Jude W. and his wife Beth are contributors to my upcoming book, Love Still Lives Here.
What defines your love? Is it how you met or what challenges you've overcome? For Beth W., Jude's wife, it is NOT dementia. We met to talk about their love story and how the disease has impacted his life. I'm compiling stories in a soon to be published book to honor the beautiful love stories that exist in spite of and in some cases, because of the dementia.
The Love of Jude and Beth
- His face lights up when he sees Beth. Like many with dementia, he may not be able to tell us who she is to him, but it is clear she is important to him.
- Their love has crossed many BIG hurdles and the commitment is clear. Dementia has altered their 'retirement' plans but Beth is committed to her daily visits, caring for as much personal care as possible, helping him eat, sharing his favorite music with him, walking about and cuddling.
- Dementia has not taken the core of who he is. He has remained kind, loving, genuine, open hearted with a beautiful sense of humor.
- Beth wishes to define their love by these characteristics rather than using the dementia symptoms to describe her loving husband. She admits to needing to honor what is rather than mourn what isn't and to look at their life with a wide angle lens. That's photog talk for looking at the big picture but you get it.
What Defines Their Love?
- Patience -certainly in the beginning of their love story and now
- Kindness- he is helpful to the other residents in the memory care facility where he lives- The Cottages Senior Living in Round Rock.
- He is a gentle man
- He is a spiritual man. He has had things happen that could lead him away from his spiritual beliefs, but they did not. He is who he is in spite of what happened.
- MORE, MORE, MORE
There is so much more I could say about this sweet man, but you'll have to wait for the book to come out in November 2016! You'll see many more pictures, too. I fell in love with the animation of is face and his sneaky smiles, but again, you'll have to wait a few more months. You know this blog post is just a super short version, right? His wife shared beautiful stories about Jude before he had dementia, once he was diagnosed and now that he is in a memory care facility. The love is so evident in the images, but you know I can't show those until the book is out! Love Still Lives Here will be published by November, 2016. At it's core, Love Still Lives Here is a book about the love in families and people with dementia. After years of being in reverence of families caring for loved ones with dementia, I realized these stories of LOVE and DEVOTION need to be shared with the world. These are the stories so rarely heard. Love Still Lives Here is about the many expressions of love and will certainly entertain, inspire and open your heart.