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Today is one of those days that I just want to share my thoughts with you. In the beginning, when this AD first intruded into our life, I fought  against it with everything I had. I missed my husband; I didn’t want to deal with the one AD gave me.  I wanted the old one back. I didn’t want to have to write lists for him so he would remember what to do all day; I didn’t want to have to break down information into its smallest parts so he could understand a simple conversation; I didn’t want to have to give him one direction at a time. I didn’t want to be the object of his temper tantrums. I didn’t want AD in my life.

Of course, I had no choice in the matter. I had to mourn the husband I lost, and learn to live with the one I had. And so I have. But the thought came into my mind recently – this life with AD is becoming the “norm” for us. I don’t think twice about writing the daily lists. It is second nature for me to say to him, “Stop what you are doing. Look at me. Listen.”  Then in simple, basic language, I explain to him what he needs to know. If he doesn’t understand it, I draw a picture or a diagram. We never go anywhere without me warning him of events that COULD occur that might upset him. I walk away from arguments, when in the past, I would have insisted we settle the issue that precipitated the argument in the first place.

When I realized that this AD way of life was becoming our new “normal”, a heavy sadness enveloped me. Our old life before AD is fading from memory. It was a wonderful life; I loved living it; I know I can’t have it back, but it has been upsetting me that its memory is vanishing . Is this happening to you?  

I remember watching an Oprah show with Dr. Phil  (before he had his own show) right after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. He was counseling young widows, who had lost their husbands in the Twin Towers. Of course they were grief stricken, confused, angry. I particularly remember them asking how they could go on without their husbands – their days consisted of taking care of their babies, talking on the phone with their husbands at least 3 times a day, and loving their time at night together. For some reason, and I don’t know why – maybe it was because I would need this advice someday, I never forgot what he said to them. He told them that the routine they knew and loved was “normal” for them at the time. Now, they had to learn to live a “new normal”.

That is what we, as AD spouses, must learn to do – live a new normal. Many of us have, but I am upset that the “old normal” is becoming a distant memory. These are just the thoughts that are going through my head today.

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