (inIn all honesty, sometimes I am unsure myself). When we moved into our home in Las Vegas, he put in an irrigation system and was so proud of the yard and the plants. He could always be found outside working on something.

I miss his fierce wit and laughter and fun nature. There are times this still shines through, but his personality is dulled more and more and his smile isn’t quite the same.

I miss his ability to make me feel special and beautiful and loved.

I miss his athletic prowess. We have always enjoyed watching sports year round and it was a big part of our early years. Now we enjoy watching the kids play their respective sports. Jim was in 3 or 4 softball leagues when we met. He played racquetball, flag football and volleyball. Now he has trouble playing catch with Brad and following a game on TV.

I miss my husband, even though he is constantly right here next to me. I miss his independent nature and his love of reading and his beautiful handwriting. I miss his strong stature and his pride in his appearance. I miss his determination to save for retirement and his dreams of our future together. I miss…

I miss so much of him, and I know I will lose even more in the months and years to come.

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. March 7, 2015 at 10:07 am
    Posted by joan

    Karen, My husband was my handyman,painter,mr.fix it too. It's just such a huge loss,having your partner dissolve before your eyes,slowly.Not being able to put a thought together.But he is happy because he knows I love him. So sad,59 years old,were do I turn. Keep going forward is all I know to do and there is a certain satisfaction in knowing he is being cared for lovingly. Deane sorry for your loss,Joe is free now,somehow I think God has his plan and we are just the caretaker on their journey.Peace to all.
  2. March 6, 2015 at 09:13 pm
    Posted by Molly Holland

    Thank you for sharing this. My dad passed away two months ago from early onset Alzheimer's. He had just turned 58. Know that there is peace at the end of this long long tunnel. God gave you what you are going through so you could help others with the strength you gain, which you are clearly doing. Please give him a kiss and hug while you still can, they soon pile up to missed moments and regret. I pray for your family, especially your young kids. You will one day only remember him without this disease and your family and Jim will find peace.
  3. March 6, 2015 at 08:13 pm
    Posted by Maureen d. Connolly

    Thank you for sharing exactly how I'm feeling today. And, we know that you just barely scratched the surface of what's missing . . . I wonder today if my life will ever get any better . . . My hubby feels great! he doesn't have a clue . . . I'm so young and feel so old. No diapers here yet, I can't imagine. xoxoxo Maureen
  4. March 6, 2015 at 08:09 pm
    Posted by Deane Johnson

    I know about the yard, flowers and bushes. If there were blooms on the crepe myrtle Joe would trim them off. Those were hard days watching his decline and any logic conversation was out. Joe is free. I can't remember him before Alzheimer's. My tears are frozen just as I am. From the time his pain in his leg began (blood clot) and with morphine every hour he lasted 24 hours. He opened his eyes a big smile came on his face he took a couple of breaths and he was free of Alzheimer's celebrating with his family. His memorial service Google Wilkirson Hatch Bailey type in J
  5. March 6, 2015 at 07:44 pm
    Posted by Diane

    I could have written this story, you are not alone with these feelings. My husband is 60 years old and has been in an Alzheimer unit for the past 16 months(hardest thing I've ever done). I visit him several times a week and it is so sad to miss him when he is right in front of you. It's like being a widow with a live husband, so sad. Hang in there and don't forget to take care of yourself.

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