'She Wears My Ring' - A Carer Story by Imelda Gilmore

Photo : https://www.sutherlandshire.nsw.gov.au/Community/Community-Support-Services/Seniors/2018-Carers-Competition-Winners

The prize winners of the Carers Competion to celebrate National Carers Week 14-20 October, were awarded at a Carers Week Afternoon Tea organised by Carers Support Service on Thursday 18 October 2018.

Below, you can read Imelda's touching anecdotal story about something that happened while Graham was in residential care and gives an insight into the personal relationship losses involved when your spouse has young onset Alzheimer's disease.

He stood at the entrance to the activities room. She walked up to him and put her short arms around his too-thin waste.

Hello, darling, ” manouvering her face to be in line with his eyes.

Then she heard it! - and her heart skipped a beat:

     "She wears my ring

      To show the world that sheeee belongs to me

      She wears my ring to tell the world

      shes mine eternally"

She gently moved him closer to the CD player.

That’s our song, darling! Can you hear it?” … slipping her arms around him.

His vacant stare didn’t change, but she was transported to that evening, when love was young and fresh and new, an engagement party. As Johnny O’Keefe sang, they danced; nestled in his arms, her smile was enough to tell the world that this was no ordinary night. She shyly whispered it to a few close friends as they celebrated the other young couple: “Graham bought me a ring today!”

For a moment the longing was heartbreaking – just for a moment to have him hold her tight, to see again that look in his eyes that was only and always and ever for her…. And then she walked him over to the chair, so she could help him sit, feed him.

Sadness, yes! But overwhelming gratitude for the faithful, undying love of a man who once held her in his arms and danced, singing softly: “She wears my ring … she belongs to me…