The other day at the Health Center where my husband is living, they had a beautiful concert for the inmates. There was a violinist there from the Symphony Orchestra accompanied by a pianist and she was very good. I wheeled my husband into the activity room and stood behind his chair with my hands on his shoulders. He was holding my hands tightly. How I wish he could stand so I could get closer to him and lay my head upon his shoulder and feel his big 6ft. 2" frame again.
He loves classical music of all kinds and when he was young he had Public Radio on in his car all the time. We belonged to the Symphony and enjoyed some of the many wonderful concerts that came over Public TV. Football and basketball were his other favorites. Good thing I liked them too.
She began to play Memory from Cats and all of sudden my mind began whirling with a lot of memories of when we were young and different things that had happened in our 59 years together. I kept biting my lip so the tears would not spill. They were so vivid. And the feeling of loss was overwhelming. You see, my husband has Alzheimer's and all that is gone from his life now. But we have been blessed in that he is in his 7th year and still has not had some of the really bad things this disease can bring.
I remembered particularly when he used to come home from work. When he walked into the house, the whole building lit up. He always came in smiling and laughing and full of fun and the dog and the children loved it, as did I. He always smelled so good. The aftershave which he always put on so lavishly in the morning had worn off so that, combined with the faint cigar smoke and the outdoors, it was just right.
I remembered the bend of his head as he lit his pipe, the hand he put under his chin when he lay on the sofa or in bed on his back, how often he practiced making smoke rings when smoking his cigar. He never could get the second one to get inside the first one.
He was adept at throwing his voice and loved to use this talent whenever we were near a restroom somewhere. "Help! Help! Get me out of here". He had people scurrying around looking everywhere. He would confuse a salesperson or even a person at a cocktail party. He was so good at it, even his friends would never catch on at first.
I remembered his infatuation with trains. His dad was an engineer and so was his uncle and his grandfather. He would have been one too, but his father insisted he go to college. But we visited the train yards often, in the early years , to get Jon a ride into the station. Later he could hear the whistle of any train coming in and tell if it was his dad or his Uncle Art or some of the other engineers he knew so well. If we ever got lost while traveling he would find the nearest railroad tracks and follow them into town. Trains magazine was always by the throne in the bathroom --completely necessary he would say.
The music stopped and she went on to other themes but I had been on a trip-- to the past.