The Dancers

I was late getting to the care home for the Friday afternoon party and a friend tells me my love has been dancing for an hour non-stop. And there he is, somewhat oddly attired to the outside eye i suppose, and gaunt, determinedly stepping, stepping, lost in a world that makes sense. Music plays, you dance.

And i join him with joy that there is still this place we can meet. In the hallways, people say,  “oh look, it’s the dancers” and my love grins proudly.

This robber disease has still not stolen music. He sings the words to songs i didn’t know he knew, even though his spoken words are mostly a jumble. You just have to wait for a clearing in the fog; then he gets out a phrase or two that makes some kind of sense. Language as an abstract art.

The disease also has not changed the smell and feel of that beloved body, the rightness of a gentle kiss or holding hands. The care with which he awkwardly places his hand under mine so the chair arm does not hurt me and the stealth with which i move so that his holding me does not hurt him. The fit as we stand together, the satisfaction of walking in step.

And it has not stolen our yearning for each other. It was always like that. Where one went, the other followed. I pounded nails and carried firewood, because he was there. He learned to type and wrote fine pieces for our magazine. We worked together, as was the normal case in our farm backgrounds, and found it good.

But now each time we separate, me in relief to go back to a world which may not make great sense but does have time and language and some logic, he sadly turning back to the ward he is now accustomed to, each time we separate, a sense of great wrong overwhelms me.

And yet this separation is the only option to save myself, because so far the disease, my love’s disease, has only chewed off hunks of my soul. It has not swallowed me whole as it once threatened to do.


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5 responses to “The Dancers

  1. carolyn ireland

    Delores – I am grateful for your blog. I’m assuming you are aware of the great benefit that wearing an IPOD of ones favorite music has on the function of someone suffering with Alzheimer’s. Some folks will wear it to improve function on outings etc. And also – many thanks for the magazine. You’re doing a great job.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh yes Don enjoyed his ipod for at least 3 years. It would settle him down and he would really enjoy it. But eventually i realised the beloved songs – David Francy, Harry Chapin – etc. no longer held his attention because the words were meaningless. We went to classical and rock. Then the ipod itself became an incomprehensible device. He never could handle the controls, then it all became too confusing. But it did work wonderfully for awhile. How sad i feel to remember how it was when the ipod became beyond his enjoyment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tressbackhouse

    Sensitive and beautifully expressed s usual!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous

    Yes on Friday late we sat nearby Don when Ken and I returned to the unit. Don looked at me and said quietly, Delores? I often sing to Ken to try to reach him when I visit. Don always starts to dance when I sing.
    I hate this for our men, I spent last night again so guilty that Ken lives there and I live at home. They are so brave it hurts so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. hubishere

    Delores sharing this poignant account of love and life with and without Don is a moving testament to the very real love some of us have been blessed with.

    Liked by 1 person