Memories play tricks
When I look back on our recent history sometimes it's hard to remember what life was like before dementia. Today I had a reminder of just that. Somewhere along the way to this point I'd decided that our lives had begun to unravel years and years before that fateful day in 2017 when we were given the diagnosis. However hard I tried to remember a time when we were truly happy I just couldn't and instead all I got were flashbacks to rows, to plummeting self-esteem on both sides, to feelings of bewilderment at what had gone wrong and to questions of whether I could have tried harder. Today I found a photo of the two of us in 2011. I remember exactly where it was taken which is why I know the date and I could see that Ash had his arm around me and had just made me laugh, properly laugh. I have no idea what he'd said but it was all there, our relationship, our joint sense of humour and that feeling of closeness that ceased to exist a long while ago. 2011 is ten years ago from now and 6 years before the diagnosis both of which might sound a long time but in terms of 'us' it's not long at all and it means that thirty five years after he asked me out we were still going strong. That, I think, is something to celebrate and something to rejoice in. It doesn't change what's happening now but it does alter the way I think about it all and it does strengthen my resolve to move into the future with a smile on my face and a determination not to waste a minute of the rest of my life. If I don't succeed in that I have a feeling that I'll be letting him down and that's something I can't even begin to imagine.