We’re researching how businesses can engage people with dementia meaningfully and respectfully in the design, testing, and commercialization of apps intended for their use. For this research, we’re looking for people living with dementia to use, test, and provide feedback on a digital memory aid currently being developed. Follow the link for more information.
Last weekend was a very special date for me. My Partner, Dawn, and I celebrated 15 years of being together. And we did just that – celebrated! We hopped in the car and took a leisurely drive down the
lake road. Our destination was a quaint town with the best sushi restaurant in the area.
In true form, Dawn and I talked and laughed as we reminisced our years of being together. We rarely have the radio on as we seem to always have so much to say to each other. The radio is just a distraction.
On arrival to our destination town, we immediately drove down to the lake. We both are in awe of the beauty of nature. And today was no exception. There were ice burgs just off the shore. A true
Canadian scene of splendor. We then headed to the towns main strip to browse through a few stores.
We finally entered the quaint restaurant that is supposed to have the best sushi. We were the only people in it which was just perfect. Neither one of us is too adventurous when it comes to sushi, so we stuck to what we already knew we would enjoy. And of course, we had to order some take-out for Brianna.
Dawn has changed in many ways since we first met. And in other ways she hasn't. I always enjoy watching how she interacts with people. She ooh and ahhhed to the server about the food and the restaurant. While down at the beach, she got into a conversation with some folks who were also out walking. And she is always on the look out for someone who needs a helping hand or a kind word. It's what I love about her.
The last month has been a difficult one for us. We have lost a dear friend to cancer. Our hearts are heavy. But we look from signs from heaven to help cheer us up – and that's exactly what the red cardinals do as they sit on our bird feeders.
It seems that there is always a constant reminder of how precious our relationship is and life itself. Our motto of carpe diem has served us well. We do our best to stay in the moment and enjoy each other and
the simple things of life. It can be very easy to get lost in the “what if” or “when this happens...” of my dementia stages. Our conversations about what is important to us and to remain true to ourselves are incredibly important.
I know that it has not been easy on Dawn to have a partner who has a terminal illness. It must be frightening to think of what is to come. And this is why it is so important for us to stay in the moment. Many partners of people who have frontotemporal dementia leave them. It is too difficult for them and so they leave the relationship.
I know as I'm changing, I am less sympathetic and more self absorbed. My short-term forgetfulness has taken another notch up. I sometimes see Dawn's frustration, but then she bites her tongue. It must be difficult to watch my abilities change.
This only has seemed to make Dawn stronger. She is my partner and does anything and everything to help me live the best way I can. I would expect nothing less of her, because that's the kindness she has
in her heart. And I love her for that.
It is hard to believe 15 years has already gone by. Time truly does fly.
In today's world of chaos, I am so fortunate to have My Dawnie Girl. She truly is one in a million.