Thursday, September 8, 2016

Happy Anniversary Gary!

I have to admit for the first time in 31 years, I am not looking forward to September 9.  On September 9, 1985, my 22 year old self married Gary Gerard.  He was 37, had been married three times, had two children from different wives and eyes that dropped me dead in my tracks.

People thought it wouldn't last.  Boy, did we show them!  On our wedding day, we had no money so we picked our own flowers and put them in a circle by the lake at Stoney Creek.  By 5pm, in 95 degree heat, they had wilted.  At 6:00pm, we had a tremendous lighting storm for our wedding-by-the-lake.  At 6:45, we got sunshine and the flowers had re-hydrated.  The ceremony was perfect.

The best man, who was an avid fisherman, cried during the ceremony.  Not because he thought the ceremony was beautiful, but because after the rain, all the trout were feeding off the top of the lake and he did not have a line in the water!  During the ceremony, Shane was our guitarist and was apparently daydreaming because the minister had to clear his throat to get his attention to play our favorite song......"There is love".  One thing that has remained for 31 years is that our love is always there.

So, 31 years later, Gary lives in Memory Care and I continue to work 50 hours per week and visit him, feed him and cry, near daily.  Every anniversary we have always done something special.  Every 5 years, we took a BIG trip.  Here are some pictures of previous anniversaries:

10 YEARS  - no pictures but we went to Costa Rica and had great memories in the rain forest, at volcanos and bird watching.  During the same year, we took a Windjammer Cruise to the Virgin Islands, lived through a hurricane and attended the best private party EVER.

15 years - we back packed in the High Sierras for 10 days and saw no one.  On day 11, we spent the night at the Yosemite Ahwahnee Hotel Penthouse.  He surprised me!

And then, on our 20th anniversary, we went on a Pirate Cruise to the West Indies.  We saw 7 islands, spent 7 days in St. Lucia, lived through a hurricane at sea and had a blast.

On our 24th anniversary, we attended a Release Technique Seminar at Asilomar in Monterrey.  Gary had been preparing to climb half dome and hiked for miles on the beach.  It was a great time, despite the fact that he contracted a horrible cold that absolutely effected his hike to Half Dome.
The 25th was extra special in that we visited Costa Rica for a week, bought our second international property and visited our home in Panama for a week.  We never spent a lot of time there because our plan was to retire there.....big, we will never live there together.
These pictures speak volumes of our spirits, our love of adventure and our appreciation for our marriage.  I am so grateful that we lived like we did while we could.  These memories will sustain me.
So, tomorrow, our 31st anniversary, there will be no trip.  I have a work commitment and may not even make it to see him.  On Saturday, we will celebrate our anniversary by wheeling him outside and sitting in the courtyard of "The Happy Place."  I choose to accept this as a suitable anniversary.  My husband is still alive and still knows me. 
Tonight, I visited him and watched him play with the drawstring on the right leg of his sweatpants for almost 20 minutes.  I tried to get him to sit up straight.  That lasted for 30 seconds.  I gave up, kissed his forehead and came home.
Tonight, as I write this tribute, I feel hopeful. Each day becomes more devastating in knowing that his brain is shrinking and that he will die.  I have hope that he will be made whole in heaven and we will experience our greatest trip of all.
Good night my darling.....happy anniversary.


  1. Ada, the beauty of this evenings blog made me cry. I cry not just for the heartbreak, but also for the love and happiness you have with your husband. I read all your posts and I don't typically comment...not because I don't want to but because I cannot provide words of comfort. You are an amazingly strong woman and I thank you for reminding me what love truly is.

  2. just found your blog recently. it is written honestly and with the confusion of love, commitment and deep pain.
    my lovely husband has been suffering with FTD for the past 8 years - is in a nursing home the past year - and we will celebrate our 38th anniversary in a couple of weeks.
    i am connected to you in spirit
    i feel incredibly close to steven at this point, but live with the constant dual thinking that this slow disease and constant diminishment bring.
    i send bonds of encouragement and peaceful moments to you and your beloved.

  3. I have been following your posts, too, Ada, and marveling at your strength and heart. But this one, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever read.

  4. Quite impressed to know about your anniversary. I am arranging my sister-in-law’s wedding that is in next month and want to arrange a grand party. I have searched online and got to know about few lovely
    Los angeles wedding venues. Hope to finalize one by this weekend.

  5. All the information in this post is awesome and Happy Anniversary so thank you so much for sharing this post