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My Wife Has Alzheimer’s, But She’s Great in Bed

Al Vorspan
March 2, 2017

by Al Vorspan

MY WIFE has Alzheimer’s — there, it’s said

A disease so hopeless it fills us with dread

Still I must tell you, seventy years after we wed:

My wife has Alzheimer’s, but she’s great in bed.

I don’t mean sex the way you might assume

That kind of sex has gone out of the room

While she’s sick, however, she’s rich with love

(Thank God, or whoever is up there above)

We hold each other tight through the night

We talk and laugh and forget our plight

I kiss her forehead, stroke her tummy

She giggles and thanks me with a smile so sunny

Sometimes I simply lie there and cry

While she prays, she says, that I won’t die

The night is long, the sleep arrests

Our terrible sense of hopelessness

It’s really not night magic at play in our room

We are simply escaping the day’s stress and gloom

Her aides dress her, feed her, and take her for walks

Once a proud artist, she always loved to talk

Now its just baby talk, nursery rhymes,

And eat your food, put in your teeth, and ready for pee time?

Yesterday -- was it yesterday? When the grandkids came

She was a smiling actress, but forgot their names

I know that look, I read her eyes,

My girl is truly terrified.

The nights are long, the sleep arrests

Our awful sense of hopelessness.

And that is the miracle, seventy years after we wed:

Its small comfort, yes, but she’s still great in bed.

Albert Vorspan is the senior vice-president emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism and former director of the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism. He was integral in the establishment of the Religious Action Center in Washington, DC. He is the author of several books on Judaism and social justice, as well as a number of books of Jewish humor published by Doubleday.