“What’s with these dresses. Looks like something my grandmother would wear.”
The frustration on her face clear. Frustration of being unable to find a dress she’d bought over sixty years ago.
A dress the memory of which is more vivid than anything that happened during our marriage. A dress that should be hanging in front of her, instead of the abundantly present flowery garments.
I ask her what she is specifically looking for, her initial reaction a look bereft of any recognition. It’s a look I’ve grown mournfully accustomed to over the past two months.
It was the April 4th when she didn’t recognize me for the first time. It was April 16th when she recognized me for the last time.
Right now, she is evidently more interested in finding her dress than identifying me, the latter of which she’s likely to forget within a minute anyway.
“It’s my red dress, I’ve only bought it yesterday.” She says, letting out a fretful sigh before rummaging through her clothes once more.
I’ve learned months and months ago it’s best to just go with whatever she is saying, lest I only anger her.
While she may not remember who I am, she accepts my presence as long as I don’t contradict her. For this I’m very happy.
She may not be the same woman I’ve married fifty-seven years ago, nor the same woman I’ve seen slip into the terrible curse that is Alzheimer’s six months back, yet she still is,
and will always be, the love of my life.
“I can’t show on my date in another dress!” Her irritation is replaced by panic, her searching ever more frantic.
“Who’s the lucky man?” I ask in an attempt to calm her down.
“Jules. Patricia introduced me to him at the dance. He’s such a gentleman, must’ve told me a hundred times how beautiful I was.
” Her agitated countenance turns into a dreamy, almost wistful expression.
I can’t help but smile at the memory. She did indeed look ever so lovely that night. Her navy blue dress complimented her blonde hair perfectly.
Her deep blue eyes shyly downcast for most of the evening due to all of the compliments I bestowed upon her. Not that all the compliments in the world could’ve done her beauty justice, mind you.
“I must look my very best tonight. Mother even borrowed me her ring, see?”
She shows me the ring her mother left her when she passed years and years ago. The same one she wore almost sixty years ago.
“If I could only find my dress. I must look my very best for Julian tonight.”
“You’ll look lovely tonight, dear, I’m sure. Do you want me to help looking for it?”
“I’d like that very much.”
She sits down on the bed and starts humming *Unchained Melody*, slightly swaying left and right, a serene smile on her face.
I start looking for her dress, blinking more rapidly than I normally would.