I have always considered myself to be strong, except when I wasn't.

Looking back on my life, I have no regrets and no grudges.

This, in itself is huge, coming from a mostly Irish family that cuts out

disgraced family members from photo albums,

although my husband's German side of the family did the same thing.

Forgiveness comes with a hard won price, and delicate silence.

For years, I wrote about myself in third person, as if to distance the

pain, the things I wanted to forget.

but that was then.

This living and trying to understand Alzheimer's is brutal beyond belief.

In sickness and in health.

I asked my husband if he would be willing to write about how having it

feels to him, on a sunny day, eating lunch outside,

when I thought he seemed receptive.

He said it was all too much, but today I asked him how he was feeling,

since we are trying a new medication, and attendance at

an Adult Day Center.

His answer was, " I feel like this is some large experiment and I'm not

part of the solution. I'm the problem."

I repeated what I've told him numerous times that this is new for all of

us, that we're doing the best we can.

All of this was before Fathers' Day, but after taking my mother to the

cardiologist, who in essence told us despite the medications

all of her heart valves are leaking or not performing as they should.

No surgery at age 90.

So, when I attend the next Caregiver Support Group, I have a six page

questionnaire to hand in, regarding how I feel as a caregiver.

There is no box to check off for feeling like the word