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As we say so often here – only another spouse can truly understand – and I believe that the two experiences I had this weekend will be felt and understood best by the spouses reading this. We had a re-connection, my husband and I. An absolute, honest emotional re-connection that I never thought I would feel again. The moments were bittersweet, as all the joy, wonderment, contentment, and love that I used to know came rushing over me. While at the same time, I knew they were fleeting, and for that reason, sadness followed the joy.

The first was initially extremely frightening. Over the years, my husband has occasionally talked in his sleep, but it was rare and short lived. Friday night, I awoke to a sleeping husband, who was cursing and yelling, his arms flailing, hitting me once in the face, and then hitting the headboard over and over again. I nudged him and he stopped for a few minutes. Next thing I knew, he was yelling and punching me in the side. I screamed and shook him awake. When I told him he was hitting me, he was still half asleep, and kept saying that someone was attacking me, and he was fighting them off. When he was fully awake, and I told him what he had done, he was horrified. For the rest of the night, he held me in his arms, repeating that he was having a nightmare in which I was being hurt, and he was trying to save me, that he loved me more than anything, and would never want me to be hurt. I felt his love enveloping me; I felt warm and safe and a re-connect I had not felt in a long time.

Sunday mornings, he likes to watch all of the news shows. All of them. From 9 AM – 1 PM. Since I cannot seem to wake up in the morning, my eyes did not open until 11 AM. He shut off the TV, and we cuddled and talked for another two hours. Just the way we used to. For a couple of hours, it was “US” again. The emotional connection was real, and I reveled in it.

There was sorrow in that I had almost, not quite, but almost forgotten how precious and wonderful that connection felt; there was sorrow that Alzheimer’s Disease will inevitably take it away again, probably as soon as tomorrow. But for a few fleeting hours on two different occasions this weekend, I not only was reminded, but felt the connection that fed my heart and soul for 3 ½ decades before Alzheimer’s Disease invaded my life.

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