Over the Thanksgiving weekend and in the beginning of the week, I was sure I was losing him. He had so much confusion, weakness and he had stopped eating and drinking. I was beside myself much of the time and Tuesday I woke up with the most debilitating cold I’ve had in years. My emotions were through the roof and my own body was shutting down.

I left Michael to the care of the hospital on Tuesday and Thursday. I had to regroup and get a grip mostly physically but also emotionally. When I thought this was it, I was internally hysterical in a way I have never known. I felt as if my head and my heart were tearing apart.

Crying made the cold symptoms much worse and I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. So I had to stop crying and get a grip. By Friday night he was out of the woods and back to his almost-old self. He still has moments of incoherence and his memory is almost totally gone, short-term and long-term, but he is definitely not dying on me this week. The color has returned to his cheeks and his appetite is there as well as his sense of humor. He knows his memory is shot and he says, “They only left me with two brain cells so I have to wait for them to circle around and meet up. When they do, I’m good. When they don’t, not so good.” He always laughs when he says this.

But he remembers me and when he saw me last, though he can’t remember anyone else most of the time. When they were there. If they were there.

The nurses say he calls out for me when I’m not there. He told me Friday night that when he opens his eyes at night and looks out the window, he sees my face. He says when they take him for tests in other parts of the hospital, he thinks he sees me rounding the corner. The clearest thing he knows is me. And when I’m there he visibly relaxes. So much so that he falls off to sleep. And I usually tip toe out while he’s resting.

Today I went to the hospital alone. I was feeling better. He was feeling better. He was still confused a lot and his lunch was sitting there so I started to feed him. He sat up and ate and I spooned potatoes into his mouth.

The nurses came in and said, “Mike, why do you eat for your wife and not for us?” and he said, “Because she’ll hit me in the back of the head if I don’t.” And they all laughed.

But when they left he turned to me and said, “I have never stopped falling in love with you. After 12 years, I love you more each day.” I almost dropped the spoon and burst into tears. He looked at me and smiled. So I withheld my tears and just kissed him on the head. I know it’s true because he has always acted that way. Always.

I know it’s true that he never has stopped falling in love with me…and why the thought of losing him is so heartbreaking for me. And why earlier this week I couldn’t even hold two thoughts together. I was a hot mess most of the week and am just starting to pull it together now.

He’ll be home this week and I’m glad.

His two brain cells might not meet up very often.

His lucid moments may be few and far between,

but when he has them…it’s oh so worth it.

Today I’m just grateful that we each made the other smile.

For a while.

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