When Oscar Hammerstein, II penned the lyrics for “When I Grow Too Old to Dream” I image he was picturing life after the death of a spouse as the intro ends with:
“After you’ve gone life will go on
Like an old song we have sung.”
Yet it is these words from the well-known portion of the song that draw me in:
“And when I grow too old to dream
Your love will live in my heart.”
Love living on is a theme we find in literature and music. Yet, I believe it also applies to life, especially to life with dementia.
As I reflect on those I know and have known who lived with a dementia diagnosis, I have witnessed love living on.
No, they may not know a name. They may think you are another person. They may no longer demonstrate the skills, the knowledge, the ability they once had.
It is heartbreaking as a spouse or a child or a sibling to deal with your loved one not remembering your face or special dates.
Yet, what I have witnessed is people looking for the parent they loved. I have witnessed the ability to respond with love to those who treat them with love and care. Maybe not every time, but most of the time.
We all deserve to be treated with love and care. We all need to be treated as a person. We all need to feel heard and connected.
Our need to love and to be loved is something that lasts a lifetime.
If you are a family member, hold tight to your memories of love.
If you are a caregiver, move with patience and treat with respect those in your care.
If you agree that love lives on, please share this post.
Thank you to Julie at Serenade Design for this challenge to share a post inspired by a quote.