Do you know anyone that has been stricken with Alzheimer’s? I have. It’ll break your heart.
Pat Robertson has an opinion that someone with Alzheimer’s is already dead and that a spouse can go ahead and divorce their afflicted loved one and move on with their life. He perceives that death is not a physical thing, but a mental one as well. If that is the case Mr. Robertson, who else is dead to you? Those with Down Syndrome? Maybe the unborn? Those in comas?
My grandpa Hadley married a lady about a year before I was born. She had three children, two girls and a boy. As a kid I loved visiting them. My [step] grandma Lou made the best biscuits EVER. She even made fried baloney taste like heaven. They lived in a tiny town in southern Missouri only known to those that are from there. I remember one of their houses had an outhouse with a water pump outside.
After a while they bought a tiny little house in Houston, Missouri that a later owner would one day paint pink. When we would visit, somehow my grandparents would find the room for the five of us to spend the night. I think their Plymouth Fury was bigger than that house! Grandma Lou had a Hoosier cabinet that she would crank out flour to make her famous biscuits and let us eat hard candy in the dish by the couch. It was worth the drive from St. Louis.
By the time I was in my twenty’s, I was busy being a wife and mom and making enough of a paycheck to survive. I hadn’t visited my grandparents in many years and I hated that. But one day we were able to afford to make the drive down to my uncle’s farm to see everyone and to my surprise, my grandparents were in a nursing home. My grandma Lou had Alzheimer’s. My grandfather loved my grandma Lou so much that he decided to bunk with her at the nursing home.
I had never been to a nursing home before. I had my young son with me and all the ladies wanted to pinch his cheeks. We made our way to my grandparent’s room and to this day I still tear up when I think about it…Grandma Lou was lying in bed softly babbling something only she could understand. My grandpa would lovingly put his hand on her arm and talk with her as if she was speaking perfect English. I was stunned by the whole scene. I had no idea how sick she was and I had no idea how much he loved her to stay by her side as if she was perfectly well.
Ironically, Grandpa Hadley died from an aneurism before she passed. He lovingly took care of his wife until it was his time to go. He never left her side. Glory to God!
So Mr. Robertson, you are wrong. A man or woman with Alzheimer’s is just as alive as they were they day they conceived.