While we can

His name is William, and she is his princess. They raised two children, traveled the world and were looking forward to retiring–enjoying a slower life together.

And then, Alzheimer came in, uninvited. And dementia crawled in. And settled.

And his princess, she began to lose some of herself. Bit by bit.

One morning, the reading was lost. And then the writing went. And then the walking. And then the names. And then the words.

But he promised to love her, and she is his princess. So he loves her. With every ounce of energy within him, he gives her dignity. And care. He brushes her hair with delight. He brushes her teeth. He feeds her.He takes her to get her hair done each Friday. He builds her a special bicycle, and she sits in the front and he pedals in back. And they ride through their town, enjoying the days. Living life.

She is his princess, and he delights in loving her. Not a hero, but a lover. A lover who loves. A lover who understands. A lover who says that he does not want to live forever, but just one day longer than his princess, so he can take care of her until the end.

And his princess, she is like a city at night, and one by one the lights are going out. The city is still there, but it’s just feeling empty.

But his princess, she smiles, because she senses that she is cared for. And she laughs when he tells her that she is his princess. And her cheeks get all rosy when he steals a kiss or two.

And he promised to love her. And he does it so well.

They sit on the porch in the early evening, enjoying the breeze. He tells her stories of their lives, and when it gets chilly, he gently drapes a cardigan over her shoulders, with a smile in his eyes. And he makes her favorite foods and feeds her one bite at a time. Because he is a lover. And as long as they can, they do.

Life, that is.


Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

#744 William who teaches me that I know very little about love

#745 My grand baby growing in my daughter-in-law’s womb

#746 a slow Friday at work 

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG,  Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on SundayInspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday, Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,



  1. Such a beautiful story. It gives me hope and at the same time, it makes me cry just a little. And yes, this is life. Your stories always have an effect on me. Thank you.


  2. Barbara –
    The tears are flowing. This is beautiful. It moved me so deeply as both of my in-laws have Alzheimer’s. In visiting them this weekend, we saw the digression even in my father-in-law more so this time. My MIL no longer recognizes any of us & there is very little conversation in her. This time we saw that my FIL is now slipping – he has lost his ability to follow sports, no longer reading, converses little. It is a most sad disease. What a poignant post to make others aware of the pain involved in the loss of memory. Thank you for sharing this.


  3. Absolutely beautiful. My father passed in 2003 telling my sister and I to take care of our mother who had medical issues and early signs of dementia. We took care of our mother the best we could taking turns to hair appts and dr appts and visiting so she did not feel lonely When it got too dangerous for her to be alone and too much for us we put her in a home. We once again took turns visiting daily. She passed this year on Easter Sunday, what a glorious day to go home! Dementia and Alzheimer patients need love, just as your story states. It takes patience and a lot of love and time to help them continue their life’s journey. Im so thankful that my sister and I were there for our mother. I would love if your story was “out there” for other to read so that they understood this horrible disease. Beautiful story…. thank you!


  4. Reblogged this on marymcleary and commented:
    This is a wonderful post that expresses what many of us experience with loved ones. I’ve never reblogged a post before, but I read it right after visiting with Ms Elizabeth as I fed her lunch. Had Mr. Barton lived, I believe this could have been their story.


  5. Such a beautiful story! You are such a gifted writer – your words are so moving!
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions


  6. WOW! I’m not sure, but I’m headed that direction. Losing more and more memory, ability to speak, to write, to share, to walk. AND have a wonderful husband who does whatever he can, whenever he can, to encourage and bless me. I don’t have Alzheimer’s, but, at this phase of life, it’s simply connected to a form of dementia. Yes, I can still write, while concentrating carefully and taking time to come up with words through dictionary, etc., and able to spell most of the time, but much less often than in my previous years… a good speller from age 6, but struggling now at 68. Don’t know where it will end up… God know, and my husband and God are the caregivers. That’s all I can rely upon.

    Thank you for sharing this. Appreciate it.


  7. Simply beautiful – love like that:) My grandmother had dementia. She raised me – and I missed “her” – when she died at 94, I envisioned her spirited released from her mortal shell, racing to heaven like she raced the trains on her horse as a girl in Normandy, KY. Your story shows the kind of love we need to give our loved ones. Not anger. Not frustration. Not -put-upon-ness. Just love:)


  8. What a beautiful story – it brought tears along with the memories of my Mother who died of Alzheimers and my father who cared for her to the end… This could well have been them – it is a devastating disease that takes its toll on the whole family but, most of all on the caregiver. Thank you so much for posting and giving insight into the devastation of this disease… found you through Let’s Get Social Sunday….


  9. That was very well said. A beautiful story. I care for my mother who has Alzheimer’s and it is a terrible thing. She is 93 and has lived with us for 12 years now. We do the best we can, she was such a wonderful mother to her children. She deserves the best. Thanks for joining us this week at the Let’s Get Social Sunday party. Have a wonderful week.


  10. Beautiful and sad at the same time. My mom has dementia… it is hard to watch her leave the ‘life’ she has known. I do think it is worse on those watching than those who are affected.


  11. Barbara,
    Thank you for this post. “He promised to love her. And he does it so well.” Your words show your love too. Sad and beautiful at the same time – ditto Sharon….


  12. I love this. And it’s good to remember that sometimes the shoe is on the other foot, and we must continue to love through sickness, debilitation, and disease. May it ever be so that I would be so dedicated to My Beloved that I will “do him good, and not evil, all the days of my life.”


  13. This just brings tears to my eyes. Makes me think of the words…Let us not love simple in wordsalone but in acts and deeds! Thankful that this is how God treats us…His bride. With grace, mercy, tenderness, and His presence when our lives fail. So sweet! Blessings Jen from UNITE


  14. Oh Barbara,
    You really have to stop making me cry….all your posts are amazing and inspiring. Thanks for linking up and sharing the inspiration every week. God Bless.

    ~SimplyyMayra 🙂


  15. This was truly beautiful Barbara. I’ve lost two family members who had Alzheimer and I watched how their spouses loved and cared for them…never waivering. Your story touched my heart. I do a link up at my place called Three Word Wednesday (we begin with three words). I’d love you to link up this beautiful post or keep me in mind for the future. Blessings to you.


  16. Your words, Barbara, are simply beautiful. Eloquent. And the subject is heart tugging and tear forming. Bless that dear man’s heart for upholding his wedding vow. I have known two other gentlemen who were lovers like that and took care of their beloved princesses to the end. And found joy and purpose in doing so. In my book, they are heroes!! Thanks for sharing this achingly lovely story. Blessings…


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