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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.