I’m with my wife 24/7, all day, every day, all the time. I never paid any attention to our relationship reality when her mind was healthy and I could see. Being together was a constant treat, always new adventures to share, things to do together.
And, we could talk, share ideas, questions, and breathe together in awe at a stunning sunset.
As much as we enjoyed each other, we were always organizing get-togethers with family and friends. We could drive, so making connections was easy. We were both functional, making shared meals with others a simple thing to do at our place.
For a short time, our life was a wonderful balance of precious times together and special moments with others.
Such times are past. Our range of life options has collapsed. My wife’s dementia and my blindness have shrunk our social activities significantly. We no longer drive, so getting out to visit folks beyond our walking radius doesn’t happens unless someone comes for us. This occurs less and less, as I suppose, for most, that socializing with a demented woman and a blind guy is, at best, awkward.
Fortunately, my wife enjoys video calls with our kids, which they are considerate enough to make often. But, as any sort of intellectual, rational conversation is no longer possible with my wife, I find myself craving social contact.
Even though we rarely meet anyone at our local coffeehouse, we visit regularly just so I can hear the drone of other human voices, be near conversations, get vicarious pleasure from being in the middle of people living regular lives.
Slowly, I’m socially starving.