The Kindred Spirit Connection

Last updated: 2/6/2024

Sylvia

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve done one of these...I just haven’t been motivated to do so since Sylvia, my wife, died.  She started going down hill with Alzheimer’s somewhere around 2016.  At first it wasn’t too noticeable, but as time progressed it got much worse.  So much so that I had to start working from home because she couldn’t be left alone.

I loved my wife more than I can describe.  We were high school sweethearts who went different directions out of high school for approximately thirty years.  Interestingly, we both never quite got over the other and it was through an unusual chain of events that we got back together and the mutual feelings were just as they were in high school.   Within a few months we got married and happily shared our lives together for 33 years. 

But, as much as I didn't want to, due to her Alzheimer’s I finally had to put her in a Memory Care center in 2020.  There, as the disease progressed, she became a very angry person—my wife, who was one of the nicest, gentlest persons I had ever known, became violent and actually started fights…and she was only five foot and under a hundred pounds.

The only redeeming feature of that year was that she always brightened up and smiled broadly whenever I visited—no matter how angry she was at the time.  She always knew there was a bond between us, though one time she did ask, as we were going on a ride to look at the ocean, “Are you my husband?”

During the last couple of months of her life she was hospitalized several time for one or two days at a time for non-life threatening diseases, but more than the memory care center could care for.  Her last stay in the hospital was on 12/9/20.  The doctor came in while I was sitting by her bed and told me that she was doing OK and they were releasing her back to the memory care center in the morning.

While Sylvia was sleeping, I sat there, looking at her and thinking about the kind of woman she was—highly intelligent, vivacious, alive, happy, brilliant and quick witted.  She was also a writer with several published stories.  She had been a teacher for a good part of her life in junior high, high school and nearly twenty years on the college level teaching writing and holding seminars on creative writing.

As I sat there thinking of what her life had been, and how she was now so very mentally handicapped, I began to wonder, does her mind still work OK?  Is it  just that she can’t get the words out? Is that what makes her so frustrated and angry?  With those thoughts in mind, I began to pray, “God, if it’s her will and Your will, take her quickly.”

I prayed that because I realized how frustrating it would have been for this once brilliant woman to be so mentally hindered in that way. 

Though I prayed it, I had no idea that it would be answered; especially so quickly.  Imagine my shock to get a call around six the next morning telling me my wife had passed away.  I felt terrible—Horrified!  And I wasn't there.  What had I done? But at the same time I realized that I had said “her will,” and “Your will,” not my will.  Still I felt guilty and to blame.

It was about two, three months later, while saying my morning prayers, that my thoughts were abruptly interrupted by a voice in my mind saying, “Sylvia says to say, ‘Thank you for your prayer.’”

I cried.

That was a about two years ago and I still cry.  I miss her so.